Friday, 25 November 2011

Visit 'for free' weekend

From Scottish Government 'Weekly Round-up'

Many (but not all) of Scotland's top visitor attractions will open for free this weekend with others offering discounts on entry as part of the St Andrew's Day celebrations.

Attractions include:

Includes Dallas Dhu Distillery, Forres

Elgin Cathedral

Fort George

Urquhart Castle

Swim for free in HIGHLANDS

Highland wildlife park

plus lots of stuff in central belt.

Check web page as linked above for specific details

APT blog traffic up on this time last year

Just been having a look at the stats and there have been more visits in the latter half of this year than there were last year so that is heartening; comments are down however.

I should not rest on my laurels however and APTSec would always welcome a few more readers for the blog.

What next, a request for guest contributions perhaps?

Back to basics again; some planning Q and As

From Perth and Kinross council web site (more here)

Is there a legal definition of development?

The legal definition of development includes building and engineering operations and changes to the use of and or buildings. This can include building walls, erecting new buildings, altering buildings, new roads and accesses, conversion of buildings, and demolition. Planning permission may also be required for some business premises and businesses working from home.

Why control development?

Over 140,000 people live in the area and many more visit to work, to shop or for leisure. Because of this, the way any land or building is used or the way a building is designed can affect many people. We have a legal duty to control development so that land and buildings are used sensibly, in a way that is best for the whole community and the environment.

What are the benefits of controlling development?

Some of the benefits of properly controlled development are:

  • Ensuring that new houses are connected to roads and sewers, and have shops and schools nearby
  • Keeping noisy or dirty industry away from residential areas
  • Ensuring that new buildings are well laid out and at home with their surroundings
  • Conserving countryside and good farmland
  • Ensuring that the road system can handle new developments

Timely Ministerial pledge

The P and J reports:

"Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown has given an assurance over the future of the east coast rail line and sleeper services."


"ROADS in Scotland are the worst prepared in the UK to survive the looming winter weather. The AA says communities in Scotland average 20.1 potholes each – against a UK-wide rate of 14.9."

Well that is one way of making sure we all travel by train

More here and here

Interesting, 'Think Piece' from Atkins here on land use planning decisions and reducing the need for travel.

Interesting blog post on Environmental Transport Association site here

Nothing new in Flood Report

Inverness Courier reports:

INVERNESS’S provost has defended the appointment of consultants to carry out a flood investigation, despite the findings throwing up "no major surprises".

Flood plagued residents in the Culloden, Smithton and Balloch area were last night (Thurs) informed about the conclusions from a three-month study into local burns and drains. Full item here

From THC web page - Inverness East flood update (25/11/11)


Stuart Black, Highland Council’s Director of Planning and Development informed attendees that the Council was currently consulting on the draft “Interim Supplementary Guidance: Flood Risk and Drainage Impact Assessment” and urged anyone interested to submit their comments by the consultation deadline of 2 December 2011to He also explained the requirement on developers during the planning application process to produce Flood Risk Assessments and Drainage Impact Assessments for the development proposals.

A new information booklet published by The Highland Council titled “Managing Flood Risk in the Highlands” - was made available at the meeting – and is also on the Council’s website This guidance explains the Council’s requirements for Flood Risk Assessments and Drainage Impact Assessments and sets a higher standard on the quality of information provided.

Full item here

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Some readable wisdom from Chris Brown blog


Listening to Grant Shapps, the minister, unusually somewhat floundering on the Today programme this morning, I was struck by the difficulty politicians sometimes have in admitting that they cannot control the world.

It would be lovely if we built lots of nice and affordable homes quickly in the right places because a lot of people want them and because it would create jobs for people that don’t have them.

But it isn’t going to happen and Government can’t make it happen.

Chris Brown blog link here

Monday, 21 November 2011

Explanation catches up with change

From here and here on THC web site

"We've updated the left hand side of the website. Please read why we've done this, and tell us your thoughts."

Changes to The Highland Council website

November 2011

We've implemented changes to The Highland Council website as part of our wide-ranging "Customer Engagement and Assessment" project. It’s hoped the inclusion of the "Scottish Navigation List" (an agreed list of terms for services, used by many councils) will improve the usefulness of the site to the public.

The structure of the website stays as it is, but all the links down the left hand side have changed:

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Failure to improve democracy.

"Concentrations of power are never good. We are convinced our democracy would work better with more parties in the system so that more voices are represented and heard and that power is shared, checked and balanced."

Whole item here


But of course you may disagree with me?