Friday, 9 November 2012

'A96 Corridor should be extended to reach from Inverness to Elgin'

At last, the 'list' of Highland's Proposed 'National Developments'.  I have not read this through in any detail or indeed had time to consider the implications.
I have only taken extracts from the short committee report and as always would recommend that it is read in full.

According to the Committee report - as linked to in the agenda item below:

The National Planning  Framework (NPF) sets the context for development 
planning in Scotland and provides a framework for the spatial development of 
Scotland as a whole.  It can have implications for the way Highland develops 
over the next 30 years, including  future Local Development Plans and how 
planning decisions are made.

Extract from Committee report

2.2. is considered major infrastructure and 
development projects relevant to Highland listed below should be promoted to 

the Scottish Government as national developments.  Appendix 1 provides 
further explanation of each of the project and provides the supporting 
justification for their promotion as national developments. 

Strategic Road Improvements: 

A96 Inverness – Aberdeen dualling; 

A9 Inverness – Perth dualling/Inverness to Thurso improvements;  
A82 Inverness – Glasgow improvements; 

Strategic Port and Harbour Enhancements: 

Inner Moray Firth Ports – Highland Deephaven, Invergordon, 
Inverness, Nigg and Whiteness; 

North West Coast – Kishorn and Arnish; 
Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters – Scrabster, Wick and Lyness and 
Hatston (Kirkwall) in Orkney; 

Strategic Airport Enhancements: 

Inverness Airport; 
Skye Airport;  
Wick/John O’Groats Airport; 

A96 Corridor – comprising housing and  mixed use developments, 
including a new rail station and public transport interchange at Dalcross, 
supported in the Highland-wide Local Development Plan and the Life 
Sciences Corridor between Inverness  and Elgin including the new UHI 
Beechwood campus; 

Superfast Broadband – providing infrastructure to deliver superfast 
broadband to communities throughout the Highland and Islands; and

Electricity Grid Reinforcements - upgrading and reinforcing the existing 
electricity transmission network to realise the diversification and growth 
potential in renewable energy generation.

Extract from Appendix 1

...In NPF3 it is considered the A96 corridor should be extended to reach from 
Inverness to Elgin with particular focus on support for the life sciences sector 
and be given elevated status as a national development.  Life science is a 
particular growth sector for the Scottish economy and Highland and Moray 
are developing a reputation for excellence and leadership in this sector. This 
corridor is seen as the engine for growth that will power the wider Highland 
and Moray economies and disperse  economic benefits to the rural 
hinterlands.  Several research and private sector enterprises are located 
along the corridor from Lifescan and the UHI Beechwood campus at 
Inverness, to Accunostics at Forres Enterprise Park and to the new Life 
Sciences Research Centre at Elgin.  There is a national drive to deliver 
healthcare via digital technology and this corridor cluster of expertise will gain a competitive advantage from co-location and expansion and offer significant opportunities for skills development, reducing unemployment and job creation. Two of the five national Life Sciences Enterprise Area sites lie within 
this corridor.  Growth in this corridor can power sustainable economic 

benefits for over a third of Scotland’s land mass whereas investment in the 
central belt tends to concentrate positive effects.

The relevant agenda item states

11. National Planning Framework 3 (NPF3): Call for National Developments
      Frèam Dealbhaidh Nàiseanta 3: Gairm airson Leasachaidhean Nàiseanta

There is circulated Report No. ped-66-12 (42kb pdf) dated 5 November 2012 by the Director of Planning and Development seeking approval for a list of infrastructure and development projects within Highland that are recommended to be nominated to the Scottish Government as national developments or key issues for inclusion in National Planning Framework 3.  The recommended projects will be considered by Scottish Ministers for inclusion in the next National Planning Framework.

The Committee is asked to agree:

i.  that the series of infrastructure and development projects outlined in the
   report be nominated to the Scottish Government as national
   developments/key issues for inclusion in the National Planning Framework 3; and
ii. to delegate authority to the Director of Planning and Development in
   consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of PED to complete the national
   development proposals forms.

There are many more things of interest on this agenda see HERE

(*A meeting of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee will take place in the Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness onWednesday, 14 November 2012 at 10.30am.)

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