Thursday, 29 March 2012

Council Election - Candidate Latest

From THC web page here

170 Candidates to contest 22 Council multi-member wards (29/03/12)

Lists of Candidates can be found here and there are a fair few new names on the lists

The breakdown of candidates is as follows: - Independent,  49;  Scottish National Party (SNP), 33;  Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, 22; Scottish Liberal Democrats, 18; Scottish Labour Party, 17; Scottish Christian Party “Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship, 9; Scottish Green Party, 4;  UK Independence Party, 3; the Labour and Co-operative Party, 2;  Scottish Liberal Democrat Focus Team, 2;  Scottish Anti-Cuts Coalition, 2, All Scotland Pensioners Party, 1; No description,8.

13 sitting councillors are not seeking re-election. They are: -

Caithness (2):David Flear (Lib Dem), Landward Caithness;  Lady Thurso (Marion) (Lib Dem), Thurso.

Sutherland (1):William (Ian) Ross (Lib Dem), East Sutherland and Edderton

Ross (1):
Jean Urquhart (SNP), Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh.

Skye (1):  
John Laing (Ind), Eilean a´ CheĆ².

Inverness (4):
Roy Pedersen (SNP), Inverness South;  Peter Corbett (Ind), Inverness Central;  John Finnie (SNP), Inverness Ness-side;  David Henderson (Lib Dem), Inverness Ness-side.

Nairn (1):Sandy Park (Ind), Nairn.

Badenoch and Strathspey (1):
Stuart Black (Lib Dem), Badenoch and Strathspey

Lochaber (2):  Michael Foxley (Lib Dem), Fort William and Ardnamurchan;  Donald Cameron (Independent Alliance Group),  Fort William and Ardnamurchan.

Council Election Latest -List of Candidates expected by 5pm today

According to Highland Council  - THC web Home Page - web link here

The deadline for nominations is 4pm today and we hope to publish the list of candidates standing for election by 5 pm.

Development Plan Examinations consultation and a mere 14 Pages

Well folks I was saving this consultation paper as my 'number one' of the five Scottish Government consultations I have been describing in the last few posts and have to admit now that I have read it over I am a little disappointed in its content.

This consultation document is a mere 14 pages long, and they are not all full pages. All in all the 'meat' of this consultation seems to be on only 4 pages and it asks only 4 questions with the fourth question being 'tucked away' in an 'Appendix C'.  Here are the 4 Questions

Question 1: How well do you think the examination process is functioning
and should any changes be made to the process at this stage?

Question 2: If you think changes are needed which option do you support,
and why?

Question 3: Are there other ways in which we might reduce the period taken
to complete the plan-making process without removing stakeholder

Question 4: Do you think any of the options would have an impact on
particular sections of Scottish society?

The full report is at the link here 

Saying what we think; again.

Having posted a little on three of the five latest consultations from the Scottish Government, here is a little on what I'll call 'number four'.

This is a consultation on 'Miscellaneous Amendments on the Planning System'.  

The introduction to the document informs us that, 'The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on draft legislation for a number of refinements and amendments to the procedures on development management, schemes of delegation, local reviews and appeals.'

Matters covered in this consultation include:

The proposed removal of PAC
requirements in relation to Section 42 Applications.

Proposed changes to advertising requirements - Planning Applications/ Neighbour Notification

restrictions on the delegation of planning authority interest cases

A section which proposes a change to allow an extended period for
the determination of an application to be agreed upon between the applicant
and appointed person where local review procedures would apply.

Automatic deemed refusal on certain local review cases.

Amendments to Appeals Regulations.

Approval of matters specified in conditions (AMSC)

The proposed removal of the restrictions on the delegation of planning authority interest cases.

There are a total of questions asked in connection with this consultation on the matters as set out above and Question 12 is:

Are there are any issues in this consultation not covered by a specific question or any other aspects of the current planning legislation on which you would like to comment? 
If so, please elaborate.

An Answer to Question 12 at least should surely be worth considering and submitting.

Full details at the link here

A real chance to say what we think at last?

Well, you wait for a bus for ages and then three come along at once; isn't that what they say/

We know have no less than five consultations set out by the Scottish Government on planning matters with the closing date for responses to each of the five set at 22 June 2012

Of these five consultations, I will deal briefly with three and leave two to the next blog post:

The consultation on 'Development Delivery', '...seeks 
initial views from all sectors of the development industry in relation to current 
issues and opportunities for facilitating development and infrastructure provision. 
Our intention is to use the findings and output from this consultation to inform a 
second consultation (Stage 2) which shall investigate the detail of potential 
proposals or measures to assist with development delivery.' More here

With respect to the consultation on 'General Permitted Development...', 'The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on draft legislation for a number of refinements and amendments to the non-domestic elements of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO)...'.  The sorts of things covered here include, Access Ramps, Caravan Sites, Harbours, Hill Tracks, Hospitals, Care Homes, Offices, Open Air Markets, Pavement Cafes etc  Much more here

Then there is a consultation on 'Fees for Planning Applications' which states that, 'The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on draft regulations that set out a new fee structure and level for planning applications in Scotland.' and that, 'The changes are being proposed to ensure that the fees associated with processing planning applications reflect more closely the resource required to provide an effective service: it is not the Government‟s intention that proposed fee levels should exceed the costs of providing the service or that authorities should make financial gain from providing the development
management service.'  Much more here

So how are the Government getting along with the National Plan?

A 'quick' way of finding out how the Government sees how things are going with respect to developments all across Scotland - including of course the Highlands and Islands - is to flick through their latest (NPF2) 'Monitoring Report' - click here.  

This is definitely not as boring as it looks and in comparison to a lot of stuff that I look through is easier to read and digest.  

The Report covers a huge range of subjects with headings such as:

'A Low Carbon Economy'
'Investing in Infrastructure'
'Economic and Social Trends'
'Town Centres'
'Housing Supply'
'National Parks'
'Energy' - with sections on renewable energy provision
'Waste Management'
'Water and Flooding'
'Communications Technology'

The Report then looks at the development of specific areas, the Inverness to Nairn Corridor for example; the six deep vaults for radioactive waste at Dounreay; the port facilities at Ardersier, Invergordon and Nigg; the Pentland Firth and development in Argyll and Bute.

Exemplar Design

Scottish Government  - New 'Design Exemplar' web pages.  Fuller details can be found at the link here and extracts from the web page are below...there are some interesting choices for Highland - why not take a peek and let the blog know what you think.

What is it?

This webpage forms part of The Scottish Government's agenda to promote good quality housing design and placemaking throughout Scotland. It is a 'live' resource database and will be expanded, over time, as more projects receive awards.

Who can use it?

This webpage is designed for everyone. It can be of value to professionals working 
in the built environment industry as well as those with little or no design experience.

How to use it?
The webpage is designed to allow you to navigate your way through the
exemplars depending on what it is that you are looking for to 'be inspired'.
You can, therefore, search through the exemplars either via Local Authority areas or by selecting from the specific project types.

'Streamlining the Planning System'

According to the press release here dated 28 March 2012:

'Planning Minister Derek Mackay has today outlined plans to improve efficiency and streamline the planning system, including linking increases in fees to improved performance by planning authorities.
In a statement to Parliament, he launched a series of consultations and measures to take planning forward following the comprehensive reform of the Scottish Planning System in 2006.
Mr Mackay announced a new performance framework for planners developed by Heads of Planning Scotland and COSLA, and his intention to link planning performance to fees, so authorities who fail to improve performance would not be able to charge greater fee levels. Developers will pay a single, proportionate fee to cover all aspects of the planning application...

NB Much more detail regarding all of the related publications and consultations can be found on the page at the link HERE

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Very Important news for development plans in Highland

Please see the following posts on the Highland Council Planning Blog

'Highland-wide Local Development Plan Adoption'


'Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan...its coming soon (consultation will commence on 05 April and run for twelve weeks)