Friday, 1 June 2012

West Link Road Charrette

Extract from THC Press Release

...The Highland Council has begun detailed preparation for a major consultation with the public later in the year over future use of land along the route of the proposed Inverness West Link Road, which will provide a new transport link from the Southern Distributor Road at Dores Road to the A82 trunk road via a fixed link across the River Ness and the Caledonian Canal.

A charrette  - a planning masterplanning event -  is being staged between 3-5 September at the Culduthel Christian Centre. It begins with a launch on Monday 3 September (7.30pm start), continues with workshops on Tuesday and Wednesday and concludes with a “wrap up” session on Wednesday evening.
The purpose of the charrette is to provide an intensive period of focused discussions to gather people’s views on the possible layout and design of future land uses alongside the proposed West Link Road.  This includes the relocation of sporting facilities that need to be replaced to deliver the road, as well as masterplanning of new developments in the areas of Charleston and Ness-side situated either end of the proposed road.  

More here

Elgin 'Bypass Battle'

 From P and J

NEARLY 150 campaigners took to the streets of a Moray town last night to protest against a bypass plan.
A quiet tour around the route of the proposed Elgin western distributor road was gatecrashed by scores of angry residents, who claim the scheme could destroy their community.
The walk was intended to be a low-key event to prepare councillors and stakeholders for a workshop that is being held today.
For the full story, pick up a copy of today’s Press and Journal or read our digital edition now

New committee structure and office bearers

From THC web site here


The Highland Council has agreed a new committee structure and elected office-bearers.

There will be four strategic committees, namely: Finance, Housing and Resources; Planning Environment and Development; Transport Environmental and Community Services and Adult and Children’s Services. All of these committees will comprise 22 members and will meet 6 times each year.

An Inverness City Committee, comprising 26 members, will meet 6 times each year and a Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee, comprising 16 members, will meet quarterly. They will pilot specific responsibilities from the outset with a view to paving the way for the following area committees: - Ross and Cromarty (19 members); Nairn and Badenoch (8 members); and Lochaber and Skye (11 members). All will meet quarterly.
The Leaders of the City/Area Committees will be appointed at the first meetings.
Regulatory committees, overseeing planning and licensing issues, will see the continuation of a Planning Review Body of 9 members, meeting six-weekly; as well as a North Planning Application Committee of 17 members and a South Committee of 19 members, both meeting monthly.

Chair of Planning, Environment and Development Committee and the Planning Review BodyThomas Prag (Inverness South); Vice ChairGeorge Farlow (North West and Central Sutherland).

How the Inverness Courier reported it:

...Key committee chairmanship roles went to Graham Phillips (transport, environmental and community services); Alasdair Christie (adult and children services); Thomas Prag (planning, environment and development) and Dave Fallows (finance, housing and resources).

More here from Courier

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Appealing Decisions

Earlier this year a consultation was undertaken by the 'Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council; Scottish Committee':

'Consultation on Administrative Decisions made by Public Bodies in Scotland where there is no Right of Appeal against the Decision or where the Right of Appeal is inaccessible or inappropriate.'

More details regarding this consultation can be found on and linked to from page 4 of this newsletter

AJTCSC covering letter and questionnaire

As I understand it the consultation report is due to be published shortly and I thought readers may be interested in reading those responses to the consultation that I have been able to find on line.

'Consumer Focus Scotland' response

'Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, SPSO' response

'The Law Society of Scotland's response'

'Friends of the Earth Scotland' response

'Faculty of Advocates' questionnaire responses

On their web site, Planning Democracy mention a meeting with the SCAJTC in respect of this consultation 

However, the most detail regarding the subject of planning appears to be within the  Faculty of Advocates, 'Further Response' - Faculty of Advocates Further ResponsePage 7 of 12, paragraph 10 (a) 

Given the recent elections and the setting up of new planning committees within Highland Council some of the sentences in the 'Faculty of Advocates' response struck  particular chords:

...councillors are likely, consciously or subconsciously, to back the decisions of their officers, particularly if no hearing takes place.  Councillors are accustomed to, and indeed are expected to, seek advice from the very professional officers whose decisions they are being asked to overturn.  They will be naturally predisposed towards supporting planning officers...

These responses make very interesting reading and I would certainly recommend getting the full flavour by reading the responses as fully as possible and taking comments in context.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Should schools be sited next to cemeteries?

Why not read the articles below and let me know what your views are:

Waste treatment overcapacity - report's warning

The on-line planning newsletter I receive contains the following article - page linked here:

Britain could soon end up with more residual waste treatment capacity than it needs if all schemes with planning permission go ahead, according to a research consultancy.

Figures from Eunomia Research & Consulting suggest that the market for residual waste facilities could be saturated within three years. The oversupply will increase further if waste arisings continue to decline, the firm adds. 

The researchers calculate that in 2011/12 Britain had 14.8 million tonnes of residual waste treatment capacity in operation or under construction. This left a "capacity gap" of 13.5 million tonnes of waste for which no treatment facilities were available and landfill was the only option. 

But if all currently consented facilities, which have a total capacity of 18.2 million tonnes, go ahead, the current shortfall would turn into an oversupply of 4.7 million tonnes’ capacity by 2015/16, according to Eunomia.

In addition, the researchers predict that if the 4.5 million tonnes of capacity for which planning consent is currently being sought is implemented, the oversupply could grow to 9.2 million tonnes by 2020/21. 
"The waste treatment industry continues to tell us that the planning system is preventing us from achieving high levels of landfill diversion. The facts tell a different story," said Eunomia director Dr Dominic Hogg.