Saturday, 30 June 2012

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Be Prepared; NPF3 is on its way

According to the Scottish Government web site - Link here for a little more detail:
The National Planning Framework (NPF) is a strategy for the long-term development of Scotland's towns, cities and countryside. The NPF is about shaping Scotland's future and is concerned with how Scotland develops over the next 20 years and how to make that possible. The NPF identifies key strategic infrastructure needs to ensure that each part of the country can develop to its full potential.
Planning legislation requires Scottish Ministers to revise the NPF within 5 years of publication. Scottish Ministers have confirmed that work on the preparation of NPF3 will commence in autumn 2012, focusing strongly on economic recovery and the transition to a low carbon economy.
According to a transcript of the 'Local Government and Regeneration Committee 30 May 2012' - link here - the Assistant Chief Planner to the Scottish Government, Graeme Purves stated:

(The Convener:
...We need to move on to the national planning framework 2. Perhaps somebody from the Government can set the scene.)
...Thank you, convener. I can do that. The national planning framework is a key document that sets out the Scottish Government’s aspirations for the long-term development of Scotland, including clear priorities for the improvement of national infrastructure. Since the second national planning framework was published in 2009, we have reported annually in June to your predecessor committee, the Local Government and Communities Committee. About a month ago, we contacted the clerks to remind them that June was fast approaching and it was drawn to my attention that this round-table meeting had already been arranged and that it might be the most efficient use of time and resources if we dealt with the national planning framework here today.
We attached a one-page note to the letter that John McNairney sent to the committee on 18 May, which sets out where we are. In his statement to Parliament on 28 March, the Minister for Local Government and Planning announced that we will start work on the revision of the national planning framework in the autumn. That will start with the publication of the statutory participation statement.

We believe that much of the spatial strategy that is set out in NPF2 remains relevant. However, the revision process provides an opportunity to revisit key elements of the strategy, including the suite of 14 infrastructure projects that were identified as national developments in NPF2.

We envisage that NPF3 will take forward the spatial aspects of the Government’s economic strategy, and will reflect in particular its strategic priorities of infrastructure, development and place, and the transition to a low-carbon economy. We envisage that the strategy that is set out in NPF3 will place a strong emphasis on supporting economic recovery and sustainable economic growth.

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring effective stakeholder engagement in drawing up NPF3, and where new national developments are proposed, we will seek early engagement with communities, which could be effective.
The dialogue continues and indeed the transcript of the meeting as a whole is very interesting given that it was a round table discussion on planning issues 
It is very important that we take an interest in this Third National Planning Framework, NPF3.  NPF2 had a great deal of impact on issues locally which I will remind us all of in later posts - after the deadline for responses to the MIR for the IMFLDP has passed.

Community Councils in Highland

From an HC press release 27062012

The Highland Council has the highest number of community councils in Scotland.  Following the Aviemore elections on 16 August, 153 of the 156 Community Councils in the Highlands will be operational. 

Councillor Dave Fallows, Chairman of the Finance Housing and Resources Committee, said: “Community councils play an important role in providing a voice at a community level to public agencies.  The response to recent elections has been outstanding and I am delighted that we have almost a full complement of community councils across the Highlands.”

Following a third round of Community Council elections in the Highlands, three new councils are guaranteed to be formed.

Caithness West and Uig, Skye, can operate from 3 July as they received more nominations than half their maximum membership. There were 6 nominations in Caithness West and 5 in Uig.

Aviemore and Vicinity Community Council will have an election on 16 August as the election drew 14 nominations for 6 vacancies.

The following Community Councils failed to form: -
  • Caol (9)
  • Inverness Central (8)
  • Laggan Community Association (8)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A place like yours? Fascinating ward details

Here is but a small sample of the types of ward based information that can be  found on  the Highland Council Web pages:

...Culloden and Ardersier is a mixed rural and urban Ward with an overall population density above the Highland average. The proportion of people in the 16 to 49 age group is the one of highest in Highland and the proportion in the 0 to 15 group is above the Highland average but declining at the third highest rate in Highland. The population fell by 0.8% between 2005 and 2010, and is showing the characteristics of an urban area built and populated over a relatively short period of time where population turnover and new house building is not enough to "refresh" an ageing population.

Total Population

Total Population11,079221,6305,222,100
Source: NRS 2010 mid-year estimates

Number of households

Number of households4,50589,5282,192,246
Source: Census 2001

...The densely populated town of Nairn has a sparsely populated rural hinterland but the overall population density is above the Highland average. The age profile is slightly older than the Highland average with relatively high proportions of people in each of the over 65 age groups. The population grew by 3.2% between 2005 and 2010 with a large proportion of inward migrants coming from the rest of Highland and Scotland.

Age Structure

AgeWard (%)Highland (%)Scotland (%)Ward (No.)Highland (No.)Scotland (No.)
Source: NRS 2010 mid-year estimates

House Prices

Number of private house sales in 20101682,73961,092
Average house price£193,013£165,833£170,604
Median (midpoint) house price£175,500£147,000£137,000
Source: Communities Scotland/Registers of Scotland 2010

...Inverness South is mainly a rural Ward but it contains the main Inverness expansion areas of Westhill, Inshes & Milton of Leys and Slackbuie, giving it the second highest population and a population density slightly above the Highland average. The Ward has a higher proportion of people in the under 50 age groups than the Highland average, the highest proportion of children and the lowest proportion in the age groups over 64. The population grew by 50.9% between 2005 and 2010, by far the highest growth rate in Highland, with the highest increases in Highland across all of the age groups except 65 to 74.

Housing Land Audit

Number of new homes* that potentially will be built between 2010-2014 :73811,312
* identified in the Local Plan or with planning permission
Source: Highland Council
Further information about the Housing Land Audit is available on the Housing Land Audit webpage.


Percentage of 16-74 year olds* whose highest qualification is:WardHighlandScotland
Group 218.015.315.7
Group 425.819.619.5
No qualifications22.132.633.2
* total 16-74 year olds4,681152,6753,731,079
Group 1: 'O' Grade, Standard Grade, Intermediate I or 2, City & Guilds Craft, SVQ level 1 or 2 or equivalent
Group 2: Higher Grade, CSYS, ONC, OND, City & Guilds Advanced Craft, RSA Advanced Diploma, SVQ level 3 or equivalent
Group 3: HND, HNC RSA Higher Diploma, SVQ level 4 or 5 or equivalent
Group 4: First degree, Higher degree, Professional qualification
Source: Census 2001

More details here, here and here

Make sure you note the errors

The deadline is fast approaching for those who wish to submit to the Main Issues Report for the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan.  

The Main Issues Report is available to view using the links below:
The Council's web page also notes that:

A number of amendments are required to correct factual errors and inconsistencies within the plan*.  These are outlined in the document below and should be read in conjunction with the Main Issues Report
I also suggest that those who are wishing to put in comments regarding the City of Inverness have the city map open from a separate link

All links and details re the IMF LDP can be found on THC's web page here

*my highlight