Thursday, 27 September 2012

Wonder where Highland's figures are?

From Planning: Regeneration and Renewal link here

Changes to funding for affordable housing led to a drop of almost a third in the number of homes granted planning permission in Scotland during 2011-12, according to the Scottish government.

An estimated 4,767 affordable homes were granted permission during the year, a drop of 28 per cent  from 2010-11, and a reduction of 29 per cent from the annual average between 2008 and 2011.

The figures were revealed in a statistical bulletin compiled by the Scottish Government.

The figures exclude Highland Council because it failed to submit its returns, according to the bulletin.

Also from SG web pages

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today (260912) published Rural Scotland Key Facts 2012

Some examples of the results contained in the publication are provided below. Comparisons between rural areas (remote and accessible), and the rest of Scotland show that rural areas have:
  • a faster rising population than the rest of Scotland and higher rates of in-migration
  • higher rates of economically active people and more households where total income exceeds £20,000 per year
  • longer life expectancies, fewer emergency hospital admissions and fewer people who smoke
  • a higher proportion of people who volunteer in their community and rate their neighbourhood as a ‘very good’ place to live
Rural areas also have:
  • more expensive housing stock and a higher rate of households in fuel poverty
  • a higher proportion of households spending over £100 a month on fuel for cars
  • fewer residents who find key services convenient and who are in close proximity to public transport options
  • fewer children who walk or cycle to school and fewer adults using active or public transport to work or education

Money for Greener Homes; could be more?

From Scottish Gov web page

A new £10 million fund aims to deliver hundreds of eco-friendly homes and bring down heating bills.

More information about the Greener Homes Innovation Scheme and the Greener Homes Prospectus is available at:
The prospectus, originally produced for the Greener Homes Summit held last November, has been updated. It contains case studies of modern methods of construction.
Link here

Council Office Review

Highland Councillors have been advised that reducing the number of Council offices in Inverness and Dingwall from 22 to 4 by 2020 has the greatest potential to deliver significant benefits and improved value to the Council when compared to retaining the current office estate.

An Outline Business Case into the rationalisation of office accommodation, which will be presented to the Council's Finance Housing and Resources Committee on Wednesday 3 October, concludes that the 'preferred option' the Council should pursue is the development of a new centrally located, four-site Council office and front line 'Service Point' solution in Inverness and Dingwall' (comprising 2 sites in Inverness and 2 sites in Dingwall).

Full item here

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Profits up I see

Today's e copy of 'Planning Daily' featured a news round-up item entitled:

'Housebuilders enjoy record profits increases'

So I set of on a search for more info and here are some of the details that I came across:

Judge for yourselves.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Simplify the Scottish Planning System that is what I say

Okay here's a suggestion based on my experiences of planning to date, but you'll need to click on the link below.

Click here and go to page 4

You should find a slide there entitled, 'What's the Process?

The slide shows the 'old' and the 'new' Development Plan stages

What is does not show is the 'Call for Sites' stage, explained on the Highland Council web page here

My suggestion would be to:

  •  Get rid of the 'Main Issues Report' stage which purports to 'Involve' and 'Consult /  Negotiate and simply have a 'Call for Sites' which the Local Authority then uses with as much speed as possible to prepare the 'Proposed Plan'; 
  • Make the Examination stage longer with the Reporters able to look at 'Supplementary Guidance' and hold more Inquiries and hearings 

What do you think?