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Moving the Development Plan Forward

Issued: 20 May 2010

The Planning Environment and Development Committee of Highland Council will consider a report setting out the latest thinking on the vision and spatial strategy of the Highland wide Local Development Plan. This latest stage in the plan's preparation has been reached following an extensive public consultation held between August and November 2009. Nearly 350 responses were received covering issues affecting the length and breadth of the Council area.

The report - a draft vision and spatial strategy - highlights the most significant development areas across Highland, and indicates how their development can contribute to the Council's overall vision for the Highlands for the next twenty years. Developments such as the proposed new village at Kilbeg in Skye and the potential developments which will stem from the marine renewables potential in the Pentland Firth and elsewhere are critical to the long term vision for the Highlands.

The draft vision and spatial strategy sets out the most up to date thinking on Inverness City and the A96 Corridor between Inverness and Nairn where there continues to be significant development interest.

The Committee Chairman Councillor Ian Ross said: "We have taken on board the comments that many people have made as part of our Main Issues Report consultation and are seeking to balance the requirement to increase the supply of land for housing, business and commerce against the need to ensure well planned developments have effective infrastructure such as roads, education and open spaces. We have reviewed the pace of growth in the A96 Corridor, with much more emphasis now being placed on the continued growth of the city itself in the early years of this plan. That said, Members are also being asked to support the need to ensure that the long term development picture is catered for, and this includes Tornagrain new town as part of our long term strategy."

Around Nairn, which has been the focus of a lot of development attention in recent years, the paper also indicates that the longer term development sites as set out in the A96 Corridor Framework are not to be brought forward at this stage, with a more organic and proportionate growth of the town being the most suitable solution to provide for housing needs over the next twenty years. This reflects many of the comments made from Nairn residents to the consultation and at the public meetings. The Nairn bypass remains a key priority and as such talks will continue with Transport Scotland.

Following consideration of this report, a full Proposed Plan (draft plan) will be presented to the August 2101 Committee, with a further public consultation taking place thereafter.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme