Thursday, 29 August 2013

Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan (CaSPlan) - Call for Sites and Ideas

The council have now launched the “Call for Sites and Ideas”, the first stage in the production of the new CaSPlan. This means that we are now inviting landowners and all members of communities to let us know what land in the Caithness and Sutherland area they wish to see developed and/or protected. We are also inviting people to identify issues for planning in the Caithness and Sutherland area and to suggest ideas for how to address them.

Before filling out the submissions form for the Call for Sites and Ideas please view the Council’s guide for submitting the online form. To submit your suggestions for sites and other ideas, please use the online form. The deadline for submitting any suggestions is 5pm on the 17th October 2013.

Following the completion of the call for sites and ideas exercise, all suggestions will be reviewed by the Council and in 2014 we will publish and consult on a Main Issues Report which will set out what we think are the best options for development and give reasonable alternatives based on the information we then hold. Information on the Wick Charrette, the Thurso Charrette and the North Highland Onshore Vision Call for Sites, carried out previously, will be fed into preparation of the Main Issues Report by The Council.

If you would like further information on the Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan Call for Sites and Ideas, please read the guide.  If you still have any questions or require any assistance in submitting your suggestions please contact The Highland Council Development Plans Team on (01349) 886608 or

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Future of Our Seas - PFOW Marine Spatial Plan

Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters (PFOW) Marine Spatial Plan
The Future of Our Seas: Science, development & planning

Events held to provide information, consult & debate:

King Street Halls, Kirkwall on Monday 1st July 2013

Pentland Hotel, Thurso on Thursday 4th July 2013

Daytime Workshop:  10am to 4pm (lunch provided) REGISTRATION NEEDED (see below)

Evening Drop-In Session: 5.30pm to 9pm (refreshments provided) ALL WELCOME

Marine Scotland & Heriot-Watt presentations from 6.30pm to 7pm

The pilot Marine Spatial Plan for the PFOW is a leading initiative of its kind internationally, it is setting a standard. Unprecedented levels of effort are going into marine science and research to inform policy and planning about impacts and interactions.

Marine Scotland and Heriot-Watt University have combined forces at a public event to bring forward information about the science, consultation on the issues and options paper for the plan and debate about the relationship that people want to have with their seas.

Registration for workshop by email: or by telephone: Tracy McCollin 01224 295573

Monday, 10 June 2013

Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan - Comment Summaries

The Highland Council produced and published a Main Issues Report for the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan in April 2011. We sought comments from members of the public and private sectors and the community at large on the main strategic issues and potential policy options for the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan.

In response to the Main Issues Report the Council received comments from around 900 individuals, groups and organisations.  These have now been summarised and are published within the webpage below.  They contain a summary of issues raised and modifications sought by respondents and are sorted by area of interest and geographic areas.

Please note that some people promoted sites that had not previously been considered. Others proposed alternative land uses on certain sites that had been included in the Main Issues Report.  

As a result the Council is currently undertaking an online consultation on these sites and further information is available on the Online Local Development Plan page.  Consultation closes on 30 June.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan - Additional Sites Consultation

Today (16th May 2013), The Highland Council has launched a focused consultation looking at further alternatives that are being considered for the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan. The consultation closes on 30th June 2013. 

Between April and July 2012 the Council carried out a consultation on the first stage of the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan, known as the Main Issues Report. The Main Issues Report gave details of sites that were considered to be suitable and unsuitable for future development. During the consultation the Council received comments from around 900 individuals, groups and organisations. Some people who made comments promoted sites that had not previously been considered through the Call for Sites process (which preceded the Main Issues Report) or through previous Development Plans. Other people proposed alternative land uses on certain sites that had been included in the Main Issues Report. In addition comments were received suggesting further changes to the Hinterland around Towns boundary; likewise to the Special Landscape Area (SLA) boundaries as well as suggesting entirely new SLAs.

The consultation includes suggestions relating to the following settlements; Alness, Beauly, Cawdor, Conon Bridge, Contin, Cromarty, Dingwall, Drumnadrochit, Evanton, Fortrose, Invergordon, Inverness, Muir of Ord, Munlochy, Nairn, North Kessock, Seaboard Villages, Strathpeffer, Tain, Tore. The consultation also considers the suggested changes to the Hinterland around Towns and Special Landscape Areas.

We have made initial preferences and assessments but we would like you to tell us what you think about these initial preferences and your own.

To aid the decision making process an addendum to the Strategic Environmental Assessment has been prepared and we are welcoming expressions of opinion on this as well.

The consultation document is available online using our Interactive Online Local Development Plan. This is available on the link below:

Comments submitted will be considered alongside others submitted during the Main Issues Report and will help us to prepare the next stage of the Plan, known as the Proposed Plan. The comments received will help us to decide whether any of these alternative sites or land uses are suitable and should therefore be identified as additional or alternative sites to those included in the Main Issues Report.  

Friday, 10 May 2013

Upcoming Scottish Government Consultation Events

With the Main Issues Report for National Planning Framework 3 and the draft Scottish Planning Policy currently out for consultation, The Scottish Government are doing a tour of Scotland providing information and answering questions on the consultation documents.

The First event is in the Eastgate Centre, Inverness on 14th May 2013 between 9am and 6pm (opposite Thomas Cook in the Falcon Gallery).

For more information on these documents and other events durign the consutlation please see:

The Scottish Government are also progressing design work on the dualling of the A9 trunk road between Inverness and Perth. As part of this they are holding exhibitions to consult with members of the public on their work so far.

Their are coming to the Highland area in early June at the following locations:

Monday 3rd June - Aviemore Community Hall - 1130am-730pm
Wednesday 5th June - Kincraig Community Hall - 1130am-730pm
Friday 7th June - Kingussie Hall of the Roses - 1130am-730pm
Monday 10th June - Inverness Town House - 1130am - 730pm

You can find more information about the A9 Dualling at:

Monday, 15 April 2013

Cairngorms National Park Local Development Plan

The Cairngorms National Park Authority are responsible for producing Planning policies and guidance for the National Park.

Consulation on the Proposed Cairngorms Local Development Plan started today and runs until the 5th July 2013.

You can find out more, including how to comment, on the link below:

If you have any questions please contact the Cairngorms National Park Authority on:

Monday, 8 April 2013

Torvean and Ness-side Development Brief

A draft version of a Development Brief for the Torvean and Ness-side areas of Inverness has now been published.  The brief sets out a suggested land use planning framework against which future development proposals in the area would be assessed.  Importantly, it reflects the policy advice given in the Highland-wide Local Development Plan and Scottish Planning Policy (including Designing Streets and Designing Places).

The draft development brief will be presented to City of Inverness and Area Committee on 15th April 2013.

The consultation officially begins on 16th April 2013 and will close on 31st May 2013. You can find out more, view the document and make comments online at :

There are going to be two public exhibitions for people to come and find out more about the brief:
  • 17th April 2013 - Kinmylies Church, Inverness; and
  • 18th April 2013 - Culduthel Christian Centre, Inverness.
Throughout the consultation you can tweet your views to our account @highlanddevplan or use the hastag #tndb.

Update (09/04/2013)

The agenda for the City of Inverness and Area Committee has been released and is available on the link below:

The Torvean and Ness-side Development Brief is Item 6b.

The Committee will be webcast here.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Suite of Supplementary Guidance now part of Highland's plan

The Council has recently adopted Supplementary Guidance to the Highland-wide Local Development Plan on 16 key topics. Each Supplementary Guidance document is accessible by clicking on its link below. These documents are now part of the development plan for Highland. This means that they are particularly important for developers to consider when they are preparing development proposals - and for the Council to have regard to when considering planning applications.  
Flood Risk and Drainage Impact Assessments
Green Networks
Historic Environment Strategy
Open Space in New Residential Developments
Sustainable Design Guide
Trees, Woodlands and Development
Inverness City Centre Development Brief
Developer Contributions
Highland Statutorily Protected Species
Housing in Multiple Occupation
Housing in the Countryside
Nigg Yard Master Plan
Physical Constraints
Public Art Strategy
Sandown Development Brief
Managing Waste in New Developments

New front covers will be added to these adopted Supplementary Guidance documents on our website soon!

The Physical Constraints Supplementary Guidance will in due course also be published online in a form that will provide people with access to mapping of physical constraints to development.

The Council continues to work on further Supplementary Guidance documents. For more information, see the update to our Development Plan Scheme that was considered and agreed by Committee on 13 March 2013.

Report Back from Wick and Thurso Charrettes

As an innovative way of starting work on the new Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan - CaSPlan - the Wick and Thurso Charrettes brought local communities together in February 2013 to develop options and a vision for the future of each town. Charrettes are intensive design-led workshops which identify people's ideas, seek consensus and work up outcomes over a short period of time. Report Back sessions were held in Wick on Tuesday 26 February and in Thurso on Wednesday 27 February. A report back newletter and a key themes sheet is available for each town by following the respective link below to our website:
Wick Charrette
Thurso Charrette
The consultant team that led the Charrettes with the Council are now preparing a final report. The outcomes will be taken forward within preparation of the Local Development Plan and through other initiatives.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Wick and Thurso communities to get unique opportunity to plan their futures

Work on the new Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan will begin in early 2013. As part of this the communities of Wick and Thurso will each have a unique opportunity to shape the future of their community and influence future development decisions in the area.

The Highland Council will be holding innovative public consultation events known as Charrettes in both Wick and Thurso. These events will enable local people to put forward their ideas and help design the future development of their towns. During the events people will be asked to share their views on issues such as where difference types of development should be located, what services and facilities are needed and which areas should be safeguarded from development. Representatives from local organisations, key agencies and the Highland Council will also be in attendance so that people can discuss their ideas.
The aim of the Charrette events will be to prepare whole-town masterplans which will feed into the first stage of the Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan, known as the Main Issues Report. It is hoped that involving local people in this process will create a joined-up approach to planning and delivering development and regeneration, attract new investment and jobs, and bring benefits to these two towns and the wider Caithness and Sutherland area.

Launch events are being held in January (23rd in Thurso and 24th in Wick) with the actual Charrettes taking place in late February (21st – 27th). Further details of the events will be widely advertised in the run up to the events.

The Charrettes are taking place with financial assistance from Scottish Government which is being used to employ a group of urban design specialists to facilitate the events. The Scottish Government Minister for Local Government and Planning, Derek Mackay said: “These Charrettes present a tremendously exciting opportunity for everyone who cares about Thurso and Wick to join in creating a vision for the future of the towns. By funding these Charrettes, the Scottish Government wants to give a chance to everyone in the areas to work together to talk about their priorities and the challenges facing Thurso and Wick and how they can be addressed, and engage in the development of Local Development Plans.”
The consultancy team is led by John Thompson & Partners (JTP). Charles Campion from JTP said: “We are looking forward to working with the local communities in Wick and Thurso and helping in the preparation of the new Local Development Plan. Our role is to make sure that many people and varied interests are involved in the process, and that their views are heard and considered. We will also be illustrating the ideas discussed and drawing up new masterplans for each town.”

The Highland Council has used the Charrette format twice in the past to develop masterplans for major development sites at Sandown, Nairn and the Torvean and Ness-side areas of Inverness. The Highland Council’s Chairman of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee, Councillor Thomas Prag said: “People were sceptical about the process – but once they had taken part they came away feeling their ideas had been listened to and often appeared in the draft plans in front of their eyes. For Wick and Thurso there is an opportunity to use Charrettes in a new way to help improve the early stages of the plan-making process for whole towns, identifying options for each town, exploring those options and whether there is a degree of consensus. We encourage people to come along and help shape the plans – it’s fun too!”

If you wish to register your interest beforehand or if you have any questions then please email the Highland Council’s Development Plans Team or phone 01463 702827. You can also follow the Development Plans Team on Twitter @highlanddevplans