Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Our blog will soon close!

This blog will soon close. To keep in touch with our work, like our Facebook or follow us on Twitter. A wide range of our planning information is available on and development planning documents that we are consulting on are available on our portal

Consultation on Caithness and Sutherland Proposed Local Development Plan

We've published the Caithness and Sutherland Proposed Local Development Plan on our portal and the deadline for comments is 12 noon on 18 March 2016.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Public Consultations extended

Please note that public consultations for the Highland-wide LDP and Onshore Wind Energy SG, referred to in the last post, have been extended to 29 January 2016.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Views sought on ­­Highland Planning Policies through new consultation portal

The Highland Council has launched on 25 September 2015 three online consultations on planning and housing issues across the area, including a review of its main planning policy document the Highland-wide Local Development Plan. The Highland-wide Local Development Plan Main Issues Report seeks people’s views on updating the Highland Council’s main policies for determining planning applications and shaping the future of the Highland area. The Main Issues Report, which was published today for a 12 week public consultation running until 18th December, sets out issues and options for updating a broad range of planning policies, and an updated vision and spatial strategy for Highland. The strategy includes focussing development on existing settlements, support rural businesses and communities, and an emphasis on design and transport issues. The document is structured around four key outcomes that show how the plan could help deliver community planning priorities. At the same time the Council is seeking views on two other documents, the draft Onshore Wind Energy Supplementary Guidance and the Local Housing Strategy. The draft Onshore Wind Energy Supplementary Guidance sets out suggested criteria for assessing proposals for wind energy development. This draft follows consultation carried out in spring 2015 on the issues for review of our current guidance, such as impact on communities, natural heritage and cumulative impacts. The Highland Housing Strategy will inform how the Highland Council and others tackle housing issues across different sectors, and how and where to direct investment in housing and related services. The public consultation on these documents runs from 25 September to 18 December 2015. The three documents are being published through a new consultation portal which the Council has launched to make it easy to read and comment on planning consultation documents. Users simply need to create an account which can be used for these and any future consultations on the Council’s development plans. As part of the consultation a series of public events are being held across Highland to raise awareness and give people a chance to discuss any issues with staff. Details of events are available via our consultation portal . WE RECOMMEND KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH WHAT WE'RE DOING VIA OUR WEBSITE, CONSULTATION PORTAL, FACEBOOK AND TWITTER AS WE UPDATE THOSE MORE FREQUENTLY THAN WE BLOG.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Development Plans Newsletter

We produce a Development Plan Scheme each year to explain how we are preparing and reviewing local development plans. This explains what future plans will contain, when they will be produced and how you can get involved in making these plans. To read more about the scheme, see our website at: and look under "Development Plans".

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Development Plans Update

Below is a brief update on the preparation and monitoring of the Highland Council’s Development Plans. 
Highland-wide Local Development Plan

The Highland-wide Local Development Plan came in to force in April 2012 and provides a vision for the whole area (excluding the area covered by the Cairngorms National Park which has its own plan) and sets out how land can be used by developers for the next 20 years.
We are required to replace the HwLDP by April 2017 and we intend to start this work in early 2015. We think the 3 area Local Development Plans being prepared should include all the detail on development sites in their areas. This provides an opportunity to remove any site specific development proposals from the HwLDP so that it becomes the Council’s policy based Local Development Plan.

Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan (IMF LDP)
The IMF LDP was the first of our new-style area local development plans. It covers the area of Highland which has the most people and where there is greatest pressure for development. Following a Main Issues Report (MIR) consultation we published the Proposed Plan in November 2013. Consultation on the Proposed Plan ran for 6 weeks from November to December 2013. At this stage we wrote to over 15, 000 properties located adjacent to areas proposed for development and others who had been involved in the process so far. For the first time, we used a dedicated online system making it quicker, easier and clearer for the over 1000 members of the community from which we received responses, to have their say.

The revised Plan and Officer’s responses to issues raised were approved by Committee in May 2014 and it is was submitted to the Scottish Government for approval at the end of June 2014.  Further examination will be undertaken by independent persons identified by the Scottish Government who will recommend any changes. 

Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan (CaSPlan)
CaSPlan is the second of our area local development plans. It covers the area stretching from Lochinver to Dornoch and Cape Wrath to John O’ Groats. The plan’s vision, policies and spatial strategy are guided by four key outcomes which reflect the full potential of the area. Each plan outcome has been created to reflect the wider outcomes for the future of the Highlands which we and our community planning partners have agreed with the Scottish Government through a document called Single Outcome Agreement (SOA) 3. From the beginning, we have also engaged with local communities on how CaSPlan can deliver regeneration. In February 2013 we carried out consultation events, known as charrettes in Wick and Thurso. These used interactive, design-led workshops to get people involved in planning. We also carried out a call for sites for CaSPlan from August to October 2013 where we asked people to suggest areas of land that should be developed or safeguarded over the next 20 years. We are currently taking the feedback we received from the call for sites and charrettes into account in creating the CaSPlan Main Issues Report, which we aim to publish for consultation in the Autumn of 2014.

West Highlands and Islands Local Development Plan
This Plan will be the third of our area local development plans covering the area stretching from Ullapool to Kinlochleven and Portree to Laggan. It is proposed that work on this plan will begin with a call for sites being carried out in early 2015.

Supplementary Guidance (SG) provides further detail and information to act alongside development plan policies. Topic based SG is focussed on providing further information on policy issues covered mainly by the Highland-wide Local Development Plan. These topics can be as diverse as how we enhance Highland’s historic environment to how we manage waste in new developments. They include:

·         Residential Layout and Design

·         Accommodation for an Ageing Population

·         Wild Areas

Area SG may include a development brief or masterplan for a particular site or area and can provide detailed information on the design and layout of development, the timing of construction and the provision of infrastructure.

·         Raigmore and Inshes Development Brief

·         Dounreay Planning Framework 2

·         Muirtown and South Kessock Development Brief

·         Longman Core and Former Landfill Development Brief

·         A96 Corridor Developer Contributions


You can also follow progress of the development plans on Twitter and Facebook.

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.