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19/08/2019

Cairngorms approves local development plan

Words: Laura Edgar
Cairngorms National Park / Shutterstock_262312793

The Cairngorms National Park Authority board has approved the proposed local development plan for 2020, which will now go to Scottish ministers for formal consideration.

At a meeting on 16 August, the board agreed that the next plan will be good for the rural economy, conservation and visitors, and that the correct amount of land has been set aside to deliver new homes, jobs and services.

Suitable protection has been identified for areas that are high in nature conservation or recreational value.

To be in a position to submit a local development plan to the Scottish Government, the national park authority has been gathering evidence since the current plan was adopted in 2015. It undertook a Main Issues Report (MIR) consultation in 2017/18, which sought the public’s views on what big issues the next plan should address.

The 12-week consultation was held from January to April this year, after which views were collated and assessed before being put before the board.

The most "notable" change to policy is the proposed increase in the number of affordable homes required in new developments within the communities that have the greatest need. In Aviemore, Ballater, Braemar and Blair Atholl any new housing developments would therefore require 45 per cent of homes to be affordable. This is up from 25 per cent.

Eleanor Mackintosh, convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority planning committee, explained: “We prepared the proposed local development plan to help tackle some difficult issues in the Cairngorms National Park, with the lack of affordable housing for local workers being the biggest single issue for communities and businesses. We are committed to ensuring the national park’s communities remain healthy and sustainable and that means tackling these issues around affordable housing and jobs to ensure the park is attractive and accessible for young people.”

An independent planning reporter at the government will examine the plan and make recommendations to the national park authority before it can be adopted in 2020.

Image credit | Shutterstock

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