Community councils and associations are to be asked to give their views in the next Cairngorms National Park Local Development Plan (LDP).
For the first time, they will be asked by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) which areas they think should be put forward as potential development sites. This is part of a “call for sites and ideas” process, something which would normally only involve land owners, developers and agents.
Murray Ferguson, Director of Planning and Rural Development at the CNPA explained: “We know from the recent consultation on the National Park Partnership Plan that there is a real appetite for community organisations to be more directly involved in shaping the way their communities develop and some legislation coming into force soon will help them to do that.
“This is the very start of the process leading to the next LDP and it is extremely important for everyone to note that no decisions have been taken yet on how much development land will be needed and there is no presumption that any sites that are put forward as part of the ‘call for sites and ideas’ will be allocated for development. Once all the ideas have been assessed, a full consultation will follow in the spring of 2017 where everyone will have an opportunity to have their say.”
It is important to note there are significant constraints on development within much of the Cairngorms National Park, with around half of the Park being designated as being of European importance for nature conservation. To help those who are being invited to respond to the ‘call for sites and ideas’ process, maps have been prepared which show areas that are subject to particular environmental protection and some broad search areas.
Murray added: “The maps are there to inform the ‘call for sites and ideas’ process and by no means do they indicate any presumption in favour of development in any particular location. We are very pleased to be opening up this part of the preparation of the LDP to community organisations and we look forward to working through the process with them.”
For more information please visit the CNPA website http://cairngorms.co.uk/