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Cairngorms National Park Local Inquiry ends

5th June 2009

Eleven days of debate which will provide a blueprint for how business, housing and other development proposals in the Cairngorms National Park are judged ended yesterday (Thursday June 4).

The Park’s Local Plan Inquiry, which began on May 18, sat in informal hearing sessions and produced many hours of discussion between Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) officers and objectors to the proposed Plan.

The Inquiry will result in:

  • The formation of the first Local Plan for a National Park in Scotland.
  • One Local Plan replacing the four different plans currently applying to Aberdeenshire, Angus, Highland and Moray Council areas within the Park.
  • Detailed planning policies and settlement proposals to guide development in the Park over the coming years. All planning applications within the Park will need to comply with the Cairngorms National Park Local Plan.

The Inquiry into the Plan, which has been in preparation since September 2004, was conducted by Scottish Government Reporters Hugh Begg and Jill Moody at various venues in Aviemore and Ballater.

The Reporters will now write a formal report for the CNPA to consider. This will include their conclusions and recommendation on each matter discussed at the Inquiry and a list of their proposed modifications to the Plan.

The Reporters’  findings are expected in several months time. Then the CNPA will consider them and decide on any changes to the Plan.

The CNPA is responsible for the final content of the Plan, so any proposed changes will be publicised and there will be a further opportunity for people to give their views.

Then the Park Authority can take steps to formally adopt the Plan. This stage should take place early in 2010.

Duncan Bryden, Convener of the CNPA’s Planning Committee, said: “The development of the Local Plan has been a very inclusive process from the very beginning with extensive consultation with all interested parties including local people, communities, developers, non-governmental organisations and public agencies.

“The Local Plan process has been new ground for most people but the CNPA has listened long and hard and our proposals frequently have to address complex and conflicting issues. The end result may not always suit everyone but we have to move forward.

“There has been robust and varied debate on a whole host of issues during the Inquiry which has given people every opportunity to hear about planning issues in the Park and make their particular views known to the Reporters and the CNPA.”

He added: “The Local Plan will play a key part in achieving the long term vision for the Park so, in our fast changing world, we can keep the Cairngorms a special place for landscape and wildlife and a vibrant place for people to live, work and visit.”

For more information, visit the Local Plan Inquiry section of the Cairngorms National Park website.