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Local Development Plan will help shape the future of the Cairngorms National Park

27th March 2015

Whether it’s affordable housing, tourism developments, renewable energy projects or business expansion, the new Local Development Plan (LDP) for the Cairngorms National Park is set to help delivery of all of this and more, whilst ensuring the protection of the wildlife, habitats and landscapes that the Park is famous for.

Meeting today in Blair Atholl, the board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) agreed to adopt the LDP, the first ever development plan for the whole of the Park.

Now officials from the CNPA and the five local authorities covering the Park will be able to work to a single development plan simplifying the process, bringing continuity and ensuring that the right development happens in the right place.

Murray Ferguson, Director of Planning & Rural Development at the CNPA explained: “The Local Development Plan sets out what type of development is encouraged where and the areas of the National Park to be protected. It contains a range of policies to ensure the best possible outcome in every case helping to guide communities, developers, businesses and landowners as to how their ambitions can be achieved. We have restructured and refreshed our planning team recently and the new Plan gives a further opportunity to improve our service still further and to focus on delivery of the right sort of development.”

Eleanor Mackintosh, the CNPA’s Planning Committee Convener said: “It’s an exciting time for us as a planning committee as we enter this new era with a development plan that now covers the entire National Park. I am keen to see the Plan influence all our areas of work in nature conservation, visitor experience and rural development.

“The biggest challenge over the next five years will be ensuring that we encourage development that fits with the very special nature of the Park and crucially that we’re allocating land to deliver homes that are high quality and affordable. We now have a development plan before us that will help to achieve that aim. A lot of individual people and groups have taken time to help us shape this Plan – it’s a long and sometimes challenging process but their involvement is critical to our success and I’d like to thank them for their time and energy in getting to this stage.

Also at today’s board meeting, the second Core Paths Plan for the Cairngorms National Park was adopted. The Cairngorms Local Outdoor Access Forum has supported CNPA staff over the last two years in shaping the revised Core Paths Plans, with the resulting network now totalling 1,073km (666 miles), including 88km (54 miles) on River Spey. The Core Paths Plan, a network of paths around the Parks communities, will help deliver key actions in the Active Cairngorms strategy especially around the theme of Active Places and will also help estates manage recreation on their land.

You can read these board papers and others on the CNPA website: