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New LDP for the Cairngorms National Park now in place

26th March 2021

Today marks the implementation of a new Local Development Plan for the Cairngorms National Park, ensuring that the right development happens in the right place, while protecting and enhancing the natural and cultural heritage.

Meeting online this morning (Friday 26 March), the Board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority agreed to the new Local Development Plan (LDP2021) being formally adopted, replacing the previous five year plan.

The formal adoption of LDP2021 paves the way for an 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 are now required to deliver 45 per cent affordable homes – up from 25 per cent – to ensure there is sufficient supply going forward.

All local authorities and National Park Authorities must prepare a LDP which directs development within an area for a five year period, setting out land allocations to deliver development in the right places and policies that help guide future decisions on planning applications. The Cairngorms National Park LDP2021 ensures that development in the National Park is appropriate and aims to ensure there is sufficient land for housing, jobs and services while protecting the landscape and environment that makes the Park so special.

The Cairngorms National Park is the largest National Park in the UK and a significant tourist destination attracting two million visitors annually. As well as being home to 18,000 residents, the Park is a haven for rare wildlife and its landscapes and habitats are of national and international importance. As well as allocating sufficient land for development to support vibrant communities, the next LDP will ensure that any new development conserves and enhances the Park’s special qualities to maintain it as an attractive place to live, work and visit.

Xander McDade, the CNPA’s Board Convener said: “This new Local Development Plan will be good for the rural economy, for conservation and for visitors. There is the right balance between the amount of land set aside for development to deliver homes, jobs and services but with suitable protection for areas that are high in nature conservation or recreational value.

“I’m particularly pleased that we have the first Local Development Plan to include an increased commitment to 45 per cent affordable housing in communities with the greatest need. This reinforces our commitment to be a Park for All and to ensure anyone who wishes to live and work in the National Park can do so.”

The CNPA Planning Committee followed immediately after the Board Meeting where members were asked to adopt seven items of non-statutory guidance to support LDP2021. Members approved guidance for:

·       Supporting Economic Growth

·       Natural Heritage

·       Landscape

·       Renewable Energy

·       Resources

·       Open Space, Sport and Recreation

·       Cultural Heritage

Two planning applications were also considered by the CNPA Planning Committee today and they were assessed using the newly adopted LDP2021. A development of 23 new houses and garages with associated roads, infrastructure and landscaping in Kingussie and the erection of three houses and detached garages at Bridge of Gairn near Ballater in Aberdeenshire were both were approved subject to conditions.

CNPA Planning Committee Convener Gaener Rodger said: “I am delighted that we have now formally adopted the new Local Development Plan for the Cairngorms National Park which will help guide – not just our decision making – but that of the five local authorities that also cover the Park area.

“I wish to thank all those people who responded to consultations on the LDP over the last few years and particularly the planning team at the Park Authority for all their hard work.”

To read the CNPA Board Meeting papers in full please go here. To read the CNPA Planning Committee papers in full please go here.