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Park Authority issues development sites plea

26th April 2010

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is calling for potential development sites as it looks to the future. The organisation is seeking information and suggestions from landowners, developers and agents as it starts to draw up the Park’s next development plan.

The Park Authority is currently taking its Local Plan through the final stages of preparation and it’s hoped it will be adopted by the end of 2010. However, although the process for this Local Plan isn’t quite complete, staff are already working on the next Plan, which is likely to come into force in 2014. The first stage of the process is to identify possible locations for future development and include them in a Main Issues Report, which will be published for consultation in May 2011.

Karen Major of the CNPA’s planning team explained: “It may seem odd – the first Local Plan for the Cairngorms National Park hasn’t yet been through its final hoops and here we are researching and getting the ball rolling on its replacement. It is very early days but these plans take such a long time to create and although we’re looking at least four years ahead, it makes sense to start work now so that the process can run in tandem with the next National Park Plan, which will be formally consulted on from 2011.”

The term ‘Local Plan’ is being replaced by ‘Local Development Plan’ to better reflect the document’s purpose within the suite of statutory plans that the Park Authority must produce. The aim remains the same though –  it will set out a clear strategy for built development in the area with land use planning policies and site specific proposals for development, enhancement or protection of the area.

Once suggestions for development sites have been received, each site will be subject to a detailed survey of natural heritage interests, as well as issues such as the ability of the sites to be developed in terms of access to services, infrastructure and other technical aspects. It is hoped that the bulk of this work will be carried out over the summer. From here an environmental report will be produced for each site before being taken forward for consultation next year.

Further information, including site submission forms, is available from the CNPA offices in Grantown-on-Spey
tel: 01479 873535 email: [email protected]  and Ballater tel: 013397 55334 email: [email protected] and can be downloaded from here

The deadline for receipt of completed forms is Friday 4 June 2010.