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Park Authority sets out next steps for Local Plan

19th February 2010

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) aims to have the Local Plan for the Park adopted and published ready for use by the end of the year.

Meeting in Kingussie on Friday (19 February) the Planning Committee of the CNPA agreed the next steps for the Local Plan and set out the timetable to adoption.

The Local Plan for the Cairngorms National Park, which will replace the Local Authority plans (Highland, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Angus) currently covering the Park, has been in the making since September 2004. It was the subject of a Local Plan Inquiry last summer, with the Reporters recommendations received by the CNPA in December.

Staff in the CNPA’s Planning and Development Management team are working through all the recommendations and points raised by the Reporters, analysing these and assessing whether the CNPA is in agreement or not. The Park Authority’s assessment of the report and consideration of which recommendations will be taken forward, which will not and the details of any necessary post inquiry modifications will be debated at the CNPA’s planning committee meeting on 14th May in Grantown on-Spey.

Explaining the process to members on Friday, Karen Major, the CNPA’s Development Plans Manager said: “As members will appreciate there are many complex recommendations and to ensure there is a full analysis we propose to allow sufficient time to give our officers adequate capacity to complete the work. It is estimated that five months from receipt of the report is sufficient to complete the analysis and draft any post inquiry modifications.”

Following the meeting in May – the next key stage of the process – there will be a consultation period to allow individuals, groups or organisations to make representations to post inquiry modifications to the Local Plan.

This consultation will last for six weeks then responses considered during July and August. If there is no requirement to hold a second inquiry the planning committee of the CNPA will be asked in September to allow the Local Plan to proceed to the final stages which will involve informing Scottish Ministers of the Intention to Adopt the Local Plan. This will happen between September and November, with the Plan hopefully being adopted and published for use by between December 2010 and January 2011.

Planning Committee Convener Duncan Bryden said: “The production of the Local Plan has been a long process but this duration has been necessary to ensure that we get the best possible Plan for the area. It is extremely encouraging to think that the Plan – all being well – will finally be adopted by the end of this year and I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to the process.”