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Recognise the National Park for what it is!

7th December 2012

The Cairngorms National Park Authority is asking that National Parks be given recognition as national assets in the Scottish Government’s review of planning policy and be clear how the planning system can make the most of National Parks.

The response to the Government’s consultation on revising the Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) and National Planning Framework (NPF3) was discussed by the CNPA’s Planning Committee meeting in Ballater today (Friday 7th December 2012).

The key issues the CNPA would like to see the review of SPP and NPF3 address are:

  • That National Parks be identified as national assets to both the economy and the environment in which planning delivers sustainable rural development
  • A policy basis for considering and safeguarding the integrity of the National Park designation and its special qualities (including landscape)
  • Recognition that National Parks are tourism assets which benefit Scotland as a whole and in which high quality tourism infrastructure is required
  • Support for better physical connectivity – upgrading the A9 and developing national scenic routes – and digital connectivity including broadband in remote areas
  • Specific reference to the opportunity for National Parks to contribute appropriately to renewable energy targets alongside recognition of the National Park Partnership Plan that large scale wind turbines are not appropriate in National Parks
  • The A9 improvements classified as a national development

Strategic Land Use Director Hamish Trench said: “This is a great opportunity for national policy to promote the way in which our planning system can help make the most of National Parks as national assets for Scotland’s environment and economy. In the Cairngorms National Park we use the planning system to help deliver on tourism, affordable housing, renewable energy and better connectivity, together with safeguarding and enhancing the landscape and habitats people enjoy so much.

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s review and together with our partners will be submitting positive suggestions to help deliver on some of the key conservation and rural development challenges that planning helps to address.”

CNPA met with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority, Scottish Government planners, Scottish Natural Heritage and partner planning authorities to develop this response.