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Planning for Growth – strategic considerations

Planning for Growth – strategic considerations Richard Hartland, Highland Council

Richard Hartland, Head of Planning & Building Standards with the Highland Council, told the conference of some strategic considerations for planning the area’s inevitable rapid expansion.

The Planning etc (Scotland) Act 2006
Principles
• Partnership and Understanding
• More Inclusion
• Development Plans
• Pre-application discussions - developers must give a statement of engagement with the community in the pre application stage
• White Paper “Modernising the Planning System 2005”
• Confidence in Planning System - Richard highlighted that media coverage in the highlands was very negative.

Development Plans Scheme
• National Planning Framework 2
• Overarching Development Plan
• 3 Local Plans
• Community Engagement - PAN 81
• Handling of Major applications
• Rogue applications - Richard emphasised his concern regarding rogue applications and explained how he would like to see these pulled into the development plan system to enable planners to deal with them strategically.

The A96 Corridor
• Corporate Council approach
• Developer contributions – Early Menus
• Management of spend – Imperative the Council spends the Developers money properly.
• Provision of infrastructure
• National buy-in – GNT, SNH, SEPa etc must buy into the agreement to provide infrastructure.
• Front Loading – how to generate money to put into infrastructure in advance of development

Richard explained that developers don’t want to have late negotiations on any change of plan so the Council needs to clearly identify it’s wants at the outset.

City Spread
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A96 Corridor Framework
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The policy has been approved by the Council but will not be statutory until included in development plans. There will be £3 billion worth of infrastructure, new jobs, 16,500 new houses and up to 30,000 additional and relocated people. New lands are needed for development but it is also imperative to save the environment.

Green Framework
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90% of the Corridor will remain undeveloped.

Supporting Information
Framework supported by:
• Strategic Environmental Assessment
• Water supply and wastewater treatment assessment
• Electricity grid assessment
• Roads assessment
• Detailed assessment of education and health deficiencies

Enhanced Scrutiny
• Pre-application discussion with Communities
• Pre-determination hearings
• Notification to Ministers
• Hierarchy of Development – delegated powers
• Referral to Full Council

Processing Agreements
• National and Major Developments
• Voluntary Basis
• Additional fees
• Early agreement
• Return of fee if default
• Flaws – gimmick?

Design and Access
• Improved design
• Residential development guide
• Open space provision
• IAA Design Awards
• Design and Access Statements
• Mendip DC case – Planning Pomposity

Conclusion
• Planning effects everyone
• Enforcement
• Temp Stop Notices
• Notification of completion of development?
• Onsite notices – track record
• Fixed penalty notices
• E-planning – in 2009/10 we will be able to log onto the system to look at applications on-line.