Committees

A meeting of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee will take place in the Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness on Wednesday 25 May 2011 at 10.30am.

 

Webcast Notice: This meeting will be filmed and broadcast over the Internet on the Highland Council website and will be archived and available for viewing for 12 months thereafter.

 

You are invited to attend the meeting and a note of the business to be considered is attached.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Michelle Morris
Assistant Chief Executive

 

1. Apologies for Absence

 

2. Declarations of Interest

 

Members are asked to consider whether they have an interest to declare in relation to any item on the agenda for this meeting.   Any Member making a declaration of interest should indicate whether it is a financial or non-financial interest and include some information on the nature of the interest.   Advice may be sought from Officers prior to the meeting taking place.

 

3. Highland Tourism - Presentation by VisitScotland

 

A presentation will be given by Mr Malcolm Roughead, OBE, Chief Executive of VisitScotland entitled, “VisitScotland – Delivering for the Highlands”.

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-31-11  dated 13 May by the Director of Planning and Development providing background information on Highland tourism to accompany the presentation. 

 

The Committee is asked to note the content of the report and the presentation.

 

4. Revenue Expenditure Monitoring to 30 April 2011/12

 

There is circulated for noting Report No. Ped-32-11 dated 16 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development detailing the revenue monitoring position for the first month of the financial year 2011/12 which predicts a balanced year end position.

 

5. Capital Expenditure Monitoring to 30 April 2011/12

 

There is circulated for noting Report No. Ped-33-11  dated 16 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development outlining expenditure and income to 30 April 2011 for the 2011/12 Capital Programme and providing an update on projects.  Appendix 1 to the report is located at the end of the circulated papers booklet.

 

The report also advises Members of a further provisional award of £1.23m Vacant and Derelict Land Fund from the Scottish Government.  The Council was required to submit a draft Delivery Plan by 4 April.

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

i.   note the content of the report;
ii.  agree the recommendation for the replacement of Rogie Falls Bridge; and
iii.  homologate the submission of the draft 2011/12 Highland Council Vacant
    and Derelict Land Fund Delivery Plan to the Scottish Government.

 

6. Audit Scotland: Performance Indicators – Fourth Quarterly Review 2010/11

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-34-11 dated 13 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development advising Members on the delivery of the Development Management and Building Standards and the Development Plan services for the fourth quarter of 2010/11, with comparative figures for previous years.  The Development Management and Development Plan figures are statutory returns to Audit Scotland.  The Building Standards returns are no longer statutory but have proved to be a useful management tool to assess the Service’s performance.  They have been adapted in accordance with the team’s Balanced Scorecard.  The report also includes information on Sickness Absence which is also a statutory performance indicator.

 

The Committee is asked to note the information contained in the report.

 

7. Business Gateway

 

There is circulated Report No Ped-35-11 dated 12 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development updating Members on:

  • the performance of the Business Gateway contract with Highland Opportunity Ltd for the full operating year of 2010/11
  • Business Gateway Performance Targets for 2011/12
  • the integration of Business Gateway within wider support activity provided by Highland Council.

The Committee is asked to:


i.   note the performance for the full operating year 2010/11;
ii.   note the targets set for 2011/12; and
iii.  approve continued allocation of £75,000 for a Small Business Grant Scheme
     in 2011/12 and an in principle agreement for 2012/13.

 

8. Employability Service

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-36-11 dated 13 May by the Director of Planning and Development detailing the application process for the Strategic Projects Fund and making recommendations for funding to seven organisations.

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

i.  agree the grant fund awards as recommended in section four of the report;
   and
ii. approve three month funding of £22,667 for the Community Learning and
   Leisure, ECS, MP33 project in Inverness.

 

9. Planning Appeals

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-37-11 dated 16 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development providing Members with a summary of appeal decisions from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011.  It also provides a summary of appeals submitted within that period yet to be decided.  In addition it re-issues to Members a copy of the Planning Appeals Protocol currently being followed in cases where an appeal is lodged in respect of an application that has been refused by a Planning Applications Committee contrary to officer recommendation.

 

The Committee is asked to note the decisions on the appeals determined in 2010/11 and the value of the advice given on the formulation of reasons for refusal of planning permission in the Planning Appeals Protocol.

 

10. Listed Buildings – Removal of Duty to Notify, and Partner Management Agreement

 

There is circulated Report No Ped-38-11  dated 13 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development detailing changes to the way in which the Council as local planning authority can determine listed building applications with specific directions from Historic Scotland.  The report also presents for consideration by Members a formal application for the Removal of Duty to Notify Historic Scotland on certain types of category B listed building consent applications and a Partnership Management Agreement between Rio Tinto Alcan, Historic Scotland and The Highland Council.

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

i.  approve the submission of the application to Historic Scotland for Removal of
    Duty to Notify for certain types of listed building consent application; and
ii. agree that the Highland Council sign and commit to the Management
    Agreement with Rio Tinto Alcan and Historic Scotland.

 

11. Appointments to Working Groups etc.

 

The Committee is asked to agree that Mr G Farlow (SNP) and Mr D Fallows (SNP) be appointed to the SNP vacancy on the Inner Moray Firth Ports and Sites Strategy Working Group and the Tourism Project Group respectively.

 

12. Councillors’ Code of Conduct – Decisions on Planning Matters

 

At its meeting held on 3 March 2011, the Council, in response to issues raised at Question Time, agreed that a report be submitted to this Committee to allow discussion on the question of restrictions on Members commenting on planning applications in advance of sitting on a committee determining such applications.

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-39-11  dated 12 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development advising Members of the Councillors Code of Conduct issued by the Standards Commission in December 2010 and highlighting the changes made to the Code published in March 2002.

 

The Committee is asked to note the terms of the revised Code, which can be found in full by clicking here.

 

13. Physical Constraints: Draft Supplementary Guidance

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-40-11 dated 16 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development advising that draft Supplementary Guidance on Physical Constraints has been produced to supplement development plan policy and to provide prospective developers with up to date mapping of physical constraints on development within Highland.  The draft Guidance (circulated as Booklet A) (Booklet A-1, Booklet A-2) outlines that, where proposals are affected by any of the constraints, developers will be required to demonstrate compatibility with the constraint or propose appropriate mitigation measures.

 

The Committee is asked to approve the draft Supplementary Guidance for a 6 week consultation period, subject to any necessary amendments raised at Committee.

 

14. Consultation on Building Standards Verification – Improving Choice in Verification of Building Standards

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-41-11  dated 17 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development advising that the Scottish Government is seeking stakeholder views on the possible added value, or otherwise, of introducing a private sector verifier – the National House-Building Council (NHBC) – to compete with Scottish Local Authorities in verification.  Responses are sought by 10 June 2011.  The consultation can be found by clicking here.

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

i.   note the content of the report; and
ii.  approve the terms of the response and its submission to the Scottish
    Government by 10 June 2011.

 

15. Consultation on Maintenance of Land on Private Housing Estates

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-42-11 dated 9 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development setting out the proposed response to a Scottish Government consultation on maintenance of land on private housing estates.  The purpose of the consultation is to seek views on whether any changes should be made to the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003, in relation to the “switching” of bodies who carry out the maintenance of open spaces on private housing estates.  The deadline for responses is 6 June 2011.

 

The consultation can be found by click here.

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

i.  note the content of the report; and
ii. approve the terms of the response to the Scottish Government for
    submission by 6 June 2011.

 

16. Consultation on Transposing Directive for Stage 2 Petrol Vapour Recovery

 

There is circulated joint Report No. Ped-43-11 dated 18 April 2011 by the Directors of Planning and Development and Transport, Environmental and Community Services seeking approval of a response to the Scottish Government consultation on transposing Directive 2009/126/EC on Stage II petrol vapour recovery during refilling of motor vehicles at petrol stations.  The deadline for responses is 3 June 2011.

 

The consultation can be found by clicking here.

 

The Committee is asked to agree:

 

i.  that the Council response to the consultation on Stage II petrol vapour
    recovery should highlight the need for financial assistance to be provided to
    enable station operators in the Highlands to bring their facilities up to the
    required standard; and
ii.  the response to the questions as set out in section five of the report, and
    that these should form the basis of the Council’s response to the
    consultation.

 

17. Green Networks: Interim Supplementary Guidance

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-44-11 dated 16 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development summarising the issues raised in response to the “Green networks: Draft Supplementary Guidance” which was issued for consultation in September 2010.  The report details the revisions which have been made to bring this document forward as Interim Supplementary Guidance pending adoption of the Highland-wide Local Development Plan.  Appendices 1 and 2 to the report are circulated separately in Booklet B.

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

i.  consider the issues raised through representations on the Guidance; and
ii.  agree the Guidance is adopted as Interim Supplementary Guidance.

 

18. Assessment of Highland Special Landscape Areas (AHSLA)

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-45-11 dated 11 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development setting out the results of recent consultation on the descriptions of Special Landscape Areas (formerly known as Areas of Great Landscape Value), identifying a response to points raised and recommending some amendments arising from the consultation. 

 

The Committee is asked to consider the representations received and agree the finalised Assessment of Highland Special Landscape Areas to be published on the Council’s website as a background paper to the Highland-wide Local Development Plan.

 

19. Biodiversity Duty Delivery Plans 2008-2010 and 2011-2014

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-46-11  dated 16 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development reporting on progress made via the Council’s Biodiversity Duty Delivery Plan 2008/10 and advising that a Biodiversity Delivery Plan for 2011/14 is being prepared.

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

i.  consider and note the good progress made via the Biodiversity Duty Delivery
    Plan 2008/10; and
ii.  note that a draft Biodiversity Delivery Plan 2011/14 will be presented to the
    August meeting of the Committee for consideration and approval.

 

20. Sustainable Design Guide Supplementary Guidance – Post Consultation Amendments

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-47-11 dated 11 May 2010 by the Director of Planning and Development presenting the results of an 8-week public consultation  and outlining subsequent amendments to the “Sustainable Design Guide” Supplementary Guidance.  Appendices 1 and 2 to the report are circulated separately in Booklet C (Booklet C-1, Booklet C-2).

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

i.  approve the proposed changes to the document “Sustainable Design
    Guide”, allowing it to be used as Interim Supplementary Guidance with a
    view to becoming approved as Supplementary Guidance to the Highland-
   wide Local Development Plan, pending satisfactory completion of the
    Environmental Report consultation process; and
ii.  agree to authorise the Director of Planning and Development to make non-
    material changes to the Sustainable Design Guide resulting from the
    consultation on the associated Environmental Report, prior to the Guide’s
    adoption as Interim Supplementary Guidance.

 

21. Housing Land Audit

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-48-11 dated 11 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development advising Members on the Council’s Housing Land Audit which provides an updated position on housing land within Highland.  It outlines the number of houses programmed for completion in the next five years, describes the key constraints affecting development and looks at past housing completions.

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

i.  approve the content of the Housing Land Audit as reflecting the current
   status of all identified housing land within Highland; and
ii. agree the continued preparation of a Housing Land Audit on a regular basis.

 

22. Cairngorms National Park Authority Supplementary Guidance

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-49-11 dated 16 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development advising that the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is currently consulting on three Supplementary Guidance documents which will apply to all relevant planning applications submitted within the Park area, whether they are determined by the CNPA or the Council.  The documents cover Wildness, Carbon Emissions and Developer Contributions.

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

i.  note the publication of the Supplementary Planning Guidance documents
    relating to Wildness, Carbon Emissions and Developer Contributions; and
ii. agree a response to the Park Authority in line with the contents of the
    circulated report.

 

23. Consultation on Non-Domestic Elements of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-50-11 dated 10 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development regarding a consultation relating to planning legislation which exempts certain development from the need to obtain planning permission, often referred to as Permitted Development Rights (PDR).  The report recommends responses to consultation questions, and suggests other matters which should be addressed in the view.  Responses are sought by 1 July 2011.

 

The consultation document can be found by clicking here.

 

The Committee is asked to welcome the consultation and agree:

 

i. the responses as set out in the report; and
ii. to advise the Scottish Government that the review should be more
   comprehensive in reviewing all parts of the Order to bring it up to date in
   respect of technology and to rationalise and simplify its terms to make it
   more transparent and customer friendly with a view to generating greater
   confidence in the planning system.

 

24. Extension of Permitted Development Rights and Changes of Use to Finfish and Shellfish Developments – Consultation by the Scottish Government

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-51-11 dated 12 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development outlining a response (Annex 1 to the report) to the above consultation.  Responses are sought by 17 June 2011.  The consultation document is available on the Scottish Government website.  

 

The Committee is asked to:

i.  consider the draft Highland Council response attached at Annex 1 to the
   report and approve it for submission, subject to any additional comments
   Members may wish to add; and
ii.  note that a joint response to the consultation is also being prepared in
    conjunction with other Highland and Islands local authorities; and
iii. agree that the Highland Council response also be submitted as a
    contribution to the joint Highland and Islands local authority response being
    prepared. 

 

25. ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) Plan for Loch Etive

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-52-11 dated 16 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development advising that Argyll and Bute Council, in consultation with the Highland Council and others, has finalised the content of the integrated coastal plan for Loch Etive.  The final draft of the Plan was formally adopted by Argyll and Bute Council in March.  No significant changes were required to that part of the Plan which relates to the area within Highland (i.e. the upper part of Loch Etive), and the Glencoe and Glen Etive Community Council did not submit any comments on the draft Plan.   Copies of the Plan are available in the Members’ Library and on the Members’ bulletin.

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

i.  approve the final draft of the Loch Etive ICZM Plan insofar as it involves the
    Highland Council area; and
ii. agree to adopt the Plan as non-statutory, supplementary planning guidance.

 

26. Aquaculture Framework for Loch Torridon: Consultation Report and Plan Revisions

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-53-11 dated 16 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development advising that the Loch Torridon Aquaculture Framework Plan has been revised following public consultation.  The report outlines the changes made.  Copies of the full consultation report and the revised Plan are available in the Members’ Library and on the Members’ bulletin.

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

i.  approve the report of the consultation and suggested amendments to the
    Loch Torridon Aquaculture Framework Plan; and
ii. agree to adopt the revised Plan as non-statutory supplementary planning
   guidance.

 

27. European Fisheries Fund

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-54-11  dated 18 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development outlining for Members details of the recent European Fisheries Fund (EFF) Axis 4 funding announcement by the Scottish Government and the actions necessary to enable Highland to compete for and benefit from these funds.

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

i.  agree to the submission of the Expression of Interest to apply for and
    manage the EFF Axis 4 Programme in Highland, and in principle agree to
    match fund EFF Axis 4 grant received subject to the final level of grant
    offered and future budget availability in 2012/13 and 2013/14; and
ii. agree to appoint the Vice Chairman of the Planning, Environment and
    Development Committee to lead a Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG)
    Steering Group to prepare and submit the Local Fisheries Development
    Strategy.

 

28. Highland LEADER Programme 2007 - 13

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-55-11 dated 17 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development updating Members on the actions arising from the LEADER Internal Audit Report (November 2010) and the findings of a recent Monitoring Visit from the Scottish Government.  The report also highlights a specific issue regarding Halladale Community Hall and requests Council funding as an alternative to LEADER funding for this project.

 

The Committee is invited to:

 

i.  note the findings of the November 2010 Audit report and the March 2011
   Scottish Government Monitoring Visit, the actions undertaken and the
   proposed actions to address outstanding issues;
ii. agree the payment of £22,783.60 to the Halladale Hall Community Project;
   and
iii. note efforts to continue dialogue with the Scottish Government regarding
    Halladale Community Hall and the repayment of the LEADER grant.

 

29. Dingwall Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-56-11 dated 16 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development outlining the details of successful bids for the Dingwall Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS).  It outlines a proposed grant approval mechanism and management structure and seeks Committee support for the creation of a fixed term project office post with effect from April 2012.

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

i.  note the successful award of Historic Scotland and LEADER grant to the
   Dingwall Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme;
ii. agree the management structure and grant approval mechanisms outlined in
   the report;
iii. agree, for its interest, the creation of a Dingwall CARS project officer post
    for a five-year fixed term with effect from 1 April 2012 as set out in the
    report; and
iv. note that the project officer post proposals will require to be submitted to
    the Resources Committee for approval.

 

30. North Highland Onshore Visioning

 

There is circulated Report No. Ped-57-11 dated 16 May 2011 by the Director of Planning and Development advising that the Council, in partnership with other bodies including the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment (PFBE), facilitated two workshops to assist with a co-ordinated planning effort on the onshore aspects of developing the marine energy resource in North Highland.  The PFBE has produced a report (Appendix 1): (Appendix 1-1, Appendix 1-2, Appendix 1-3, Appendix 1-4, Appendix 1-5) and an action plan identifying key pieces of work to be taken forward has been drafted by the Council (Appendix 2 to the report).  The report also refers to the Orkney Islands Council’s Proposed Local Development Plan, on which that Council is seeking comments by 3 June.

 

The Committee is asked to note the content of the PFBE Onshore Visioning Summary Report and agree its publication on the Council’s website and also agree:

 

i.  the Action Plan as the basis for moving forward, and that officers firm it up
    in discussion with partner organisations and seek their agreement to
    contribute to the work;
ii. that future reports are brought to Committee, monitoring progress with
    implementation and if necessary reviewing the Action Plan; and
iii. a delegated response to the Orkney Local Development Plan and to support
    joint working/sharing of expertise and resources around planning for this
    sector with Orkney Islands Council.

 

31. Minutes

 

There are circulated to Members separately in Booklet A for noting Minutes of the Planning Applications Committees for:-

 

i.    Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross - 1 Feb 2011
ii.    Ross, Skye and Lochaber – 1 March 2011
iii.   Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey – 1 March 2011
iv.   Ross, Skye and Lochaber – 8 March 2011
v.   Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross– 15 March 2011
vi.   Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey – 21 March 2011
vii.   Ross, Skye and Lochaber – 22 March 2011
viii.  Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross – 29 March 2011
ix.   Ross, Skye and Lochaber – 29 March 2011