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Council Consults Further On Draft Local Plans (14/05/08)
The Highland Council is consulting further on its draft Local Plans for Sutherland and for West Highland and Islands, beginning on Friday 16 May 2008.
The Scottish Government has urged the Council to re-consult on its assessment of the environmental effects of the Local Plans. The reason is to offer an earlier and more effective opportunity for comment on these effects and the Council’s consideration of them. The Council has therefore decided to publish an augmented Environmental Report for each Plan and to offer another opportunity for comment before it makes decisions about the contents of new, more finalised, Deposit Draft Plans.
The only significant changes to the Plan material consulted upon during Winter 2007-08 are contained within new Supplements to the Environmental Reports. Each Supplement contains: an environmental assessment of options discounted at an earlier stage of the Plan process, corrections to factual errors and omissions from the original Report and its associated documentation, and amplification of the reasoning behind the Council’s option selection to date.
The Plans each carry a new title, “Pre-Deposit Draft, May 2008” but apart from minor updates to reflect the new title and changes to the steps the Council is following, the contents of the draft Local Plans themselves remain the same for now.
Details of the arrangements for consultation, including when and where the documents may be viewed and how to submit comments, are available in the public notice published in local newspapers and on the Council’s website www.highland.gov.uk
The Highland Council’s Development Plans Manager, Malcolm MacLeod said: “This further consultation provides opportunity for people to express opinions to the Council about the newly augmented Environmental Reports or indeed to make any further representations on the other Plan material. Any opinions and comments need to arrive no later than Friday 27th June 2008. However, anyone who has already submitted representations to the Council as part of the consultation held during Winter 2007-08 should not send these again. They will be carried forward and considered carefully by the Council after the new deadline.”
The Council has prepared an information sheet which appears on its website.