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Council seeking suggestions for employment land in North Highland (08/08/12)
North Highland communities, landowners and businesses are being invited to make suggestions in a Highland Council ‘Call for Sites’ exercise which takes place from 8 August to 3 October 2012. The Council hopes the exercise will identify sites which may be suitable to support the marine renewables sector.
The marine renewables sector – covering wave, tidal and offshore wind energy – is expected to expand significantly in the Caithness and North Sutherland area over the next 20 years. The Council wants to maximise the potential economic benefits and employment opportunities that this could bring to the area.
This is reflected as a key priority for the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership, of which The Highland Council is a key partner. The recent designation of the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters as Scotland’s first Marine Energy Park should provide further stimulus to the sector and make the area more attractive inward investment.
An adequate supply of available sites for development will be central to enabling the expansion of the onshore element of the marine renewables industry in North Highland. In order to identify and promote onshore development land opportunities the Council is undertaking a ‘Call for Sites’ exercise from 8 August to 3October 2012. This provides the opportunity for local communities, landowners and businesses to suggest sites which may be suitable to support the marine renewables sector. The suggestions made will help the Council to prepare a Framework Document which will identify a portfolio of sites where the Council is likely to support planning applications for employment uses.
Councillor Thomas Prag, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Planning, Environment and Development Committee said: “Caithness is right at the sharp end of the marine renewables sector and this call for sites exercise, as part of the North Highland Vision, is an important chance for people to help identify land which can help us deliver the potential.”
Sites that are in close proximity to harbours, railways or major roads may be particularly suitable. However, we are happy to consider any suggestions put forward which satisfy the following set of criteria:
- within Caithness or located along the northern Coast of Sutherland to Bettyhill;
- considered to be suitable for employment uses to support the marine renewables sector;
- greater than 0.1 ha in size; and
- believed likely to be available for development within the next 10 years.
Site suggestions should be returned to The Highland Council at email@example.com no later than 3 October 2012.
Further information on the Call for Sites and relevant forms for submitting site details is available on the Council’s website www.highland.gov.uk/NorthHighlandVision.