Milestone reached in delivering advice to support major developments in Highland (04/02/13)

A pioneering advice service from The Highland Council planners has proved to be popular with the developers in Highland.

The Pre-Application Advice Service for Major Developments, a cross Council and public agency project led by the Planning and Development Service, continues to go from strength to strength and has reached the milestone of 100 pre-application advice packs issued to the development industry.

The Service helps to make the planning process more effective and efficient by encouraging early and effective discussion with developers to better inform their subsequent planning applications for major projects such as housing developments of more than 50 houses, large shops and energy projects which generate more than 20mw of electricity . The service offers advice on a range of issues including transport arrangements, design, sustainability and community engagement.  This simple, yet very effective service, has been recognised locally and nationally as a model of best practice and has garnered praise from partner organisations and the development industry.

Since its introduction  in 2009 the service has considered and provided advice on a wide range of major developments proposed in Highland from new tourism facilities and accommodation to major housing developments and renewable energy projects.

Councillor Thomas Prag, Chair of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee said: “People often feel the planning process can be long winded and unclear, so we wanted to find a way of helping applicants through the system. The Pre-Application Advice Service offers a great opportunity for the Council and the development industry to work closely together to help deliver better quality new developments which are so important to our communities and help deliver sustainable economic growth.

“This shows how we are meeting the challenges of planning reform by providing a service which not only speeds things up but creates an environment where there can be a greater understanding and cooperation between the public and private sector and most importantly for our communities - getting the right partnerships in place to deliver better developments in the right places.”

For more information on our Pre-Application Advice Service for Major Developments please see: /yourenvironment/planning/planningapplications/PreAppAdviceService.htm

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