Public’s views sought on the future economy of the Inner Moray Firth
At a critical time for the Highland economy views are being sought on a range of options for how the Council can assist the local economy to respond, recover, progress and transition. The immediate impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, the potential major changes resulting from Brexit, and the need to respond to the Climate and Ecological Emergency are at the forefront of the review of the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan which offers a chance to set out a collective medium to long term vision for the area’s economy.
The Council’s Recovery Board is helping Highland respond and recover from the immediate pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic but the Plan review provides an ideal opportunity to nurture and reinforce current measures over a longer period. We think that the Inner Moray Firth should progress and ultimately transition to a green circular economy - low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.
To deliver this, the Plan’s initial consultative document called the Main Issues Report puts forward a range of options for dealing with town centre regeneration, identifying new land for industry and other employment, growing sustainable tourism and better aligning infrastructure provision. These measures include supporting large new employment sites, such as at Muir of Ord, Maryburgh Roundabout and the Longman Landfill, introducing a requirement for part of larger housing sites to be made available for employment uses such as home ‘live/work’ units, and encouraging sustainable tourism opportunities. The Report also highlights the work of Opportunity Cromarty Firth, a group of cross-sector organisations, who are working towards a series transformational projects associated with the renewable energy sector.
The Council’s Executive Chief Officer for Infrastructure and the Environment, Malcolm MacLeod is encouraging people to voice their opinions: “This Plan is going to be central to the Council’s strategy for how the Inner Moray Firth will change over the next 10 years and beyond. It will affect where most people can and will work and influence how many and what type of future jobs will be available. I would encourage everyone to read through the Report and share any opinions they may have.”
The Main Issues Report and videos to help guide people through the document and how to comment are available now – www.highland.gov.uk/imf