Committee updated on new Highland Local Development Plan

When they met today, members of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee discussed progress in preparing a new single Highland Local Development Plan and gave their approval for an updated Development Plan Newsletter which aims to keep people up to date on where and when they can input to the preparation of development planning documents. They also agreed updates to the Participation Statement, taking account of a survey undertaken in 2023.

Chair Councillor Ken Gowans said: “The approach we are taking in preparing a new single LDP for Highland is very much a collaborative one. We are currently in the evidence-gathering stage of work. This means that the public, stakeholders, and organisations will have opportunity to provide us with their input during 2024. This means that people will have a say on what evidence they think we should use before we get in to drafting the Plan itself.”

“We have listened to and acted on feedback we received on last year’s Participation Statement Survey so moving forward, to complement the work carried out so far, we will be looking to engage people on the issues facing Highland communities right now.”

“The work being undertaken will allow us to create a single strong, place based, people-focused and deliverable Local Development Plan.”

Following publication of NPF4 in February 2023, and associated updates to the regulations for development plan preparation, the Council has been planning its approach to preparing a new single Local Development Plan for Highland. The new Plan, when finalised and adopted, will replace all four of the Council’s current Local Development Plans.

The Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan, which is proposed to be adopted in the coming weeks, will be a key consideration as a recently prepared development plan.

Local communities are being proactively encouraged to input to the plan. This includes the preparation of Local Place Plans (LPPs). There is also support from officers to Area Place Plans which aim to capture the distinct issues and priorities across Highland communities.

To ensure a collaborative approach that captures all feedback the Council’s Development Plans Team are developing a bespoke ‘place standard’ tool for use by anyone, to input to the HLDP and other workstreams of the Council. When launched it will be a key way of gathering people’s lived experiences from across and around Highland.

The Team has also begun preparing a series of Storyboards that provide a walk-through for the areas and issues that officers think need to be addressed by the HLDP and the evidence they think should be used. This will be made available and promoted online (starting in Spring 2024) and used in meetings with partners, stakeholders and others – providing a stimulus and focus for discussion and gaining feedback.

The 2024 Development Plan Newsletter, which also acts as the Council’s Development Plans Scheme, including Participation Statement, for submission to the Scottish Government. will be published next month. It will provide an overview of the timetable for preparing land use planning documents and how and when the public and local communities can get involved.

Councillor Gowans added: “When launched, these opportunities to get involved will be well publicised and we will also communicate directly with a wide range of stakeholder and key agencies to capture the distinct issues and priorities across our communities.”


15 Feb 2024