Monday, 16 May 2011

Your chance to have a say in the local development plan for Argyll and Bute

Argyll and Bute Council’s asking people to get involved in the first formal stage of the Local Development Plan for the area – the Main Issues Report. The plan itself will set out planning policy on how land will be used across the whole area, excluding the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National park. It’s designed to look at the next twenty years although there’s greater detail for the first ten years and there’ll be a comprehensive review every five years.

The Main Issues Report is designed to get people’s views on possible policy direction and how land in Argyll and Bute is used for planning purposes. There are a number of questions identified in the report and the council would like as many people as possible to consider these and give their opinion. Through this process we can quickly establish where agreement can be reached and identify areas in need of further discussion and adjustment.

The report looks at issues like the impact of climate change, growing our economy, providing the right levels of housing and safeguarding the environment. Its aim is to stimulate debate on identified areas of major change like introducing the concept of Rural Renaissance Settlements to help stimulate rural growth and investment, proposing a Green Belt Masterplan for the Helensburgh and Lomond area and developing the roles of strategic industrial locations e.g. at MoD base Machrihanish and Dunstaffanage Marine Science Park.

At this stage the planning authority has yet to reach a firm view and wants as much opinion as can possibly be gathered. Once the consultation period is over, the findings will be reported back and used to inform the proposed plan that will be published in the first quarter of 2012.

You’ll have the opportunity to do make your views know starting from Thursday 12th May for the next nine weeks until 5pm on Monday 18th July.

You can see the Main Issues Report online at , at all public libraries, council headquarters at Kilmory, council offices at Manse Brae in Lochgilphead, Chalmers St in Ardrishaig, Municipal Buildings in Oban, Milton House in Dunoon, Blairvadach in Helensburgh, Bowmore on Islay and Tobermory in Mull. It’s also on display at service centres in Crossapol on Tiree, Craighouse on Jura and Scalasaig, Colonsay. You can see it at the Post Office in Arinagour on Coll, Achnacroish on Lismore and Ardminish on Gigha.

There will be several public engagement events across Argyll and Bute. Details will follow shortly.

New ideas are welcomed as part of this consultation. If anyone believes an important issue has not been addressed they can let the council know through the final question contained in Chapter 11.

The Main Issues Report is accompanied by a Monitoring Statement which provides background information. There is also an interim Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, which assesses the impact of the proposals in the MIR on the environment.