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Community asked for views on bold vision for Strathard

May 26, 2021

Views sought on vision for a healthier, climate resilient Strathard.

Affordable housing, flooding solutions and a transport mobility hub at Aberfoyle are just some of the proposals that Strathard residents and businesses are being asked to consider as part of a six-week consultation.

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority has published the Draft Strathard Framework – a plan co-produced with the community to bring together development, land use and climate change issues into a long-term vision for a healthier, climate resilient Strathard.

The Strathard Framework is the result of a two-year project which saw community representatives work with the National Park Authority, business representatives and other public agencies to identify key priorities and ambitions for the area.

It covers a wide range of issues, from better broadband to planting more trees, and sets out the longer term objective of making Strathard a carbon conscious and climate resilient place in the next 20 years.
It also aims to support investment and regeneration in the area, including attracting new businesses and supporting the relocation of existing businesses.

Now residents, landowners, charities, businesses and community groups are being invited to have their say as part of a six-week consultation. Once the Framework is approved it will be used to influence land management planning, support investment and guide development decisions for the area.

Stuart Mearns, Director of Place at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority said: “This Framework is ambitious and clear on the challenges and opportunities across the area and it will be an important tool in creating a healthier and more climate-responsive Strathard that is a great place to live, work and visit.

“We have worked with a broad range of representatives to develop this vision and now we want to widen that out and hear from everyone with an interest in the future of the area. I would encourage anyone who lives, works or visits the Strathard area to read the Framework and feed back their views on the priorities and plans identified within it.

“For the first time, planning guidance and land use guidance will be joined up and once approved, the Framework will be used for further collaboration and partnership to deliver on these priorities for the area.”

Strathard lies at the heart of the National Park and covers Kinlochard, Stronachlachar, Inversnaid and Aberfoyle.

Along with other communities in the National Park, Aberfoyle has been periodically affected by flooding events, leading to damage to homes and businesses. Community representatives have also highlighted a lack of affordable housing and a need for better infrastructure to accommodate visitors to the area.

The vision set out in the Strathard Framework details several important measures to help address climate change and nature loss, including peatland restoration, creating a wetland in Aberfoyle and natural flood mitigation projects.

Measures to support active and sustainable travel also feature in the Framework, with plans to install charging points for electric vehicles and e-bikes and to make Aberfoyle a transport mobility hub.

The Framework builds on existing strategies and Community Life Plans but considers the wider area and brings everything together into one place.

Once approved, it will be taken into consideration in all planning application decisions and will guide where developments are located, including housing, tourism and new walking and cycling links as well as attract investment and funding opportunities for delivery of these. It will influence land use choices and conservation projects, outlining community priorities over the next 20 years.

You can view the Strathard Framework and provide feedback here: https://www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/park-authority/get-involved/consultations/strathard-framework/

The deadline for submitting a response is 5pm on Monday 28th June 2021.

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