Our communities are the heart of our National Park. Having active, informed and inclusive communities with the ability to engage in community planning and the planning process, is vital to achieving improved quality of life and place.
Engaging actively with planning will help our communities to benefit from the new powers contained in the Community Empowerment and Land Reform legislation, as well as the proposed changes to the Scottish Planning System. These changes aim to give people a stronger say and role in planning their own community and potentially include the ability for communities to prepare their own ‘Place Plans’.
Communities within the National Park already undertake their own local action planning work and lead on project delivery. Many are very well placed to benefit from these emerging new rights, including community ownership of buildings and land with potential for social enterprises and income generation.
However, ongoing support is required from a range of partners to maintain community capacity to enable our communities to benefit from these new opportunities.
This is not only good for communities, but also means that this activity can support the wider aims and outcomes of the National Park.
Community Planning Partnerships have been established for each of the four local authority areas that cover the National Park. These bring together the key public and third sector agencies in order to improve the way local services are provided within local communities and enable greater decision making at local level.
It is important that public services are designed to reflect the needs of the Park’s rural communities and that there is community representation when identifying priorities set out in the Local Outcome Improvement Plans and new Locality Improvement Plans. This brings new opportunities for our communities and having a strong third sector partner in the National Park Authority and the priorities set out below, should be reflected in these Plans.
The priorities for Outcome 13 are outlined below:
Priority 13.1 – Supporting Capacity of Community Organisations
Supporting communities to maintain good organisational capacity with effective Community Development Trusts and Community Councils actively involved in decision making that influences local service delivery.
Building on Success - Callander Landscape Partnership
The Callander Landscape Partnership is a £1.5 million Heritage Lottery Fund Grant Award for a community led partnership project. It will use Callander’s unique position on the Highland Boundary Fault to establish the town as the ‘Outdoor Capital of the National Park’. This will include the creation of visitor interpretation, a cycling and walking network, and training opportunities in the surrounding countryside.
Supporting communities, through Local Action Planning, to develop and lead on project delivery, village enhancements and to own, or share ownership, and manage assets (including income generation and social enterprise opportunities).