A ‘thriving economically active rural economy’ forms part of the vision of LIVE Park, our Local Development Plan. Our Planning Performance Framework 2015-2016 reported that we developed two Rural Development Frameworks to pilot new approaches to guide and facilitate appropriate rural development in two pressured countryside areas of the National Park; at east and west Loch Lomondside. These strategic frameworks were created to provide more coordinated policy direction and comfort to landowners, investors and communities on the types of development that could be accommodated.
Early indications are that this framework approach is facilitating development by installing more confidence in landowners to invest in the National Park. Taking the West Loch Lomondside Framework as an example, over the last year we have worked closely with Luss Estates, the local landowner, on a package of development projects within Luss and in the countryside around the village, including:
Five new affordable homes were constructed in 2017 within the village delivering high quality development on the ground. The land has been provided by the Estate to LINK Housing Association and the development funded by LINK, the Scottish Government, Argyll and Bute Council and Luss Estates. The Framework has given Luss Estates the certainty that this affordable house site would form part of an overall package of development, including open market housing.
The development of these homes represents a milestone for Luss Estates in progressing their aspirations for the area. The homes were built in May 2017 and provide four three-bed family homes and a smaller two-bed home bed. By encouraging family homes, we can help retain local public services such as schools, in what is projected to be a declining and ageing population. The additional 11 homes planned to the south of the village are being proposed as open market to create a mix of housing opportunities in the village.
The re-opening of the redundant filling station at the north of the village, has given the northern entrance to the village a renewed sense of arrival. There is further work to be undertaken at both entrances to the village. The approved retail/workshop units, with attractive new public realm proposals including trees and high quality surfacing, will further enhance the northern entrance and the new public open space will enhance the southern end.