As mentioned in our earlier blog post, we wanted to explore the infrastructure questions that have been raised. The irritation in many of our lives as we go about our day to day lives – poor broadband, either too many or too few pupils in schools, constant road works and delays getting to work, pot holes and nowhere to park.
When writing this blog, we couldn’t help but recite the title of our campaign, LIVE Park. The reason it is called this is that we think the National Park can be; a place where people want to Live, Invest, Visit and Experience. These goals of course sit along with having the greatest respect to the reasons why the Parkhas been designated as a special place.
So far, a lot of our Twitter & Facebook comments have touched on the importance of having appropriate infrastructure and services to help attract new business as well as support the businesses that are already operating in the Park. There have also been comments on how infrastructure affects the visitor experience in the Park. This isn’t surprising as there is a clear link to infrastructure/service provision and what LIVE Park stands for. How can we create places where people want to Live, Invest, Visit and Experience if there is a lack of service provision that is required for a good quality of living? How can a modern day business survive in rural Scotland without a fast and reliable connection to the internet?
A key aim of the Main Issues Report is to generate discussion, so we are pleased to see is happening already at a relatively early stage of the consultation. We’d encourage more people to get involved, either by commenting here on our blog or by leaving us a message on Facebook or Twitter. You can even text us your thoughts or make a formal consultation response.
So, back to infrastructure…what can planning, and this process, do? Firstly, new development can only take place with the new roads, bridges, drainage, sewer, water supply in place. This is the infrastructure.
The Main Issues Report also suggests a number of ways which we can help direct investment to help secure infrastructure and services in the Park (see page 56). This includes ideas such as steering development to within and close to settlements (towns and villages) which can also attract further investment to these areas and make providing these services viable – from a public service or commercial perspective.
Another solution that we’ve proposed is to list the key infrastructure requirements of each town or villages – that new development may be required to contribute funding to. Of course, some of these are not new; some have been brought forward from existing strategies but we feel they still have merit.
So what we want to know is do you feel that these ideas are workable and do they have the potential to make a difference to infrastructure and service provision in the Park? We are keen that you have a look at preferred options and solutions and see if there is anything you would like to add or perhaps don’t agree with. This is your chance to have your say.
A relevant Local Development Plan (the document our Planners are preparing right now with your input sets out where most new developments will happen and policies that will guide decision making an planning applications) with the support of the community can make the most of the opportunities that exist and really make the National Park a place where people want to Live, Invest, Visit and Experience.