At Monday’s National Park Authority Board meeting our Board Members agreed that the Proposed Plan is submitted for ‘examination’, subject to several minor changes*.
An ‘examination’ is where a Scottish Government-assigned ‘Reporter’ will independently assess all of the comments made to the Proposed Plan during the LIVE Park consultation in May/June 2015 alongside the National Park Authority’s recommendations in response to these. Yes, it sounds formal and it is the most formal stage in the Plan process, but it’s just a term for the process where an independent expert assesses whether or not the recommendations proposed in response to comments made to the Plan are fair and reasonable. It’s important that there is external independent scrutiny to ensure the Plan is the best it can be for everyone – Living in the Park, Investing in the Park, Visiting the Park and Experiencing the Park. That’s what LIVE Park is all about – making the Park a great place for everyone.
The comments made to the Plan, along with recommendations, have been grouped into a series of ‘Issues’ (topics). These include:
a) Vision/Strategy for development in the Park over the next twenty years,
b) Towns and villages with allocated development sites for different land uses including housing, visitor experience (tourism), economic development and open space, and
c) Policies to assess future development proposals against.
The examination is expected to take up to six months. The Reporter works with a team who initially check they have all necessary information to allow them to assess the comments and recommendations submitted. The Reporter will have access to the Issues, full copies of all comments made along with any supporting documents.
In the event that certain planning points require clarification, the Reporter will write to those who made comments or the LIVE Park team here at the Park Authority for further information.
For the majority of Issues to review, the Reporter is likely to carry out a site visit in his/her assessment of the Issue. The Reporter will make a ‘determination’ on all of the various Issues and their recommendation is largely binding on the Planning Authority.
We will publish the Plan with the Reporter’s recommendations and advertise that we intend to ‘adopt’ it. At that point, people can view it online, in the Balloch and Callander National Park offices and libraries associated with the National Park. The Plan will then be submitted to the Scottish Government to ‘sign off’ following which it can be ‘adopted’. At this point the current Adopted Local Plan will be revoked.
The term ‘adopted’ simply means it becomes the formal Local Development Plan and associated planning guidance that we use when making planning decisions and that planning applicants should refer to when they are considering making an application for development in the Park. We can still use the Proposed Plan when making decisions prior to it being adopted however are not able to apply as much weight to it until such times as it is fully adopted.
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 01389 722600. We will continue to provide updates on www.ourlivepark.com and so will the Reporters team on their website www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk/
* The minor changes the Board requested include clarification of a road safety matter regarding a housing site in Callander and an amendment to the waste water policy to ensure connection of private systems to public system when available.