Development of the Strathard Framework began in earnest in 2019 and was a result of broad partnership working in the area over the last seven years.
In 2015 an environmental project known as the Strathard Initiative was formed to create a multi-agency, ecosystem services approach to explore how the integration of natural land and water management practices could benefit the wider environment, at a landscape scale. This involved a range of stakeholders, including the community who also produced their own local Community Action Plan in 2017.
By 2019, things had moved on and given the experience of the community, they saw the opportunity to prepare more detailed, area focused Community Life Plans for two subareas – Kinlochard and Inversnaid & Stronachlachar. These have been used to directly inform the Strathard Framework as the plans are spatial and set out sub-area visions and details. The community have subsequently also prepared a Community Life Plan for Aberfoyle. These Life Plans are all available on the community’s website and should be referred to in order to help inform land use and planning proposals and decisions. They will also be used to inform the preparation of the next Local Development Plan.
The Strathard community was shortlisted for a SURF award (Scottish Urban Renewal Forum) in 2019 in recognition of the role and strength of community led action and leadership in promoting heritage, revitalising business growth and establishing a local business hub, regenerating Aberfoyle Main Street, village enhancements and recruiting new members to both the Community Council and Community Development Trust, with a commitment to driving forward priorities and strengthening partnership working.
This enabled the Strathard Strategic Partnership to be set up towards the end of 2018. This was established primarily to aid communication between community representatives, businesses and public sector agencies and organisations and to coordinate delivery of the various plans and strategies. From this, a steering group was set up to co-design and steer the development of the draft Strathard Framework.
The National Park Authority, Strathard Community Council, Strathard Community Development Trust, Stirling Council and Architecture and Design Scotland all sat on the group and appointed consultants, Planning Aid Scotland (PAS), to review all the previous work and facilitate two stakeholder workshops to inform preparation of this draft framework.
Despite delays and disruption caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the workshop events were run in 2020 by PAS. Through these sessions we were able to gain a wider range of views from public sector agencies, Stirling Council, businesses and land managers but also have a meaningful discussion with and alongside the community. There was a strong desire to have a more coordinated partnership approach to land use and development decisions.
Architecture and Design Scotland also used the work as a rural case study on how to create a carbon conscious place in their full report Designing for a Changing Climate: Carbon Conscious Places.
Following these engagement sessions, a draft Framework was consulted on in Spring/Summer 2021 before being revised and presented to the National Park Planning and Access Committee in November 2021. Following final revisions, the Framework was adopted in early 2022 and now sits as planning guidance alongside our Local Development Plan.
An associated Delivery Plan was also published outlining 10 partnership projects to help deliver the outcomes and priorities set out in the Framework. Find further updates on delivery of these projects and where are we now?