Highland Council refines approach to developer contributions

Highland Council refines approach to developer contributions

Members of Highland Council’s Economy & Infrastructure Committee have agreed two reports that relate to developer contributions and the next steps for the preparation of a new style Development Plan for the region.

One of the reports confirmed how a new Development Plan aims to represent all partners and communities across Highland.

Chair of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Ken Gowans, said: “Scottish Government guidance expects new-style development plans to be place-based, people-centred and delivery-focused.

“This is our current focus, and we are going to develop a programme of engagement that allows people to put their place and priorities on the map, and safeguard and strengthen the resilience of Highland communities, businesses and environment.”

He added: “I think its important people feel they can influence plans and decisions that affect them.”

Further information on National Planning Framework NPF(4) and the Development Plan for Highland can be found in Item 12 of the report, which was presented to members at Highland Council headquarters in Inverness.

The process of preparing the plan is starting with an information-gathering stage to help achieve common understanding of the status and future priorities for the region.

Approval of the report by members will lead to a programme of engagement activities to seek the views of those living, working, and visiting Highland.

Local community groups are also being encouraged to prepare Local Place Plans for their community as part of the evidence for the plan.

A separate report (Item 8) updated and refined the council’s approach to developer contributions and how communities and members can contribute their ideas and suggestions.

The committee was invited to:

  1. agree the minor addition to the protocol for monitoring and managing developer contributions in relation to how members and local communities can shape developer contribution decisions;
  2. note the corresponding governance arrangements agreed by the Economy and Infrastructure Committee in February;
  3. agree for developer contribution monitoring balance sheets and forecasting to be reported to the capital programme board, alongside the delivery programme acting as a coordination tool, to better align developer contributions with the capital programme and the programme of development; and
  4. note the current balances of all active developer contribution pots for information, and the governance arrangements already in place to coordinate their use.

Further guidance on the programme for engagement for Highland Local Development Plan will be made available at www.highland.gov.uk/developmentplans.

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