Loch Lomond National Park reveals new development vision

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National ParkThe board of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority has approved a six-week consultation on the area’s Proposed Local Development Plan, outlining new developments in housing, tourism and supporting infrastructure over the next ten years.

The new housing policies have been developed in conjunction with the National Park’s housing partners to ensure a better range of housing types for everyone, including young people and working families.

In a change to the current Local Plan, housing developments of up to three homes in Luss, Tarbet, Gartocharn, Drymen, Croftamie, Gartmore, Aberfoyle and Callander now need to be affordable or the developer will need to make a financial payment to the provision of affordable housing elsewhere in the local area.

The long-standing restriction on occupancy of new homes in Loch Lomondside to those who could demonstrate employment or family reasons for living in the area has been lifted.

The affordable housing quota for developments of four or more homes in towns and villages has been changed. It will be 50 per cent in the Loch Lomondside villages including Tarbet, Luss, Gartocharn, Croftamie and Drymen; 33 per cent in the more accessible and pressured Stirling area towns and villages including Callander, Gartmore and Aberfoyle and 25 per cent everywhere else.

New sites for development have been identified in Arrochar; Balmaha; Callander; Crianlarich; Drymen; Aberfolye; Gartocharn; Tarbet and Killin.

Stuart Mearns, head of planning and rural development at the Authority, said: “The Proposed Plan really reflects the hopes and aspirations of our communities and brings to life an overarching vision for development in the National Park.

“Building on the success of our current Local Plan means we are a strong position to help grow the local economy. There’s a momentum building around existing, successful developments in the Park including in tourism and renewable energy and this looks set to continue. This year, we have already seen a 35 per cent rise in planning applications.”

Wide ranging consultations and community workshops were held between 2011 and 2014 to inform a ‘Main Issues Report’, which was promoted last summer in an extensive consultation called ‘LIVE Park’. Feedback from this consultation was used to produce the Proposed Local Development Plan.

Consultation on the Proposed Plan between 18 May and 29 June provides local communities with a one, final opportunity to review changes made as a result of earlier comments before they are adopted in the Local Plan and provided to Scottish Government for ratification.

Stuart Mearns added: “This has been a truly collaborative process with many of the key proposals coming directly from discussions with communities and businesses. We’d like to thank everyone for their contribution and believe we can now look forward to a truly exciting 10 years.”

Argyll and Bute Council’s executive director of community services, Cleland Sneddon, said: “The council is committed to realising the potential of communities by ensuring that people have access to affordable, sufficient and suitable housing in Argyll and Bute. Having a higher affordable housing quota in the towns and villages along Loch Lomond would secure much needed affordable housing while not acting as a disincentive to developers. The suggestion for new open market housing on small sites, or for single units is also sound with money accrued being reinvested in the local area.”

You can view the Proposed Local Development Plan from 18 May from on www.ourlivepark.com.

In the interim, you can read the following papers from the National Park Board meeting at which the consultation was approved:

Proposed Local Development Plan Part I

Proposed Local Development Plan Part II.

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