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24/06/13 13:31

Consultation puts Inverness’ economic growth at forefront

Planning Minister meets business sector to discuss planning proposals

Proposed changes to Scotland’s planning system will put a great emphasis on economic benefits, Planning Minister Derek Mackay will tell key members of Scotland’s business community in Inverness today.

Mr Mackay will meet with some of Scotland’s business leaders during the SCDI Influencers Dinner, being held in Inverness tonight and will also meet with front line planning officials during a stakeholder event this afternoon.

During the events the Planning Minister will discuss the Scottish Government’s public consultation on Scotland’s third National Planning Framework (NPF3) and a revised Scottish Planning Policy.

Mr Mackay will outline how proposed changes to the planning system will place a greater weight on economic inputs. This includes the creation of new jobs as well as recognising and responding to economic conditions.

Planning Minister Derek Mackay said:

“The Scottish Government is focussed on sustainable economic growth, and as Planning Minister I am intent on delivering a planning system for Inverness that is enabling this objective.

“This is about the culture and practice of planning on the ground. An explicit emphasis on economic impact in planning deliberations is both necessary and timely. I believe we are making good progress.

“During the consultation process I have been meeting with local authorities, developers, environmental groups and members of the public. By meeting with key players from Inverness’ business community I will gain further feedback on the consultation which will assist in our drive to push forward sustainable economic growth.

“By providing a clear vision, the proposals will be used to guide future development that will help Scotland achieve its ambitious climate change targets, ensure we have resilient national infrastructure and also increase protection for our country’s most environmentally important areas.”

The third National Planning Framework (NPF3) and draft Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) will influence development plans across Scotland and guide future planning decisions on a range of sectors including transport, energy and infrastructure.

These draft proposals are supported by on-going measures to improve the overall performance of the planning system, ensuring smoother delivery and a stronger focus on economic recovery.

Plans for the Highlands include key developments such as the West Link as well as further support for investment in the A96 corridor and Inverness Airport to improve transport links and deliver new homes and facilities for research, education and employment.

Willie Gray, Managing Director of Highland’s company William Gray Construction, is attending the dinner showed his support for the consultations. He said:

“The current planning consultations are vital for the future of this area in a number of ways. Infrastructure is key to our growth and particularly important for the A96 corridor. Developments at Nigg are of importance to the region but also nationally.

“The approach taken to long term planning can make the difference between prosperity and decline for us. This is a very useful opportunity to discuss these important consultations directly with the planning minister.”

Related information

The consultation is on-going until July 23, consultation documents are available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/planning/NPF3-SPP-Review