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Public Consultation On Shaping the Future Of The Highlands

28th August 2009

A series of Information Days will take place across the Highlands to give people the opportunity to find out how they can get involved in shaping the future of the Highlands. These events have been arranged to complement the official ten week public consultation on the Highland-wide Local Development Plan which starts on Monday 31 August.

The Plan sets out the strategy, policy and vision for the Highlands over the next 10-20 years and will provide clear policy guidance for all types of development. It will update and replace parts of the Highland Structure Plan as well as parts of existing Local Plans which cover strategic policy issues. It will also set the context for the three Local Development Plans which will follow - one for the Inner Moray Firth area, one for the Caithness and Sutherland area and one for the West Highland and Islands area.

Chairman of The Highland Council's Planning, Environment and Development Committee, Councillor Ian Ross said: "It is vital that the Highlands has a robust and encompassing new Highland Development Plan as this document will set down and shape the future conditions for balanced and sustainable economic growth in our communities. The consultation is a key chance for everyone to put forward their views on how they would like the Highlands to develop over the next 20 years. It is very important members of the public, the development industry, key agencies and anyone else with an interest, put forward their ideas and aspirations. We are particularly keen to get the views of young people and we will be launching a special photographic competition soon which will encourage those aged 25 and under to use photography as a way of putting forward their ideas and vision."

The first Information Day will take place on 31 August at Wick Assembly Rooms with a further thirteen taking place up until Friday 9 October. Planning officials will be on hand to discuss any issues, and gather feedback at the sessions which will run from 10am until 6pm.

In a move to promote joined up working, the public consultation will also give people the chance to comment on the draft Coastal Development Strategy, the draft Local Transport Strategy and the initial stage of the Local Housing Strategy. The documents will be available to view at all Highland Council Libraries, Service Points, planning offices and on-line by visiting www.highland.gov.uk

The Information Days are as follows:
31 August WICK Assembly Rooms

02 September DURNESS Village Hall

03 September THURSO Town Hall - Caithness Horizons

09 September FORT WILLIAM Lochaber House - Chamber

11 September PORTREE Community Centre

15 September ULLAPOOL Village Hall

16 September TAIN Duthac Centre

21 September DRUMNADROCHIT Blairbeg Hall

23 September GAIRLOCH Community Centre

24 September MALLAIG Mallaig & Morar Community Centre

02 October NAIRN Community Centre

05 October INVERNESS Town House

06 October DINGWALLTown Hall

09 October GOLSPIE Community Centre

In a move to promote joined up working, the public consultation on the Main Issues Report will also give people the chance to comment on the draft Coastal Development Strategy, the draft Local Transport Strategy and the initial stage of the Local Housing Strategy. The documents will be available to view at all Highland Council Libraries, Service Points, planning offices and on-line by visiting www.highland.gov.uk

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