Views sought on Shopfront Design Guide
13th February 2018
The Highland Council is asking stakeholders and members of the public for feedback on new draft guidance aimed at ensuring high quality designs for traditional, replacement and new shopfronts.
Not only does the draft Shopfront Design Guide: Planning Guidance provide advice to help promote good quality applications but it encourages developers and applicants to consider design at the earliest stage in their proposals. Once adopted, the Guidance will help provide transparency and clarity in the planning process by assisting Councillors and officers to make consistent decisions in line with best practice.
The document, which is out for consultation until Friday 23 March, sets out general principles for repair, reinstatement and replacement of shopfronts, as well as general principles for new shopfronts in new development. It also considers signage and how good advertising can be accommodated in both traditional and modern shopfronts.
Launching the consultation, Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of The Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee said: "Shopfronts are highly visible features of our built environment and the image they project has a significant impact on the way people experience an area, and the overall quality of the built environment.
"Well designed and attractive shopfronts can increase economic activity in an area by helping to provide attractive streets and encouraging people to visit or spend more time which in turn increases footfall and business for traders. However, the opposite is also true as rundown, unattractive and out of character shopfronts can have a negative impact, detracting from the area and discouraging shoppers.
“I would encourage retailers, local businesses, community groups, shoppers and the public to take part in the consultation and let us know their thoughts and ideas."
The Townscape Heritage scheme for Academy Street in Inverness is currently awarding grant aid for building improvements including reinstating and repairing traditional shopfronts.
The Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael joins Cllr Henderson in encouraging people to take part. She said: “Maintaining attractive town centres and a vibrant and interesting shopping experience is increasingly important when faced with competition from out-of-town shopping centres and the internet. Local shopping centres need to offer a different and diverse experience, such as an attractive environment to spend time in - shopfronts are an essential component that directly contributes to their success."
To take part in the consultation visit - http://consult.highland.gov.uk/portal/
Following consultation members of the Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee will have an opportunity to review the draft Guidance and once it has their approval, it will be formally adopted.
The Highland Council has invited people in Thurso to attend a public exhibition highlighting proposals for flood prevention measures along the River Thurso. The Council is currently developing a Flood Protection Study (FPS) for the River to identify solutions that will alleviate the risk of flooding.
Following a Highland Council Trading Standards investigation, Wick Sheriff Court has imposed a court order on a 42 year old local woman who was found to be selling counterfeit goods. The Order places stringent restrictions on her future conduct and any breach of it can lead to a hefty fine or imprisonment.
On 22nd January 2019 the Moray West wind Farm planning application returns to the North Planning committee but merely for some slight changes to the location of some turbines to lessen the impact on certain views. The original permission and this one is not within the power of the committee but they have the ability to enter an objection.
Police in Lochaber can confirm that a 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with alleged consumer protection offences in Fort William. It follows an investigation by Police Scotland and Highland Council Trading Standards, after a report was received this week of "bogus workmen" in Fort William and alleged fraudulent activity relating to charges for work carried out on a house in the town.
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Highland Council Trading Standards have produced guidance on how to spot the signs of scams that target businesses and also remind businesses to inform their employees on what to look out for when dealing with unsolicited telephone calls, emails and texts. All businesses as well as non-profit organisations (such as charitable organisations) may spend a lot of time dealing with potential scammers.
The Highland Council has written to parents and carers of school transport pupils to inform them that D&E Coaches have recently transferred a number of Highland Council contracts to Stagecoach and some school transport routes are included. These changes are to take effect from the first day back after the school holidays, Monday 7th January 2019 and timetables have been supplied for the routes affected.
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Work underway to determine Highland's Budget allocation. Commenting after the news received last night of Councils' individual allocations, from the Scottish Government’s draft Budget, Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "Having received the details of our allocation just last night, it will take some time to work through the proposed settlement and do a detailed analysis.
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