Shopfront Design Guidance approved
17th May 2018
Members of The Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee have given their backing to new shop front guidance aimed at ensuring high quality designs for traditional, replacement and new shopfronts throughout the Highlands.
The Guidance 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. A draft of the proposals went out to public consultation earlier this year and today members had a chance to review the draft which will now form part of the planning process.
The Guidance is expected to provide transparency and clarity in the planning process by assisting Councillors and officers to make consistent decisions in line with best practice.
Chair of the Committee, Cllr Allan Henderson said: "I would like to thank all the retailers, local businesses, community groups, shoppers and the public who took part in the consultation as their input has been very helpful.
“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. Well designed and attractive shopfronts can increase economic activity however the opposite is also true as rundown, unattractive shopfronts can have a negative impact."
He added: “Not only does this Guidance provide lots of helpful advice to promote good quality applications but it will hopefully encourage developers and applicants to consider design at the earliest stage in their proposals.”
After listening to feedback from communities across the Highlands, Highland Council's Administration have decided to take more time to rationalise toilet provision in the Highlands. Budget Leader and Chair of Corporate Resources Cllr Alister MacKinnon and Cllr Allan Henderson, Chair of Environment, Development and Infrastructure report: "In view of serious community proposals coming forward and being assessed, by groups such as North Coast 500 and others across the Highlands, through the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund, it is prudent to allow extra time for the review.
The results of a recent car parking review requested by The Highland Council's Redesign Board have created a vision for car parking and a shift towards localism in the region. Members of the Redesign Board have agreed a common ground on recommendations for a new car parking policy and improvements to car parking processes in the local authority area.
FORT WILLIAM now has access to free WiFi in and around the centre of the town thanks to a project led by the Highland Council and funded by the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal. The free WiFi, called "High-Fi", is aimed at stimulating economic growth and will increase digital inclusion across the Highlands.
The Highland Council, in partnership with Enterprise Car Club an E-Car Club, have recently launched car clubs at multiple Council offices throughout the region. The scheme's newest location, Fort William, is being launched on 4th June 2018 and will form part of a 6-month pilot.
The work of Highland Council's Care and Learning Service to provide sustainable quality education in Highland communities was further endorsed today by members of the Council’s Care, Learning and Housing Committee. Members gave their approval to the reframing of the previous "Management in Schools Programme" to an updated and revised “Sustainable Education in Highlands” programme.
The trial expansion of early learning and childcare in 6 centres in Highland was welcomed by Members of Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee today (30 May 2018). The aim of the expansion is to provide high quality, flexible early learning and childcare that is accessible and affordable for families.
Speaking at Highland Council's Corporate Resources Committee today (24 May 2018), Budget Leader Cllr Alister Mackinnon said that the Council's reported overspend showed the extent to which successive budget reductions and council tax freezes meant the authority had no wriggle room to manage significant pressures in demand-led services like supporting children with additional support needs. He said:"We have done everything we can to protect front line services and particularly services to children and young people.
The public is being asked for its views on proposals by The Highland Council to review the maximum level of charges for the hire of taxis or private hire cars fitted with taxi meters operating under licence of The Highland Council. The Council has a statutory duty in terms of Section 17 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 to review its scales for the fares and other taxi related charges every 18 months.
A report published today by the local authority spending watchdog looks at how councils are using the estimated 130 ALEOs (arms-length external organisations) in Scotland, which have an annual spend of more than £1.3 billion, and the impact they are making. ALEOs can take many forms - such as companies, community organisations or charities.
Councillor Matthew Reiss, who represents the Thurso and Northwest Caithness Ward, has been elected as Chairman of The Highland Council's Caithness Committee. He takes over from Councillor Donnie Mackay who has held the role since June 2017.
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