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.”
Following a pre-planning drop-in session at the end of September 2018, The Highland Council has given the public a further 28 days to share their views and comment on the proposal for a new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at the Longman landfill site in Inverness. The public can now visit the Council's website to find out more about the MRF and to share their views on the proposal.
Dr James Vance, Head Teacher at Culloden Academy has been appointed as interim Head of Education Services with The Highland Council's Care and Learning Service. Dr Vance, who starts his new employment in January 2019, will be based at the Council's headquarters on Glenurquhart Road, Inverness.
The Highland Council has submitted a planning application for a low head hydroelectric development at the Torvean Weir on the River Ness at land 430m south west of Highland Rugby Club, on Bught Road, Inverness Using an Archimedes screw the hydroelectric scheme will have a generating capacity of up to 100kW and an average annual renewable energy output of approximately 600,000 kWh per annum. The renewable energy generated will return an income to the Council through the Feed in Tariff mechanism and be connected to the local Archive Centre and leisure centre.
The Highland Council is carrying out the formal review of its Polling Districts and Places. This review is required in terms of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 as all polling districts and polling places should be reviewed at least every four years.
Joint operation identifies poor standards of food safety and staff living accommodation. Highland Council Environmental Health Officers were required to take formal enforcement action regarding poor standards of food safety during a recent multi-agency operation led by Immigration Enforcement.
The Scottish Government's announcement of a consultation on the introduction of a visitor levy ("tourist tax") has been welcomed by The Highland Council. Convener Bill Lobban recently gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, where he emphasised the importance of tourism to the Highlands.
The Highland Council has appointed a new Chief Executive. The successful candidate is Donna Manson, currently Service Director for Children and Young People in the Scottish Borders.
Local services throughout Scotland could be plunged into crisis after - UNISON, Unite and the GMB - wrote to COSLA to say they will recommend their members reject their revised pay offer when they consult them in the coming weeks. The revised pay offer, made by COSLA on 6th September 2018, was a 3% increase for all local government workers earning up to £80,000, but the trade unions are angry that this is below inflation and does not improve low pay.
Members have discussed the consultation and proposed response to a review of the structure of the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme. The Highland Council Pension Fund is one of eleven constituent funds of the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme.
The Highland Council has agreed to plan for a potential budget gap of £66.7 million over the next three years. It was agreed by Members in June to develop plans for a multi-year budget for the next 3 financial years (2019-22) to meet the challenge of a potential funding gap dependent on a wide range of variables.
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