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What is it? The aim of the Main Issues Report (MIR) is to stimulate debate and discussion on the main planning issues facing Shetland in both the long.

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Presentation on theme: "What is it? The aim of the Main Issues Report (MIR) is to stimulate debate and discussion on the main planning issues facing Shetland in both the long."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is it? The aim of the Main Issues Report (MIR) is to stimulate debate and discussion on the main planning issues facing Shetland in both the long and short term. The MIR has a major part to play in the review of the existing Shetland Structure and Local Plans and setting the direction of the new Local Development Plan for Shetland. Main Issues Report

2 Main Issues Report: Background  S.17 of the Planning Etc. (Scotland) Act requires the creation of a Main Issues Report.  The Main Issues Report must set out spatial options as to where development should and should not occur.  It must be co-ordinated with other strategies and infrastructure providers.  It must provide reasonable and viable development options and alternatives.

3 Main Issues Report: Background The issues presented here were formulated after meetings with Infrastructure Providers, National Consultees, other Council Services and Community Councils. The options presented in this document do not just represent planners’ views, but the outputs of these events and discussions.

4 Main Issues Report: Background The Main Issues Report identifies the key issues in planning that have arisen since the current Plan was adopted and address areas where the existing Plan could be improved. In the accompanying Monitoring Statement we have examined our existing Structure and Local Plans to identify where changes need to made to bring the new Development Plan into line with national legislation and guidance.

5 Main Issues Report: Maps in Main Issues Reports are often Illustrative, defining development themes rather than being specific about site boundaries. This example is from the ‘Highland Wide’ Main Issues Report.

6 Main Issues Report: We have followed a similar approach throughout the document. Rather than define particular boundaries we have sought to identify options and alternatives for the ‘direction of travel’ that our policies should try to work towards. All of the maps in the document are intended as aids to consultation rather than defining policy.

7 Issue A: How can planning policy promote a sustainable pattern of development that promotes the vitality and viability of existing settlements whilst meeting housing need in the next 5 years? We prefer to...  Review areas of Shetland that have current identified housing need & are capable of sustainably delivering large housing developments.  Develop a policy to allocate land for housing that is capable of supporting large developments. This will speed up the planning process for bigger schemes and ensure developments are well planned.  Maintain an update Land Information Survey of sites over 0.5 ha available for development.  For smaller developments we intend to retain the 2004 Local Plan housing zoning policy. Alternatively we could…. 1. Continue with the current system of zoning, however we believe this would deliver piecemeal and sporadic housing, missing opportunities to streamline infrastructure costs and may not satisfy the Scottish Government in relation to housing provision. 2. We could remove the zoning policies altogether and replace with a site allocations policy. This system would provide greater certainty, however it would be very resources intensive to deal with a large number of small sites and to assess the deliverability of those sites.

8 Issue B: A Spatial Strategy for Shetland; this means, where should new development occur and not occur? We think we should...  Develop a policy which encourages larger new development on allocated sites within the Central Mainland. This doesn't mean development couldn’t occur outside these sites but it will lend greater certainty to the planning process.  Support the roles of Sandwick, Brae and Sullom Voe as secondary hubs with improved facilities and proven development potential.

9 Or we could.. 1. Decentralise new development away from the Central area by promoting the creation of a series of service hubs and specialist industries across the Islands. However, we feel that these hubs are already beginning to evolve and the preferred option would allow local industries the space to grow. 2.Use land allocation policies to focus all significant new development in Lerwick, utilising the Bressay link; however, we believe that this would place too much strain on service provision and infrastructure. Other settlements within Shetland may become weakened.

10 3. Use an allocations model to reinforce the current settlement Pattern. However we believe that the Central Area cannot be ignored and by focussing development within the Central Area we hope to reduce the cost of infrastructure and gain greater economies of scale. Or we could..

11 Issue C: Land at Staneyhill, the Knab and The Ness of Sound may be available for development within the next five years. Should we identify and protect these areas of land for particular use or uses in the Development Plan? We could Allocate all the above sites for housing, however the Housing Need and Demand Assessment has not yet been agreed by Scottish Government and we do not know whether allocating all three areas would be appropriate. 2. Allow the market to decide, however by allocating the sites and requiring developers to prepare master plans it will be easier to ensure physical and service infrastructure will be provided at an affordable cost with maximum benefit to the community. We think we should...  Ask for your views NOW as to the future of the sites: - this can be done by filling in the questionnaire or visiting  Should any of the sites be developed, promote them as major schemes rather than incremental advancement of smaller plots.

12 We prefer to...  Develop in consultation a policy that would create a scale of mandatory development contributions for the development of housing. Charges would be likely to include payments for the provision of education, social care and community facilities.  Develop a fair consistent and transparent method for collecting, recording and use of these contributions.  Encourage organisations such as Hjaltland Housing Association, charities and local groups to consider working together to create a proposal for one or more community land banks that would be allocated within the new Local Development Plan which would be exempt from charges.  Continue to require Section 75 commitments from developers where the requirement for contributions fall outside the scheme of charges. Issue D: How can we ensure that new development in Shetland is well serviced and connected to existing infrastructure? How can we make sure that the cost of providing these services does not fall unduly on the taxpayer whilst not discouraging development in sustainable locations? Alternatively we could React on a case-by-case basis, while this means we can tailor each application, but this is resource intensive and can delay the planning process. A scale of charges would also allow developers more certainty. 2. Implement a scale of charges, but only apply them to housing developments of three or more homes. However, we feel that even individual homes have impacts on services and infrastructure, but if the payment would make the development uneconomical payment may not be required.

13 Issue E: Parking Provision for New Development Our preference....  We think in rural Shetland there would be little advantage in imposing maximum parking space requirement for new development because land pressure is not as intense and access and transport deprivation issues are more acute. However, within Lerwick and Conservation Areas there is scope to develop both minimum and maximum levels on new developments. Should we set maximum numbers for parking spaces to be provided on new development sites to encourage other forms of transport use and avoid over or under provision of parking, especially in larger settlements? Alternatively we could... Continue to set only minimum parking standards for new development on Shetland. However this approach may be found to be unsound because it does not conform with current Scottish Planning Policy.

14 Alternatively we could... Follow national policy and only allocate land for employment uses, however we believe this would be too restrictive because of Shetland and its small economy. Issue F: How can planning policy promote a sustainable pattern of development that promotes the vitality and viability of existing settlements, meeting housing need, but also developing employment opportunities and protecting existing businesses ? We prefer to...  Develop a policy to allocate land for employment, retail, commercial, or tourism use.

15 Alternatively we could Not attempt to control changes, allowing the market to determine may allow greater entrepreneurship however this could lead to a loss of retail and employment diversity in Lerwick. Issue G: Should we protect key existing and proposed employment and retail sites in the plan by refusing proposals for significant change of use unless supported by strong economic evidence? We prefer to...  Monitor retail and employment uses throughout the life of the Plan to assess trends;  Protect strategic employment and retail sites through restricting change of uses;  Progress supplementary guidance to protect retail shops frontages and limiting the number of charity shops in the Town centre to ensure a balanced varied shopping experience.

16 We prefer to maintain the protection for this land through the current policy but with some changes;  Grant exemptions only for single dwelling sites, where housing need has been identified and the applicant could demonstrate that development couldn’t be sited nearby on worse grade land.  A single dwelling on good agricultural land should be approved on large plots to preserve as much of the land as possible, with permitted development rights removed.  A density calculation policy will need to be developed to ensure that approved single dwellings do not increase the density of existing plots.  We would exempt allocated housing sites from this policy, because retention of agricultural land, as this would have already been considered. Issue H: How can we develop planning policy to protect Shetland’s crofting and farming way of life, whilst utilising the most appropriate land for housing and employment development?

17 Alternatives could include Deleting the policy protecting this type of agricultural land, this may ease the housing demand around settlements however it would reduce Shetland’s potential for longer-term food security, harm the farming and crofting traditions. 2. Redrafting the policy to distinguish between arable and grazing land with a view to protecting the most economically viable farms and crofts. This approach would be difficult to impartially decide which areas were or where not economically. 3. Requiring all planning applications for new development to be assessed as to agricultural land quality and use. Currently Shetland Islands Council does not have enough specialists to make assessments therefore at least one new post would be needed. Issue H (continued) How can we develop planning policy to protect Shetland’s crofting and farming was of life whilst utilising the most appropriate land for housing and employment development?

18 Alternatively we could... 1.Continue with the existing policy in the Local Plan, however this is not as effective as developing a new policy. 2. We could commission a number of surveys across Shetland to identify and investigate key habitats for the most pressured species. This would be very expensive and could be too broad to determine individual impacts of development. Issue I: How can we develop planning policy to further the conservation of Shetland’s rich Biodiversity? We prefer... To keep the existing policy in the Local Plan on this issue, provide links to national policy and legislation which provides more detailed guidance and; develop a policy to encourage a positive and holistic approach to biodiversity.

19 Alternatively... In current planning policy however, since the number of older people has risen rapidly and the numbers are predicted to continue growing, we need to ensure we can proactively plan for the future. Issue J: Planning for an ageing population How can we improve the built environment and services for older people to better meet their needs? We think we should...  Identify the need for housing suitable for older people with other services and agencies including NHS;  Develop a policy to identify housing sites in locations that are appropriate for accessibly designed housing schemes and encourage developers to build for this use. Establish with other services, groups and private sector whether there is any additional need for care homes in Shetland.

20 Join the debate…. visit complete a questionnaire to make your comments

21 Please return questionnaires and Site Information Survey Forms to the Development Plans Team by the 7 th May For more information go to:


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