"The planning system is the leading public policy determinant of our surroundings – what land is used for, what places look like, and how we can access jobs, transport and amenities." National Trust for Scotland
Planning has always served as a way of protecting Scotland's favourite places. In 2000, the National Parks were introduced to conserve some of Scotland's most special landscapes and to ensure such places can thrive for locals and visitors alike for many years to come. Scotland has many rural communities, a diverse rural economy, and a vibrant rural tourist industry, so it is important that planning protects these interests by providing proportionate responses to development proposals.
Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Authority
Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park is one of Scotland's most iconic places. Its designation aims to safeguard a sustainable future so it can be enjoyed for years to come.
National Parks are planning designations that balance the best of Scotland's landscapes with the needs and ambitions of local communities and visitors. The National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000 set out four aims to ensure this remains the authority's focus:
- conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area
- promote sustainable use of the natural resources of the area
- promote understanding and enjoyment (including enjoyment in the form of recreation) of the special qualities of area by the public
- promote sustainable economic and social development of the area's communities
To ensure this, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Authority has set its plan in motion from 2018-2023. By outlining three areas of focus: Conservation, Visitor Experience and Rural Development, the park can adopt a place based approach to ensure that which makes it so special is not lost.
Projects undertaken by the Authority and their partners are many and varied. They include restoring peat bogs to mitigate against climate change, protecting the area's native red squirrels, earmarking land for hotels, restoring walking paths for visitors and boosting housing supply for locals with a new affordable homes plan. Planners in the authority work to balance all interests, and make sure the park is treasured and can be enjoyed for years to come.
We want MSPs to ensure that the Planning Bill strengthens Local Development Plans by giving them a ten year horizon. Once a plan is in place, this longer term view will give planners more opportunity to prioritise implementing the proposals and policies included.