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Have Your Say In The Future Of Sutherland

10th October 2006

Anyone with an interest in the future planning of development for their community in Sutherland will be able to provide their opinions on the new Local Plan being prepared for the county.

Planning officials of The Highland Council have produced a discussion document, entitled Sutherland Futures, and they are keen to get feedback from the public at a series of 17 public exhibitions/meetings, starting at Lairg on Monday 23 October and ending in Dornoch on Thursday 30 November.

They will be on hand during the afternoon to record the public's views and meetings will held from 7 pm.

Councillor Francis Keith, Chairman of the Sutherland County Committee, is urging the public to take advantage of this opportunity to have their say.

He said: "When someone wants to build a new house or other kind of development, they apply to the Council for planning permission. In deciding whether or not things can go ahead, our planners and Committee look first at the Local Plan. What the Plan says about the site, about the particular type of development or about related matters such as the environment will be very important considerations. So it is important to get the Local Plan right first and keep it up to date, because it will influence the future of Sutherland communities."

Sutherland Futures which will be published soon and will be available widely across the County. It sets out for discussion issues and options for development to 2016 and beyond:

~ a vision, suggesting the kind of place Sutherland should be 20 years from now;

~ a strategy, identifying the potential location of development and a framework for investment in services; and

~ settlement plans, identifying key site options for development, together with an explanation of how any other settlements fit in.

Outlining the vision, Councillor Francis Keith said "We believe that Sutherland should be a regenerating place, comprising a network of strong communities. It should be a competitive place, playing a significant part in the economy of the Highlands with benefits to Sutherland. It could be better connected, with improved accessibility to services provided locally. Finally, its outstanding heritage will need to be safeguarded by the local people whose area it is. The Plan is still only at an early stage of preparation and there is a real opportunity for people to help us by contributing. If you have an interest in the future planning of development for your community then we hope to see you at one of our consultation events and look forward to receiving your written comments on Sutherland Futures by the December 15 deadline. We'll carefully consider all comments before deciding on what will be in the draft Local Plan early in 2007."

On each of the following dates the Council is holding an afternoon public exhibition, which starts at 3:30pm (4pm at Bonar Bridge and Dornoch/Embo) and closes at 5:45pm. This is followed by an evening public meeting which starts at 7pm. Dates and venues are as follows:

Lairg Monday 23 October 2006 Lairg Community Centre
Lochinver Thursday 26 October 2006 Lochinver Village Hall
Scourie Monday 30 October 2006 Scourie Village Hall
Rogart Wednesday 1 November 2006 Rogart Village Hall
Brora Thursday 2 November 2006 Brora Community Centre
Durness Monday 6 November 2006 Durness Village Hall
Bonar Bridge Tuesday 7 November 2006 Bonar Bridge Village Hall
Kinlochbervie Thursday 9 November 2006 Kinlochbervie Village Hall
Strathy/Armadale Monday 13 November 2006 Strathy Village Hall
Ardgay Wednesday 15 November 2006 Ardgay Village Hall
Portskerra/Melvich Thursday 16 November 2006 Melvich Village Hall
Bettyhill Monday 20 November 2006 Bettyhill Village Hall
Tongue Tuesday 21 November 2006 Tongue Village Hall
Golspie Thursday 23 November 2006 Golspie High School
Helmsdale Monday 27 November 2006 Helmsdale Community Centre
Edderton Tuesday 28 November 2006 Edderton Village Hall
Dornoch/Embo Thursday 30 November 2006 Dornoch Academy

Further advice about the Sutherland Local Plan consultation can be obtained from:
David Cowie ~ tel (01463) 702827; Brian MacKenzie ~ tel (01463) 702276; Katie Briggs ~ tel (01463) 702271 and Julie-Ann Acheson ~ tel (01463) 702266;
or Email: Sutherlandlp[AT]


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Advanced Local Plan aims for sustainable growth of Sutherland
A new draft of the Local Plan for Sutherland has been published and is currently open for consultation.   The Deposit Draft Local Plan documents - including an accompanying Revised Environmental Report - are available for the public to view at The Highland Council Service Points, Public Libraries and Post Offices in Sutherland throughout the consultation period.  

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