Affordable housing requirements for new Cairngorms developments increased

The implementation of a new Local Development Plan for the Cairngorms National Park has paved the way for an increase in the number of affordable homes required in new developments within the communities that have the greatest need.

Affordable housing requirements for new Cairngorms developments increased

In Aviemore, Ballater, Braemar and Blair Atholl any new housing developments are now required to deliver 45% affordable homes – up from 25% – to ensure there is sufficient supply going forward.

The board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) met online last month to agree to the new Local Development Plan (LDP2021) being formally adopted, replacing the previous five-year plan.

The Cairngorms National Park is the largest National Park in the UK and a significant tourist destination attracting two million visitors annually. As well as being home to 18,000 residents, the Park is a haven for rare wildlife and its landscapes and habitats are of national and international importance. As well as allocating sufficient land for development to support vibrant communities, the next LDP aims to ensure there is sufficient land for housing, jobs and services while protecting the landscape and environment.

Xander McDade, the CNPA’s board convener, said: “This new Local Development Plan will be good for the rural economy, for conservation and for visitors. There is the right balance between the amount of land set aside for development to deliver homes, jobs and services but with suitable protection for areas that are high in nature conservation or recreational value.

“I’m particularly pleased that we have the first Local Development Plan to include an increased commitment to 45% affordable housing in communities with the greatest need. This reinforces our commitment to be a Park for All and to ensure anyone who wishes to live and work in the National Park can do so.”

The CNPA planning committee followed immediately after the board meeting where members were asked to adopt seven items of non-statutory guidance to support LDP2021. Members approved guidance for:

  • Supporting Economic Growth
  • Natural Heritage
  • Landscape
  • Renewable Energy
  • Resources
  • Open Space, Sport and Recreation
  • Cultural Heritage

Two planning applications were also considered by the CNPA planning committee and they were assessed using the newly adopted LDP2021. A development of 23 new houses and garages with associated roads, infrastructure and landscaping in Kingussie and the erection of three houses and detached garages at Bridge of Gairn near Ballater in Aberdeenshire were both were approved subject to conditions.

CNPA Planning Committee Convener Gaener Rodger said: “I am delighted that we have now formally adopted the new Local Development Plan for the Cairngorms National Park which will help guide – not just our decision making – but that of the five local authorities that also cover the Park area.

“I wish to thank all those people who responded to consultations on the LDP over the last few years and particularly the planning team at the Park Authority for all their hard work.”

The CNPA board meeting papers are available here, while the CNPA planning committee papers can be read here.

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