Again, I try to summarise the policy proposals and give my comments on these. Your feedback, especially before 20th January, would be appreciated.
Development in Countryside: divides Aberdeenshire into 3 : Accessible (around Aberdeen and the A90 and A96 corridors), Regeneration priority (Peterhead-Fraserburgh and the Moray coast) and Rural (everything else). In Accessible, small scale developments suitable for Green Belt will be allowed plus refurbishment/replacement of existing. For Rural, add economic development proposals, max 3 houses close to edge of existing settlements, or single house for retirement succession of viable farm holding. (Rural includes Regeneration).
Wind Energy: technical rules re roads/railways, flights, TV reception, ice throw shadow flicker, noise, visual intrusion. Impacts on Core Paths and Cumulative Impact. Reference to existing Supplementary Planning Guidance.
Other renewable energy: sympathetic if well sited and designed.
Minerals: Reference to maps indicting area of search (not published in these documents - I will ask for copy), sand and gravel - 15 years supply maximum, cumulative impact considered if 3 more more consents for landfill for mineral extraction within 5km of a settlement, explicit reference to buffer zones etc.
Coastal Development: similar to existing policy - limited to developments requiring coastal location and where social and economic benefits outweigh adverse environmental impacts and no alternative site. List of other hurdles - coalescence of settlements, character and amenity, flooding, water quality, coastal processes or habitats. I make no comment!
Green Belt: extensions to existing; agri/forestry/horiticulture/nature conservation; recreation use compatible with countryside; sensitive restoration; worker in primary industry rerquired on-site; National Priority; Safeguarded resources in Areas of search (see Minerals above). Comment that development in Green Belt may reduced travel compared to development beyond.
The 3 houses on edge of rural settlements seems a pragmatic way to allow organic growth - but it will be interesting to see what happens with the maximum 20% in any 5 year period limit. It seems odd to allow retiring farmers in Rural but not in Accessible - the social factors are similar. I'll need to see the maps for Minerals areas of search. Coastal and Green Belt - very similar to existing. However, we were also expecting a review of the Green Belt maps in this local plan and as a result of the AWPR. We need this.
Is Britain governed better than America? - Time and again the examples of clever thinking being applied to crack a long-running American problem are things Europeans have been doing for years.
3 hours ago