Highland Council is to shut 14 public toilets and restrict opening times at others to help it save more than £320,000 over the next two years. Boat of Garten in the Cairngorms National Park will shut.
Cairngorms National Park - Highland Perthshire, Aviemore, Glenlivet, Royal Deeside
Set against the spectacular backdrop of the Cairngorm mountains and ancient Scots Pine Forests, Aviemore and The Cairngorms National Park remains Scotland's favourite all year round visitor destination. Whether you're skiing, snow boarding, climbing, walking or just touring, you'll be doing it in some of Europe's finest and most spectacular National Park.
Friday, 11 March 2011
Fire crews are investigating the cause of a blaze which damaged part of a 13th Century Scottish castle in the Cairngorms National Park. The fire, which broke out at about 2035 GMT on Thursday evening, ripped through the clock tower at Blair Castle near Blair Atholl, Cairngorms National Park. Firefighters contained the blaze and prevented it from spreading to the rest of the building. Blair Castle is the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl and dates back about 740 years. Seven fire crews battled to extinguish the blaze at the height of the blaze and three fire engines are still at the scene. A Tayside Police spokesman said there was a "significant amount of damage" to the clock tower. He said no-one was injured and the cause of the fire had not yet been determined. A spokeswoman for Tayside Fire and Rescue Service said the roof and second floor of the clock tower had collapsed into the first floor. www.blair-castle.co.uk
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Guidance on the amount of affordable housing developers will be expected to contribute when building in the Cairngorms National Park has been officially adopted.
Meeting in Nethy Bridge on Friday 4 March 2011, the Planning Committee of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) welcomed this as a step to getting more housing in the Park that is affordable for people on modest incomes.
CNPA Strategic Policy Officer, Alison Lax, said: "Research shows there is a lack of affordable housing in the Park. We highlighted this as a priority in the National Park Plan 2007-2012 and it led to a specific policy in the Local Plan to address it. This guidance is for developers to use and for Local Authorities and us as planning authority to deliver so we can work towards addressing the problem."
It means that for every house built within the Park that can be sold on the open market, a contribution must be made towards the provision of affordable housing:
Developments of three or more dwellings will be required to incorporate a proportion of the total number of units as affordable housing.
Development solely for affordable housing will be favourably considered.
Where public funding is available to help provide affordable housing, between 25% and 40% of all units will be expected to be affordable.
Where less than one third of the total cost of the development is available through public funding, the developer will be required to provide 25% affordable housing on a site.
If it can be demonstrated that an off-site contribution would better meet a community's housing needs, then an alternative solution will be negotiated with the developer. This may include a cash payment towards the provision of affordable housing at another location. The guide for this financial contribution is currently £25,000 per unit for developments of three or more houses.
Proposals for one and two open market dwellings will also be required to make a contribution towards affordable housing. This will be a cash payment towards the meeting of housing need in the local area and the guide is £1,250 for one house and £2,500 for two houses.
Proposals for off-site contributions will be considered where community needs assessments, or similar assessments, support this as a better way of meeting the housing needs of the community.
Planning Committee Chairman, Duncan Bryden, added: "Planning is about community building. High house prices and developer activity in new build and renovations over past years reflect that for many people from across the UK, the Cairngorms National Park is a very desirable place to live and visit. But, we have a responsibility to people who want to work and raise families in Park communities. We must do what we can to enable affordable housing to be provided in the right places.
"240 affordable houses have been built in the Park since it was established and until quite recently housing developers and trades benefited from a growing market. For the sake of local employment and the Park economy it is important that they can continue to operate with reasonable profit margins. Equally, as the economic climate has now put the squeeze on access to mortgages and finance, the need for affordable housing in the Park is even more pressing. Developer contributions from 'open market projects' will help towards building essential levels of quality, affordable housing for local people working in important services and helping our communities thrive."
The Planning Committee has also approved draft Supplementary Planning Guidance to support the Cairngorms National Park Local Plan on:
* Carbon Emissions
* Developer Contributions
These will be available for public consultation from 21 March to 29 April 2011 during which copies and details of how to comment will be available on our website or by contacting the CNPA office in Grantown-on-Spey or Ballater.
Monday, 7 March 2011
Friday, 4 March 2011
On 24th Feb, Vladimir, Amur tiger, was transferred to a new tiger facility at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. This move was recommended by the European breeding programme coordinator for Amur tigers, who is based at London Zoo. At almost 2 years old, Vlad was at the right age to be moved to another zoo as he was becoming more independent and a move at this time mirrors what would happen in the wild. His new companion will be a female from a Bulgarian zoo who will be arriving in Yorkshire shortly. Vlad’s move leaves us with his mother, Sasha, and two sisters, all of whom seem very relaxed about his departure. There is no intention to bring in another potential breeding male just yet as Sasha is past breeding age, and her daughters are not old enough....more info