Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee has recommended that Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee formally approve and adopt the Grantown-on-Spey Conservation Area Management Plan.
At today’s meeting of the Area Committee members also noted comments from the public following the recent consultation for the proposed Conservation Area Management Plan (CAMP) for the Strathspey town.
The CAMP was written under the guidance of a wide stakeholder group including representatives of many local groups and organisations.
It highlights buildings at risk, underused and vacant buildings, inappropriate or negative development and public realm works and areas that should be targeted for future development.
Chair of the Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee, Cllr Russell Jones said:
“Improving the built environment can have wide-ranging benefits across the local community, including generating a sense of civic pride, investment and tourism.
“The approval today of the CAMP allows identification of more recent development within the Conservation Area that can be managed more proportionately in relation to design, materials and other alterations thereby effectively relaxing restrictions for more recent properties.”
The public consultation was launched via The Council’s consultation portal on 6 February 2023.
A public drop-in event was held in Grantown on 15 February to allow interested parties and residents to hear more about the Management Plan, and to discuss any concerns or issues with officers.
It was attended by 46 individuals representing a good cross-section of the local community, including residents and business owners.
Overall, the event resulted in extensive feedback, which is summarised in Item 5 of this report.
In total, 10 responses were received through the Council’s consultation portal and via email.
Two requests for paper copies of the report were received and these were issued.
Two electronic versions of the report were also emailed to respondents.
The main issues teased out during consultation were Energy Efficiency/Climate Resilience, High Street, public realm and character areas.
Other issues raised included trees, loss of architectural detail and original features, buildings at risk/vulnerable buildings, maintenance and repair, and education and awareness.
Following member approval today the draft Grantown-on-Spey Conservation Area Management Plan will be presented to the Economy and Infrastructure Committee on 17 August 2023 for final adoption.
What does Conservation area status mean?
In a conservation area, it is both the buildings and the spaces between them that are of architectural or historic interest.
Planning management is therefore directed at maintaining the integrity of the entire area and enhancing its special character.
Conservation area status does not mean that new development is unacceptable, but care must be taken to ensure that the new development will not harm the character or appearance of the area.
Trees, in recognition of their contribution to the character and appearance of a conservation area, are also subject to additional controls.