Cairngorms National Park Authority have produced consulation drafts of their interim planning policies:
2: Radio Telecommunications Masts - NEMT response
3: Vehicle Hill Tracks - NEMT response
NEMT have responded to both documents.
I am writing on behalf of the North East Mountain Trust with some comments on the above draft.
1) We are pleased to see that the document specifically refers to the need to get the support of Local Authorities to protect the park from unsightly developments outwith the park which adversely affect its setting or important views from within the park.
2) The document notes that people living within the park need good telecommunication networks. We support this view. The issue of appropriate development for the vulnerable / valuable areas and appropriate development for the low level community areas is likely to come up for a number of different aspects. There would appear to be a case for some form of zoning to help guide the treatment of planning applications. Agreeing principles for such zoning now would be a useful step forward.
3) We are pleased to see the "strong presumption against further development" in the prepositions noted on page 6 and would like to see this wording repeated in the actual policy as set out on page 7 where the weaker phrase "will be permitted" is used.
4) The policy on page 7 states "the proposal has no adverse impact on the landscape or cultural heritage of the park". It is difficult to see how any telecommunications installation cannot have an impact. Guidance needs to be given on what level of adverse impact would be unacceptable, given the fact that this is likely to vary (see comment 2 above).
5) On page 5, the document refers to the need to return any redundant sites to an "appropriate natural state". Guidance needs to be given on how this will be decided. Will this be by park officials or will external expertise be used?
I hope that you find these comments useful.
Please let the webmaster know if there are problems with viewing these pages or with the links they contain.