What are Local Place Plans?
The Callander Local Place Plan will be a plan for how our community wants to see our place developed. It is about the town, the land around it, and most importantly the community that lives here. It is an important document. The final legislation around delivery of LPPs has yet to be decided but it is expected to go before the Scottish Parliament early next year.
The official version
Local Place Plans (LPP) must, if they are to be registered by your local authority, comply with legal requirements.
Local Place Plans must belong to the local community. Aspirations, priorities and projects should emerge from and be co-designed with the local community, through inclusive and robust community engagement and development.
As proposals for the development and use of land, Local Place Plans should express a clear vision for the future, including a spatial map, and key actions to deliver that future vision.
Local Place Plans may contain a variety of proposals, from physical proposals like improvements to community facilities, new homes, and better streets and public spaces; to less tangible proposals like action to support mental and physical health, economic opportunity or community activities.
Local Place Plans should be solutions focused. Actions should be as specific as possible. For example, if a local community aspires to have more homes or jobs, the Local Place Plan should specify what kinds of homes and where they should go, or what type of jobs or enterprise and where.
Proposals contained in Local Place Plans should be realistic and deliverable. Some may be quick wins that can be completed in a few months, others might take a lot more planning and many years to deliver.
Local Place Plans are tools to support community empowerment, to shape future land use planning policy, to influence public service delivery, and to tackle strategic agendas such as the climate emergency, health and wellbeing, inequalities and economic opportunity.
Where possible, Local Place Plan boundaries should reflect local community boundaries.
What does this mean in practice?
Callander, like all settlements within LLTNP, is governed by 2 statutory authorities. Planning decisions are taken by the National Park, but infrastructure decisions (streets, schools, services, community facilities) are in the power of Stirling Council.
The LPP is the way in which we can work with our planning authority to build our community wishes into any future developments. If our LPP is accepted by the Park, then it must be incorporated into their Development Plans.
The whole community needs to be consulted to reach this point. So, we want to make it easy for the thoughts and opinions of all our residents in this settlement to be heard. Whether they contributed to previous Community Action Plans or not, this time everyone is encouraged to make their voice heard. If Callander’s LPP is to carry proper weight, the National Park must agree with our vision. That means that our vision must be clear, coherent, and more than anything backed wholeheartedly by the community.
However, and this is a very important point, we must deliver our LPP to the Park (as our planning authority) but not to Stirling Council. This means that the Park might support Callander’s ambitions, but Stirling council can ignore our requests without any explanation. This situation is unique to communities within the LLTTNP and we have asked our MSPs to raise this anomaly with the minister responsible for LPP legislation.
What can we put into the LPP?
The LPP can consider all the ways in which our town can be physically developed. The official overview of LPPs encourages communities to plan for more. However, if the overwhelming response of our community is that it feels (for example) that no more new homes are desirable, we are free to express that choice. This is also true of all existing plans for land use within Callander Community Council’s boundaries.
We can also set out plans to enhance and protect our natural environment, indicate where any new development (if any) should take place, set out design principles for any type of new developments and protect those landscapes that make Callander a great place to live.
What limitations are there?
All of this, and especially any deviation from existing plans will have to be backed up with strong evidence of community support and clearly thought through reasoning.
The old CAP documents were aspirational and included ambitions (notably around infrastructure) that relied heavily on external agencies to deliver the community’s ambitions. The LLP will need to be realistic, deliverable and meet properly identified need or demand.
We will have to be specific as to which authority, or partner, we expect to deliver our community aspirations. We are aware, for example, that Stirling Council refuse to consider building a pedestrian bridge at the east end of town, despite our community asking for this since 2008. If you decide this is a priority in 2022 we will need to leverage significant support from Holyrood to make it happen.
It is important to remember that it is not easy to intervene in market forces, but we can encourage the statutory authorities to take steps to encourage new businesses, or industries, into the town through economic incentives and marketing campaigns.