How can the Proposed Plan best protect prime agricultural land to support food security whilst allowing some development at the edge of towns?
We consider that the protection of prime agricultural land in the Carse of Gowrie generally and in the Braes of the Carse area specifically should be of prime concern both in TAYplan and in P & K’s Local Development Plan. This area has productive fields that, in the main are good quality and cropped intensively. They provide employment for farmers, farmer workers, food processors and shops providing local produce. On a local basis there are therefore sound financial reasons why such agricultural land should now be protected and retained. There are also many important non-financial reasons why the retention of agricultural land is important. The Braes of the Carse area provides a unique combination of gently undulating farmland with hedges and field boundary trees, mixed woodland and historic orchards. We consider that the rural landscape requires protection and further comments are made in response to Q13 in this connection.
The authorities involved in TAYplan make play of their “green” credentials and we would suggest that issues of sustainability will become of increasing importance and concern in the future. We believe that locally produced food will play an increasingly important part of our future economy. This will be of not only local but also national and global importance. To allow housing or other development on our prime agricultural land resulting in its permanent loss would run contrary to the authorities’ own avowed green ethos and widely held current thinking as it would have detrimental effects on sustainability and increased food miles.


Do you agree that the settlements identified in figure 9.1 are the region’s Principal Settlements?
Agree

Which Spatial Strategy Option do you think the Proposed Plan should include?
Strategy A

Please tell us why you have chosen this option
We are very strongly of the opinion that Strategy A should be included in the Proposed Plan for the following reasons.
(a) We are all aware of current economic climate and it is generally accepted that this is unlikely to improve in the short to medium term. If this assumption is correct it will be absolutely vital that all money spent on costly infrastructure required for future development is spent so as to maximise benefit. Strategy A focuses development on Dundee and Perth where the existing infrastructure could be expanded and improved in the most cost effective manner. Strategy A would maximise the ability to deliver development and transport infrastructure that would have economic benefits to the wider area and would result in development in areas best suited for it.
(b) The Carse of Gowrie, and in particular the Braes of the Carse, is an area of remarkable natural beauty of which we should be proud. It provides a unique combination of gently undulating fertile farmland with hedges and field boundary trees, a network of predominantly unclassified roads with scattered trees, shrubs and wild flowers, large estates including Fingask and Rossie Priory both Designated Landscapes, mixed woodland and historic orchards. It is an area where, particularly north of the A90, villages have by and large retained their original character. They fit well into the existing landscape, many houses fronting directly on to the unclassified single track road network and villages nestled into the valleys or at the foothills of the Braes. These hamlets have a long established sense of place and community and have evolved sympathetically in their rural setting. These are places that have evolved a characteristic form of development that cannot be replicated on a large scale and deserve to be cherished and conserved not expanded to the prejudice of existing and future generations of residents and visitors. The accepted need to develop requires to be balanced with the need to preserve the historic and the natural environment. We consider that there is adequate land capacity for growth in the existing Principal Settlements and are extremely concerned that Strategy B would result in over development in the Carse of Gowrie corridor disregarding its rural situation. The danger would be that a vast anonymous development could be created lacking any pivotal points and completely out of keeping with the small communities in the area.
(c) The Carse of Gowrie is an area of great biodiversity including designated areas on the River Tay. There is significant land capacity within the Principal Settlements and therefore no need to develop in areas with existing nature conservation interest and which would be contrary to the Biodiversity Action Plan.
(d) Strategy A reduces the contribution to climate change as it reduces the need to travel. Development of the Carse of Gowrie as envisaged in Strategy B would inevitably increase travel demand as there are limited local services and most residents work and socialise in either Perth or Dundee. There is a limited public transport system and inevitably there would be an increased car use with its detrimental effects on the environment with carbon emissions. The existing roads infrastructure in the Carse, and in particular in the Braes of the Carse area is totally inadequate for any significant development.
(e)We have already mentioned (in response to Q8) the importance that we feel locally produced food will have to our future economy and Strategy B, which countenances significant development of the Carse of Gowrie for housing with the consequent permanent loss of prime agricultural land, would reduce our ability to provide local produce and would not deliver sustainable development or promote sustainable food security.
(f) We do not consider that significant development in the Carse of Gowrie is appropriate due to the risk of flooding. The Strategic Environmental Assessment indicates that large areas within the Carse are already at medium to high flood risk which would increase with any sea level rise. The land north of the Higher Carse road is steeply rising land and its valleys form the route for the natural water courses that run off into the flood plain. As a result of the topography and soils the flood plain land has significant water run offs and this results in regular flooding. In some areas the existing drainage system and the ancient “Pows” cannot cope with the existing water and consequently there are problems with repeated flooding and serious drainage issues that affect both residential property and agricultural land, inspite of much money spent on maintenance of these systems. As well as risk to any new development we are concerned that increased water run-off would exacerbate existing problem areas. With climate change we are told that rainfall is likely to increase and the Carse therefore has the twin threat of flooding from rising sea levels and increased rainfall. Schemes to protect areas from all types of flooding are costly and, as stated previously, in the current and likely future economic climate optimising investment is key. Money spent to alleviate flood risk in terms of Strategy A would maximise its benefit.

To summarise, we wish to fully endorse each of the reasons given in the MIR justifying Strategy A as the TAYplan preferred spatial strategy.

 

If you would like to make any other comments please do so.
As a general principle we feel that development of existing small settlements should not encroach on agricultural land and that the pace and scale of all development should always be appropriate to the existing character and density of the settlement so that such small settlements are not “swamped” and they retain their sense of community.

 

TAYplan Main Issues Report (MIR) was recently issued for consultation. The role of TAYplan is to prepare and maintain a Strategic Development Plan for the area covered by four Councils, being Perth & Kinross, Angus, Dundee City, and Fife (principally NE Fife). It addresses the main strategic and cross-border issues and options in these four areas. It covers the next 20 years, and is a stage in the process that will culminate in a Local Development Plan.
The TAYplan MIR presents options for the scale of growth and for where development should and should not be in Angus, Dundee City, Perth & Kinross and North Fife and it asks for our views on these and other issues. Comment is more effective at this stage because the options are still open.  It is likely to be less so later in the preparation process for the Strategic Development Plan.
You can comment on TAYplan NOW!.  This consultation period only runs until 2 July 2010.  Copies of TAYplan MIR are available in Libraries, and on line at www.tayplan-sdpa.gov.uk/       just go to Main Issues Report Consultation.  You have to register to submit your comments but it is a fairly painless process and by registering you should be kept up to date automatically.
BCCG intends to submit a formal comment on the TAYplan MIR and we want to make sure we are reflecting the collective views of our members.  We already have views from some members but it is important that you let us have your comments no later than 14th June 2010 so that we have plenty of time to formulate our response.  Please either make your comments known to any committee member or email them direct to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For the views of our members to have maximum impact we would, however, also encourage you to register on the website and respond directly to TAYplan.  You can get more detailed information about TAYplan MIR from the website on which you can base your comments.  The text of the BCCG comment will be made available later. Please feel free to use any of our comments to supplement your own if you wish.
BCCG reps attended a workshop for community councils and organisations held by Perth & Kinross Council in May and were extremely concerned to learn of one of TAYplan’s possible development strategies.
Although Spatial Stategy B is not TAYplan’s “preferred” option it is an option for consideration and, if ultimately adopted, would, without exaggeration, irreversibly change the face of the Carse of Gowrie!!!
2 so-called “Spatial Strategy” options have been developed.
Strategy A concentrates development in the principal settlements of Perth and Dundee.
Strategy B, rather than concentrating development mainly in Perth and Dundee looks to spread the Perth housing requirement over a much larger area and specifically focuses on the Carse of Gowrie corridor.  This could mean not just hundreds but potentially thousands of new houses in the Carse either in the form of a completely new town or the increase in size of existing settlements.
Strategy A is currently the preferred spatial strategy because it is seen as more sustainable and has less resource implications.  It is the best option to reduce the need to travel and would support the regeneration of Dundee and reverse the population decline there.  It would maximise the ability to deliver development and transport infrastructure to the north and west of the town of Perth itself and in general optimises the opportunity for investment in required infrastructure.  Importantly, from our point of view, it is also acknowledged that Strategy A would not lead to over development of smaller settlements (primarily in the Carse) unsuited for growth. (By implication it is accepted that Strategy B would do so!)
SUBJECT TO CONTRARY VIEWS FROM OUR MEMBERS, BCCG INTENDS TO STRONGLY EXPRESS A VIEW THAT THE REASONING BEHIND SELECTING STRATEGY A AS THE PREFERRED OPTION IS CORRECT.  TO PROTECT THE BRAES OF THE CARSE IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT SPATIAL STRATEGY A IS ADOPTED IN TAYPLAN.
What happens next? After the consultation period has closed, TAYplan MIR will be redrafted in light of everyone’s comments and a Proposed Strategic Development Plan will be issued with a further consultation period (although it will be much more difficult to influence matters at this later stage). Ministerial approval eventually has to be obtained (likely to be around April 2013) and it then becomes the Strategic Development Plan for this area.
In parallel, and starting around September 2010, the Perth & Kinross Local Development Plan Main Issues Report will be issued and followed by a 12 week consultation period. There will be public meetings and opportunities for anyone to comment, object and make proposals.  The TAYplan MIR is at a strategic level but the PKC MIR is where they get down to looking at specific development areas in the Braes of the Carse and other areas.  BCCG intends, of course, to canvas its members views and to then comment on behalf of its members at this stage and will be encouraging its members to comment individually too.  The PKC MIR will, however, need to be in line with and implement the strategy previously agreed in the TAYplan MIR.  It is therefore important that for us to be able to have the most influence and impact at this later local stage, we need TAYplan Spatial Strategy A to be the approved strategy.
TAYplan Main Issues Report (MIR) was recently issued for consultation. The role of TAYplan is to prepare and maintain a Strategic Development Plan for the area covered by four Councils, being Perth & Kinross, Angus, Dundee City, and Fife (principally NE Fife). It addresses the main strategic and cross-border issues and options in these four areas. It covers the next 20 years, and is a stage in the process that will culminate in a Local Development Plan.
The TAYplan MIR presents options for the scale of growth and for where development should and should not be in Angus, Dundee City, Perth & Kinross and North Fife and it asks for our views on these and other issues. Comment is more effective at this stage because the options are still open.  It is likely to be less so later in the preparation process for the Strategic Development Plan.
You can comment on TAYplan NOW!.  This consultation period only runs until 2 July 2010.  Copies of TAYplan MIR are available in Libraries, and on line at www.tayplan-sdpa.gov.uk/ just go to Main Issues Report Consultation.  You have to register to submit your comments but it is a fairly painless process and by registering you should be kept up to date automatically.
BCCG intends to submit a formal comment on the TAYplan MIR and we want to make sure we are reflecting the collective views of our members.  We already have views from some members but it is important that you let us have your comments no later than 14th June 2010 so that we have plenty of time to formulate our response.  Please either make your comments known to any committee member or email them direct to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For the views of our members to have maximum impact we would, however, also encourage you to register on the website and respond directly to TAYplan.  You can get more detailed information about TAYplan MIR from the website on which you can base your comments.  The text of the BCCG comment will be made available later. Please feel free to use any of our comments to supplement your own if you wish.
BCCG reps attended a workshop for community councils and organisations held by Perth & Kinross Council in May and were extremely concerned to learn of one of TAYplan’s possible development strategies.
Although Spatial Stategy B is not TAYplan’s “preferred” option it is an option for consideration and, if ultimately adopted, would, without exaggeration, irreversibly change the face of the Carse of Gowrie!!!
2 so-called “Spatial Strategy” options have been developed.
Strategy A concentrates development in the principal settlements of Perth and Dundee.
Strategy B, rather than concentrating development mainly in Perth and Dundee looks to spread the Perth housing requirement over a much larger area and specifically focuses on the Carse of Gowrie corridor.  This could mean not just hundreds but potentially thousands of new houses in the Carse either in the form of a completely new town or the increase in size of existing settlements.
Strategy A is currently the preferred spatial strategy because it is seen as more sustainable and has less resource implications.  It is the best option to reduce the need to travel and would support the regeneration of Dundee and reverse the population decline there.  It would maximise the ability to deliver development and transport infrastructure to the north and west of the town of Perth itself and in general optimises the opportunity for investment in required infrastructure.  Importantly, from our point of view, it is also acknowledged that Strategy A would not lead to over development of smaller settlements (primarily in the Carse) unsuited for growth. (By implication it is accepted that Strategy B would do so!)
SUBJECT TO CONTRARY VIEWS FROM OUR MEMBERS, BCCG INTENDS TO STRONGLY EXPRESS A VIEW THAT THE REASONING BEHIND SELECTING STRATEGY A AS THE PREFERRED OPTION IS CORRECT.  TO PROTECT THE BRAES OF THE CARSE IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT SPATIAL STRATEGY A IS ADOPTED IN TAYPLAN.

What happens next? After the consultation period has closed, TAYplan MIR will be redrafted in light of everyone’s comments and a Proposed Strategic Development Plan will be issued with a further consultation period (although it will be much more difficult to influence matters at this later stage). Ministerial approval eventually has to be obtained (likely to be around April 2013) and it then becomes the Strategic Development Plan for this area.
In parallel, and starting around September 2010, the Perth & Kinross Local Development Plan Main Issues Report will be issued and followed by a 12 week consultation period. There will be public meetings and opportunities for anyone to comment, object and make proposals.  The TAYplan MIR is at a strategic level but the PKC MIR is where they get down to looking at specific development areas in the Braes of the Carse and other areas.  BCCG intends, of course, to canvas its members views and to then comment on behalf of its members at this stage and will be encouraging its members to comment individually too.  The PKC MIR will, however, need to be in line with and implement the strategy previously agreed in the TAYplan MIR.  It is therefore important that for us to be able to have the most influence and impact at this later local stage, we need TAYplan Spatial Strategy A to be the approved strategy.

Thanks to all who took the time to attend the open meeting of the Braes of the Carse Conservation Group on Thursday 4th March.

A highly informative and social evening with contributions from Graham Nicholson on historical aspects of the Braes of the Carse, David Littlejohn on Planning Issues and Andrea Partridge on local historic orchards.

Thank you for your support.