2 June 05
Inverness Economic Expansion Set To
A 96 CORRIDOR MASTERPLAN
A new community, serving a population of 10,000-plus, should be created on
the A 96 Inverness ~ Nairn road at Dalcross South - between Tornagrain and
Drumine Farm, near Gollanfield - to meet the long term needs of the
growing Inverness city region.
This is the main
recommendation of the first phase of the A 96 Corridor Masterplan, which
will be considered on Monday 6 June by members of The Highland Council's
City of Inverness and Area Committee and the Nairnshire Area Committee at
a joint briefing in the Town House, Inverness, by consultants FG Burnett
and Council planning officials.
The Masterplan, which sets
out a long-term sustainable vision for the A 96 Corridor between Inverness
and Nairn, earmarks 250 hectares of land in the ownership of Moray Estates
on the south side of the main road as a new settlement which could be
created to meet housing needs after 2011.
Access into the site would
be opened up by the construction of the £4.1 million Airport Access road,
which got underway last week. An 800-metre countryside separation buffer
will be maintained with the nearest major community at Croy. However, it
would integrate with the existing cluster of houses at Tornagrain. All
ground is held by Moray Estates and availability for development has been
The report also
A new community/resort
at the site of the former Ardersier Fabrication Yard for approximately
3000 people, subject to the outcome of feasibility studies into
transport links, public safety (contamination/flood risk), impact on
heritage designations and an agreed masterplan/contributions package.
Expansion of existing
settlements within the Corridor in accordance with housing allocations
contained in the current Inverness and Nairn Local Plans at Ardersier,
Croy, Culloden Moor/Sunnyside, Culloden and Nairn, together with various
smaller settlements. These will accommodate a further 1200 houses
Review of the scope for
additional long term development around the southern edge of Nairn and
the eastern margins of Inverness, linked explicitly to improvements to
the transport network, particularly further dualling of the A96:
provision of a Nairn bypass; and an interchange upgrade/bypass for
to reinforce the existing Local Plan policy presumption against further
development within the Corridor including sporadic housing in the
countryside, allied with a strategy to enhance the landscape/heritage
features and supplement recreational facilities including the network of
Major improvements to services, such as water and drainage, gas and
electricity are also essential if development is to take place.
The plan takes forward the Council~s policy development, building on the
approved Structure Plan, which identifies the need to identify a supply
of land for more than 10,000 new dwellings in the Inverness and Nairn
areas by the year 2017, as well as the Inverness City Vision, which
envisages the A 96 Corridor accommodating up to 30,000 more people over
the next 30-40 years.
The report notes that
there are already significant developments planned in the A 96 Corridor,
the Airport Business
Park, being promoted by a new Joint Venture Company, which is capable of
accommodating in excess of 250,000 square metres of new workspace and
facilities and generating more than 5,000 jobs;
the redevelopment of the
former Ardersier oil fabrication yard at Whiteness Head by a private
consortium which is preparing the creation of a mixed
proposals for a new
championship golf course, resort hotel and holiday lodges on ground west
of the Airport at Castle Stuart.
As well as existing major
development land allocations at Sandown, Nairn, and Stratton/Ashton/Seafield,
Inverness, the Council is also aware of developer interest in schemes on
the outskirts of both Inverness and Nairn.
Councillors will be asked
on Monday to support the A96 Corridor strategy proposals; and to agree a
cash limited contribution of £25,000 per year for the next two financial
years to progress a second phase of consultancy examining detailed
infrastructure needs and funding arrangements.