22 December 2017
Key Council publications will help shape future of the Highlands

The latest outlook for future development and housing delivery across the Highlands has been announced by the Highland Council today (Thursday, 21 December 2017) together with measures to support the delivery of roads, schools and other infrastructure. 

The publication of a package of related documents – the ‘Housing Land Audit’, the ‘School Roll Forecasts’ and a new ‘Delivery Programme for the Inner Moray Firth area’ – aims to provide updated forecasts for housing delivery and clearer information on the requirements for development and infrastructure projects.  

All 3 documents are available on the council’s website at the following links:
•         www.highland.gov.uk/housinglandaudit
•         www.highland.gov.uk/deliveryprogramme
•         www.highland.gov.uk/schoolroll

These publications have been aligned for the first time to provide more accurate monitoring of infrastructure and development and allow the Council to better prioritise its investment decisions. 
The Housing Land Audit 2017 is an assessment of the housing land supply available in the Highland Council area as at 1st June 2017.  The audit sets out a programme of expected housing delivery over the initial 5 year period and the following 10 years and includes expectations for the delivery of new homes up to 2031.

The main findings are that the existing planned developments provide an adequate supply of available housing land across the Highland area. The publication follows a consultation earlier in the year which invited responses from developers, landowners, Housing Associations, public agencies and the public to help identify more accurate and realistic forecasts of housing delivery, and the timing of supporting infrastructure.

The School Roll Forecasts identify the expected pupil rolls for each of the primary and secondary schools across Highland over the next 15 years.  The forecasts, which are updated annually, incorporate a wide range of factors including the programmed rate of housing development (from the Housing Land Audit) population changes and school placing requests.

The new Delivery Programme for the Inner Moray Firth area is illustrated in a new online interactive map www.highland.gov.uk/deliveryprogramme.  The Council will be using it to monitor, implement and share details of the actions needed to support forecasted housing growth within the Inner Moray Firth area. The Delivery Programme will be used to coordinate investment in development and infrastructure and will be revised and amended as infrastructure is delivered, opportunities for new development are presented and as pressures change over time.

Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of the Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee said: “The alignment of these publications provides the Council with detailed and up to date information on where development will happen and what infrastructure is needed.” 

Councillor Andrew Baxter, Chair of the Council’s People Committee added: “These publications allow for better prioritisation of council resources and more informed investment decisions, which is particularly welcome when planning for the Council services and school estate to support future communities.”