Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan

November 2022

After the consultation - what next?

Consultation on the second Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan closed in June.  The Highland Council website contains no indication as to whether any further changes to the plan might be made in the light of the consultation, or what the procedure or timescale for the adoption of the plan might be.  We asked Highland Council Principal Planner Tim Stott for information on this, and he has responded with a link to a report to a meeting of the council's Black Isle Committee  on 15 November.

Some related documents

Proposed plan and comments  on the consultation 'portal'
Proposed plan full download  (56.5 Mb)
Delivery programme  (currently applicable to the first IMFLDP adopted in 2015).
Active Travel Masterplans  (these don't seem to amount to much; the Peffery way is mentioned in passing under Dingwall, and the Avoch - Munlochy link does not seem to be mentioned at all).

March 2022

Proposed Plan open for consultation

Following the Main Issues consultation carried out last year (see below) Highland Council has now published the second Inner Moray Firth Proposed Local Development Plan.  The proposed plan is open for consultation until 17 June 2022.

To take part in the consultation, go to and click on 'View the proposed plan'.  This takes you to the consultation portal, which displays a main content pane and a menu / navigation pane on the left.  Using this you can look at the general sections of the plan, or by going to 'Section 4 - Places' see the details of what is proposed for individual 'main settlements', 'economic development areas' and 'growing settlements' in the inner Moray Firth area.  Each section or place has an 'Add comment' link beside it on the right.  On first use of this link you will be asked to log in if you have responded on the portal before, or to register if you have not, and you can then add your comments.

The council website also has links to two videos, one giving general information about the plan, and the other with detailed instructions for using the portal to submit comments; and also to a list of background documents related to the plan (including 'Active Travel Masterplans').

To achieve the best long term planning outcome for the area, including the Black Isle, it is important that as many people as possible find time to look at the proposed plan, in particular as it relates to their own locality, and make their views known if they feel that changes are required.  This is your last chance to influence the development of your local area for many years to come.

From the consultation 'portal'

This is the second Inner Moray Firth Proposed Local Development Plan which sets out the Council's view on how the Plan area should develop over the next 10 years and beyond.

This Plan seeks to deliver defined outcomes for communities, employment, connectivity and the environment but with particular emphasis on post pandemic economic recovery and addressing the Climate and Ecological Emergency. The Plan makes policy, placemaking priority and development site choices that best balance both environmental sustainability and economic viability for both the public and private sector. These choices will mean that the Plan will be practicable and positive for the area.

The Plan was prepared and refined by considering comments submitted during its preparation, including the Main Issues Report consultation held during 2021. On behalf of the Council we thank all those who have shown interest in the Plan so far. We would encourage everyone with an opinion to visit our website(1) and tell us what you think.


 December 2021

After the consultation - formulating the plan

From Tim Stott, Highland Council Principal Planner

  • You will recall that you responded to this document’s consultation at the beginning of 2021. The 7 relevant Council committees have now considered all comments and have decided which policy and development site options the Council wishes to take forward to the next Plan stage. 
  • That stage is called the Proposed Plan and will commence in March 2022, when we will invite formal objections (and other positive comments) on the Council’s choice of policies and development sites. 
  • You can view the Council’s choices via the committee links on this webpage
  • For those with an interest in housing requirements then the second draft 2020 Housing Need and Demand Assessment has now been published.   
  • We will contact you again in March 2022 with a link to the fully prepared document and details of how to lodge formal representations.

View the Black Isle Committee's report


June 2021

Consultation responses available to view

All responses submitted to the consultation on the IMFLDP Main issues Report which closed on 30 April can now be viewed  here  in a layout similar to that of the consultation.

To see comments, browse using the left hand, expandable section headings to find what issue/place interests you and then click on VIEW COMMENTS. You don’t need to register. 


April 2021

TBI response to Local Plan consultation

Sheils Currie and Julian Paren have drafted a response on behalf of TBI to the comprehensive and detailed Main Issues Report, consultation on which is the first stage in the preparation of a new Local Development Plan for the inner Moray Firth area.

Their response welcomes the recognition in the report of the importance of climate change and empowerment of local communities, and emphasises that the new plan must take full account of TBI's core concerns of local food growing and supply, safe active travel routes accessible to every community and good public transport provision, and positive action to reduce waste, particularly of food and plastic.

Read the draft TBI response

Read more about the Development Plan and consultation below.  We recommend that you read the Main Issues Report, particularly the section relating to your local community, and exercise your right - and responsibility - to make your own submission with comments, complaints or suggestions.  This is the stage at which representations from the public will have most effect.  We offer some help with responding below.

Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan

The Highland Council is preparing a second local development plan for the inner Moray Firth (covering Nairnshire, Inverness District and the eastern part of Ross and Cromarty), which will when adopted replace the Inner Moray Firth Local Development plan 2015.

The Main Issues Report, published on 29 January 2021, asks for people's views on 9 Main Issues affecting the area, including climate change, economic recovery and delivering affordable housing.  It suggests ways in which local planning policy and decisions can best address these issues.  It also asks for people's views on development site options for every main settlement.

Consultation on the main issues report

The Main Issues Report can be viewed online  or downloaded as a 298 page PDF file.

Consultation on the report has been extended until 5.00 on Friday 30 April.

This is a consultation document and does not represent the approved planning policy of the Highland Council.  Its contents, as yet, are not used in the determination of planning applications.  Instead, it sets out the Council's initial ideas and preferences for the future planning of the Inner Moray Firth area in a way that is intended to prompt debate and comment.

Responding to the consultation is not particularly simple, and requires registration with email confirmation, then login, then making general comments or ticking buttons in response boxes which pop up at relevant points in an activated version of the document.  A draft response can be saved and returned to before final submission.

To begin a response to the consultation document, go to this link and click on Register.  After entering your details and agreeing the conditions you will see a message saying you will be sent an email (don't click 'Login' in this message, check your email).  The email will contain a link, which you may have to cut and paste into your browser, to go to a page with a 'Login' link you do click, and you will then have to select the IMFLDP from among other consultations on the portal.  You may still have to click 'Go to Event' to access the main document, which will now have 'Add comment' buttons which enable you to answer specific questions or make general comments as appropriate.  If you leave your response and return to it, you will need to log in again, and should see 'Your current submission is in draft' in the top left hand corner.

Highland Council has produced two explanatory videos, one about the plan and consultation in general, and one with specific instructions for registering and making responses.  This video over-simplifies the process, and doesn't say anything about the confirmation email or selecting the IMFLDP consultation on the portal.

If all this sounds too complicated or you do not have access to the internet, the Development Plans Team offer to provide a paper form for you to submit your comments. Email  or call   01349 886608
or download it from our document library.

Download Main Issues Report PDF
Highland Council IMFLDP website

General video
Register / respond video

Map of Plan area

What are the steps in making the Plan?

This is the first of several versions of the Plan.  Each successive version becomes more detailed and more definitive as the Council's view on development within the Inner Moray Firth area. 
.   .   .   .
This Main Issues Report's primary purpose is to prompt public debate and written comment on how the Council and others should shape future development of the area.

We will collate and analyse all comments, seek further input and then publish a Proposed Plan version of the document in around a year's time.  This will then be the Council's "settled position" on many details of how and where development should happen including for example what developers will be required to do to receive planning permission on any given site.  This too will be consulted upon but with an emphasis on testing the Council's position.  Those disagreeing with the Council's view have a right of objection which, if unresolved, is referred to a Scottish Government appointed person called a Reporter for their decision.  Thereafter the Council publishes a final version of the Plan incorporating changes recommended by the Reporter.


Environmental report - SEA

A detailed Strategic Environmental Assessment  accompanies the Main Issues report.  This can be accessed  as a downloadable 65 page PDF file

Individual site assessments with more detail can be viewed
as an interactive map 
as an Excel spreadsheet

Commenting on the Environmental report is simply by emailing  before 5.00 on Friday 30 April.


Map of Local Development Plan area



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