Look Back at – Place – Cairngorms Views

Place

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Place

Since its inception in 2003, the Cairngorms National Park has been most successful when a broad range of people come together to find the right solutions for their specific area. Over the next few years, there are a number of significant challenges around housing, transport and tourism that we need to address collectively. Finding the right solutions to make a significant difference for our residents and visitors will not be easy, particularly as we must do so with nature and climate at the heart of everything we do.

The work that has taken place already – such as increasing affordable housing provision to 45% in certain towns – is a step in the right direction; however, we now need more radical solutions if we are to truly deliver the desired objectives and outcomes. 

The Place section of this draft plan sets out the overall outcome we are seeking to achieve, alongside a series of long-term objectives for the National Park. These are supported by a detailed policy framework and a series of actions we plan to take over the next five years. 


The consultation on the draft Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan is now closed. You can still view the plan objectives below, or click here to download a pdf version.

Check out our latest news section for all the latest updates or email haveyoursay@cairngorms.co.uk if you have any queries or comments.

a women corssing the road in aviemore
  • Outcome: A place that people want to live in, work in and visit that works for all.

  • Objective

    C1.  Work to stabilise the growth in the number of people who visit the Cairngorms National Park during the peak season, while ensuring their enjoyment of the National Park and time spent here increases. The focus for any growth should be on the off-peak season and on those areas that have capacity to manage extra visitors.

  • Target / Indicator

    Overall tourism numbers and visitor days during peak season stabilise at around the current levels.

    Visitor satisfaction remains high and stable.

    Increase in off-peak visitor days.

  • Visitors to the National Park have increased from 1.3m to 2.1m since the National Park was established and there is increasing pressure on infrastructure and services during peak periods, as well as on the availability of housing for people working in the National Park.

    Visitors will remain an essential part of the economy but the benefits need to be realised more widely and pressures eased, with more focus on the off-peak season.

    National policy context:

    Scotland Outlook 2030 – Responsible Tourism for a Sustainable Future
  • Objective

    C2.  Secure the National Park’s place as an international exemplar in sustainable tourism and the management of protected areas.

  • Target / Indicator

    The Cairngorms continues to hold the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas.

  • The Sustainable Tourism Charter is a positive indicator that the management of the National Park is being undertaken in a sustainable way, in line with international standards of best practice.

    National policy context:

    Sustainable Tourism - EUROPARC Federation

Encourage responsible wildlife and adventure tourism.

Comment from the informal consultation
  • Objective

    C3.  Encourage a transformative change in the way people get to and move around the National Park.

  • Target / Indicator

    50% of journeys by visitors and residents within the National Park do not take place by car by 2030.

    25% of visitors get to the National Park by public transport by 2045.

    E-bike hire and charging facilities will be available in all main settlements and major visitor hubs by 2030.

    People will be able to bring their own bikes to the National Park on all public transport by 2030.

  • How people get to and move around the Cairngorms is going to be one of the biggest changes in the National Park over the coming years. There is a need to improve public transport to cater for residents and visitors, and to move to a hub and spokes model (where one central ‘hub’ location caters for lots of smaller ‘spokes’) for key visitor destinations. There will be less use of private cars in future and a need to look at site-specific solutions for key areas of the National Park, such as Glenmore.

    National policy context:

    National Transport Strategy
  • Objective

    C4.  Improve path, cycle and access networks to be the best in Scotland.

  • Target / Indicator

    All communities are linked by safe off-road or segregated on-road routes suitable for all users by 2030.

    All core paths are in good condition.

  • The National Park already has some of the best path networks in Scotland. This will further enhance them and provide safe alternatives to the private car for local travel for both residents and visitors. This will contribute directly to improved public health outcomes. There is a need to ensure that the pedestrian environment in town and villages is safe and accessible.

    National policy context:

    National Transport Strategy
a woodland path
  • Objective

    C5.  Work closely with partners across the National Park to manage the impact of visitors and provide a high-quality experience. Ensure public infrastructure is of a high standard, able to cope with demand at key destinations, and consider how to best utilise areas of the National Park with capacity for increased visitor numbers.

  • Target / Indicator

    Number of public toilets, changing places toilets and campervan facilities within the National Park.

    Broadband and mobile connectivity in the National Park.

  • Good management for visitors increases capacity while reducing the impact of their visit. This in turn helps maintain the special qualities people come to enjoy within the National Park, including our local communities. There is also a need to ensure that the way we manage for visitors is linked in with the work on nature, especially around disturbance issues and to ensure we meet out climate targets.

    National policy context:

    Tourism Declares initiative Scotland Outlook 2030 – Responsible Tourism for a Sustainable Future
  • Objective

    C6.  Provide outstanding opportunities to experience the natural and cultural heritage of the National Park via our promoted path network, while minimising disturbance to vulnerable species, habitats and sites.

  • Target / Indicator

    Maintain and improve key path condition and usage.

  • The walking and cycling routes within the National Park allow visitors and residents alike to enjoy the Cairngorms’ special qualities without having an adverse impacts upon them.

    National policy context:

    Let's get Scotland Walking - The National Walking Strategy

Work with conservationists and rural workers to identify pressure points for wildlife and find out how to mitigate these... create excellent experiences for visitors in areas that don't put wildlife at risk or increase disturbance.

Comment from the informal consultation
  • Objective

    C7.  Provide opportunities for everyone to experience and learn about the National Park’s outstanding historic environment, history and culture, with the Cairngorms being celebrated for its cultural heritage.

  • Target / Indicator

    Increasing number of cultural heritage projects promoted in visitor marketing.

  • The historic environment, history and culture of the National Park is a foundation of its communities and economy that is not always shared or valued sufficiently. There is also a key link between culture and the natural environment, with people having such a significant role in the landscapes of the National Park. There are opportunities to develop the cultural heritage assets of the National Park as part of a move to a well-being economy.

    National policy context:

    Our Place in Time - Historic Environment Scotland Culture Strategy for Scotland
  • Objective

    C8.  Ensure that there is sufficient housing stock to enable people to live and work within the National Park. Ensure the private rented sector provides appropriate security of tenure for people working in the National Park.

  • Target / Indicator

    A maximum of 15% of all housing stock in the National Park will be second homes, vacant or short-term let properties by 2040.

  • Access to affordable housing for people who live and work in the area has been an acute issue since the establishment of the National Park. The housing market in the Cairngorms requires urgent change to support local, essential housing for workers and young people. This cannot be addressed through house-building alone. There is a need to reduce the loss of existing properties to second homes and holiday lets. There is also a need to support specific housing for the ageing residential population of the National Park.

    National policy context:

    Housing to 2040 strategy
a row of new affordable housing
  • Objective

    C9.  Help resolve key worker and affordability issues with new housing in the National Park.

  • Target / Indicator

    75% of new housing built is for social rental and / or mid-market rental and is directly linked to meeting the needs of local employers by 2030.

  • In order to provide access to housing for key workers and those on low incomes, new housing will need to be delivered for these groups in ways that have not been achieved before. There is a need to increase considerably the amount of housing that is affordable to those living and working in the National Park. There is also a need to identify housing specifically for holiday lets rather than as part of general housing allocations.

    National policy context:

    Housing to 2040 strategy
  • Objective

    C10.  Work with communities to ensure that the majority of land allocated for development around villages and towns in the National Park is controlled by communities or public bodies to help manage long-term development needs.

  • Target / Indicator

    The percentage of developable land in community or public body ownership is increasing.

  • Control of land is key to the delivery of developments that bring real public benefit to communities at the time and place they are needed. Whilst this objective proposes a major role for communities and public bodies in housing, private landowners and developers still have a significant part to play in delivering housing in the National Park.

    National policy context:

    Housing to 2040 strategy

Increase the provision of affordable homes to encourage more inward migration to meet staffing needs.

Comment from the informal consultation
  • Objective

    C11.  Take action to ensure villages and town centres in the National Park are thriving places where people live, shop and meet.

  • Target / Indicator

    The percentage of vacant properties on high streets of the National Park reduces.

  • Numerous opportunities and challenges have faced the town and village centres of the National Park for many years as shopping habits have changed. New businesses and activities will need to be supported to ensure these spaces continue to provide services and value to communities.

    National policy context:

    A New Future for Scotland's Town Centres report

This engagement phase has finished, check out the responses

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