A formal planning request is due to be submitted to create a barrier for buses at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness after council chiefs recognize the strength of local sentiment.
Plans to create the bond – a condition of the elective care center being built on the Inverness campus – sparked an uproar from residents, citing the cutting down of mature trees and a negative impact on people living nearby , as well as a lack of consultation.
It would link Churchill Road to the hospital site near the Center for Health Science, with the Highland Council due to submit an application within the next week.
Colin Howell, the council’s infrastructure manager, told a Raigmore community council meeting that following an internal review of the issues raised and internal meetings with officers, it was decided that a request planning was the best way forward.
“As you know, as a community there has been a lot of concern about how we have undertaken the planning request process and in some areas the lack of consultation that has occurred.” did he declare.
The meeting also learned from City Officer Garry Smith that a bat investigation revealed two types of pipistrelle bats in the area.
“They haven’t used any of the trees, but they obviously use them for foraging and foraging,” Smith said, adding that the board would return to NatureScot to look at compensatory tree planting and lighting. low level.
Resident Sam Morton, co-founder of the Bus Barrier campaign group, asked why the council is now suddenly seeking a building permit.
“We haven’t been consulted on anything at all and the thing that’s going to pass by my front door and it looks like there has been a sudden change, which is a very good thing happening”, a- he declared.
Mr Howell said the council had acted in strict accordance with planning legislation, but the campaign group and others asked for a chance to participate in a more formal consultation and the council acknowledged it.
After the meeting, a council spokesperson said: ‘Despite the delivery of the bus door remains a planning condition on the NHS for the elective care center and the council is of the opinion that such a requirement is Compliant with the legislation, Highland Council, in recognition of the strength of local sentiments and the view that the process did not allow as many consultations as they deemed appropriate, decided to formally submit a planning request for the link to the Raigmore subdivision. “
It would be announced and consulted in the usual way in the planning process.
The spokesperson continued, “The committee will then review the representations made and determine whether planning should be granted for this proposal.
“The route remains as previously stated, as the optimal and perhaps the only viable route through the hospital site – to provide a vital link for sustainable bus travel – also allowing use by services The bus link will have barriers to prevent use by non-authorized vehicles.
Community council chairman Munro Ross said this would be discussed at the next meeting on August 30 and hoped the Highland Council decision would bring the community back together again.
“We welcome the planning request and the commitment to invite residents to participate,” he said.
Activist Denise Stewart-Thomson, of Ashton Crescent, later said she and other residents would continue to campaign against the plan.
Related story: Controversial delayed bus barrier project