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Caithness Charrettes Launched - Thurso

29th January 2013

Photograph of Caithness Charrettes Launched - Thurso

Last week saw the launch of major public events known as Charrettes which will give local people in Wick and Thurso the opportunity to shape the future of their towns. Representatives from a wide range of groups with varied interests attended a launch event on Wednesday in Thurso and Thursday in Wick to find out how to get involved in the Charrette events which run from 21st 27th February.

These events will explore peoples ideas and options for future development and regeneration across the town centres and surrounding areas. Local residents, businesses and community groups are being encouraged to participate and talk about what else is important to them, such as housing and business development, community facilities, harbour areas, landscape design, sustainability, getting around and the local economy.

The outcome of the Charrettes will be reflected within a new Local Development Plan for the Caithness and Sutherland area which will be known as the CaS Plan. Councillor Deirdre Mackay, Area Committee Chairman said: Its a long time since such a plan was prepared for these towns so to have the Charrettes at the beginning of the planning process is a really exciting opportunity.

By involving people in the process of place-making it will be an excellent way to involve the community in preparing the Local Development Plan for their area. I am sure lots of creative and inspirational ideas will come forward which will build on the proactive work already being done by communities.Civic Leader Cllr Gail Ross said: As two major towns in the area these Charrettes will be a fantastic opportunity for local people to understand and directly influence the planning process. It is about capturing everyones ideas and aspirations and turning them into actions. Enabling well designed developments in the right places is important but we also need to ensure we safeguard the natural environment.

The success of the events will rely on the participation of local communities and the Council are keen to involve as many people as possible. They are also recommending that local landowners come forward with any sites they feel would be suitable for development.

Speaking at the launch in Thurso, Councillor Roger Saxon said: It has been very positive to see such a great interest so far from the community. There has been a history of good planning and partnership working in Caithness and Sutherland and these events will ensure this tradition continues into the future.

A team led by architects and community planners John Thompson &Partners (JTP) has been appointed to run the Charrettes with the Council.The Charrette in Wick will be held in the Assembly Rooms from Thursday 21 February to Tuesday 26th and in Thurso it will run from Friday 22 to Wednesday 27th at the Pentland Hotel.

Full details are available by visiting www.highland.gov.uk/thursocharrette or www.highland.gov.uk/wickcharrette.

The drop-in workshop sessions are being promoted on leaflets and posters in both towns and an advert will appear shortly in the local press.Anyone looking for further information can contact David Cowie or a member of the Councils Development Plans Team on 01463 702827.

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