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Highlands and Islands Greens
Highlands and Islands Greens

Greening Inverness: Highland Greens’ Proposals for a Sustainable City

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

As part of its response to The Highland Council’s recent ‘Main Issues’ Highland–wide development plans consultation, Highlands and Islands Greens have called for a range of measures to ‘green’ Inverness, in particular the redevelopment of the centre to create one central transport hub, and for the maintenance of East Inverness as ‘green belt’.

“Our aim is to make public transport in and out of Inverness a far more attractive proposition,” said Donnie Macleod, the Greens’ Westminster election candidate for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey.

In our response to The Highland Council’s recent development plans consultation, we have called for the existing bus, railway and library area of the city to be fundamentally redeveloped to create an attractive city centre with one transport hub.  As well as enabling easy access to, and transfer between, all bus and rail services, this hub would provide information and displays on all bus routes and other transport facilities throughout the city.  Cycle storage and hire facilities would also be available.

We welcome The Royal Mail’s willingness, in principle, to move its sorting office.  This would provide plenty of space to implement our proposals.

Our other green proposals for Inverness include:

  • Rebuilding Inverness High School, and refurbishing other schools as necessary to bring them up to a 21st century standard.
  • Seeking finance for a canal/river road crossing.
  • If the proposed Beechwood campus goes ahead, for the project to include a railway station, and to drop the intention to sell-off land for residential purposes.
  • A network of dedicated cycle-ways/footpaths across the city.
  • The cycle hire scheme to connect with the other Park & Ride facilities around Inverness, with drop-off points throughout the city.

However, we see no need at all for developing the East Inverness area, as The Highland Council proposes to do in its ‘Main Issues’ report, nor for upgrading the Southern Distributor Road or for an A96-A9 link road.  Instead, we have recommended this area to comprise part of Inverness’s ‘green belt’, and for it to remain as agricultural land, and/or with provision for allotments and also a public park, arboretum and wildlife area – all of which the East Inverness area currently lacks.

Notes:

The Highland and Islands Green Party’s full response, including Annex 3 (Inverness City Vision), to the Main Issues report is here.