11. POLICIES AND PLANS 11.1. Introduction 11.2. Methods 11.3. National policies and objectives 11.4. Local policies and objectives 11.5. Mitigation 11.6. Summary


11.1. Introduction

This section reviews the national, regional and local transport, planning and environmental policies relevant to the replacement of Ba Bridge on the A82 Trunk Road in Rannoch Moor and assesses how the achievement of the policy objectives would be hindered or facilitated by the scheme.

11.2. Methods

This section has been prepared in general accordance with the principles and techniques outlined in ‘The Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB), Volume 11 (Environmental Assessment), Section 3 Environmental Assessment Techniques, Part 12 – Impact of Road Schemes on Policies and Plans’. The aims of this section are to: (1) establish a schedule of national, regional and local policies and objectives (Table 11.1); (2) assess the likely impact of the scheme on the policy objectives listed in the schedule; and (3) note the views of the relevant planning authorities on the impact of the preferred route on planning policy objectives.

11.3. National policies and objectives

Table 11.1 Relevant government planning and policy documents.

Policy No.


Publication Date

National Planning Policy Guidelines


The Planning System



Planning and Flooding



Planning for Rural Development



Planning for Transport



Archaeology and Planning



Natural heritage



Planning and the Historic Environment


Planning Advice Notes


Planning and Natural Heritage



Planning and Open Space



Planning for Transport


11.3.1. National Planning Framework for Scotland

The National Planning Framework (NPF) for Scotland (2004) is a non-statutory planning policy document. The NPF looks at Scotland from a spatial perspective and sets out an achievable long-term vision. It provides a view of Scotland as a place and identifies likely change to 2025 to ensure different areas can develop to their full potential. The NPF identifies key strategic infrastructure needs in order to plan for the right investment in the right places. The NPF provides a national context for development plans and planning decisions and will inform ongoing programmes of the Scottish Government, public agencies and local government.

11.3.2. Scottish Planning Policy 1

Scottish Planning Policy 1 (SPP1: The Planning System, 2002) provides an overview of the land use planning system in Scotland under current arrangements. It sets out the key principles and the Scottish Government’s priorities for the system to guide policy formation and decision making towards the goal of sustainable development. SPP1 identifies seven strategies to promote a more sustainable, effective and integrated transport system in Scotland. The most relevant strategies to this scheme are: (1) promoting an efficient transport network for the movement of freight and goods distribution; and (2) providing direct and safe access to local facilities. Therefore, the scheme broadly adheres to the key national policy aims of promoting integrated and sustainable transport infrastructure.

11.3.3. NPPG5 Archaeology and Planning, and NPPG18 Planning and the Historic Environment

NPPG5 and NPPG18 set out the requirements for developments likely to affect the historic environment. These have been considered within the assessment of impacts on cultural heritage within the Disruption Due to Construction chapter (Chapter 10), with no impacts on such features envisaged.

11.3.4. SPP7 Planning and Flooding (2004)

SPP7 replaces NPPG7 Planning and Flooding, providing guidance relating to development and flooding. The proposed scheme is not expected to adversely affect local floodplains in the vicinity of Ba Bridge.

11.3.5. NPPG10 Planning and Waste Management

NPPG10 provides policies concerning the recovery or disposal of waste without harming human health or the environment. Some of the waste produced from excavations for the replacement bridge and demolition of the existing bridge will be reused in construction of the walls, supporting walls and embankments, however some will require to be disposed of. No impacts on human health are envisaged and impacts on the environment will be minimised through disposal at a waste management facility in accordance with the waste management regulations and Duty of Care requirements.

11.3.6. NPPG14 Natural Heritage and PAN 60 Planning and Natural Heritage

NPPG14 sets out policy on the assessment of development proposals showing due concern for natural heritage. It deals, in detail, with requirements for development likely to affect sites of national and international importance. Chapter 6 (Geology and Soils), Chapter 7 (Road Drainage and the Water Environment) and Chapter 8 (Ecology and Nature Conservation) have considered the objectives of NPPG14 and, where appropriate, incorporated these into proposed mitigation measures to address any predicted adverse impacts on nature conservation.

11.3.7. SPP15 Planning for Rural Development

SPP15 replaces National Planning Policy Guideline (NPPG) 15: Rural Development issued in 1999. This SPP sets out the approach, key messages and objectives that should underpin planning policies and decisions affecting rural areas. It also describes the increasingly important links between development planning and community planning. There is no other development occurring at this site, it is a simple on-line bridge replacement.

11.3.8. SPP17 and PAN 75 Planning for Transport

Scottish Planning Policy 17 (SPP17: Planning for Transport, 2005) provides the framework for the development of an integrated transport system in Scotland. Scheme proposals are viewed within the context of government guidance on development in the countryside, development affecting agricultural land and development affecting nationally designated sites such as SSSIs, Listed Buildings and Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

The proposals meet the requirement to rigorously assess such schemes in relation to economy, safety, environment and accessibility. In addition, the scheme meets the objective of minimising the impact of roads and traffic on the global and local environment through, firstly, the incorporation of sustainable design solutions where possible, and secondly, the implementation of appropriate mitigation. The main objectives of SPP 17 are as follows:

  • A transport network to support the economy, assist in reducing the need to travel, create the right conditions to promote sustainable transport modes and restrict adverse environmental impacts.
  • The interaction of accessibility, transport and the development strategy to be considered early in the planning process with land allocations taking into account transport opportunities alongside economic competitiveness and sustainable development.
  • Strategic land-use plans to co-ordinate with Regional and Local Transport Strategies, and settlement strategies and identify where economic growth or regeneration requires additional transport infrastructure.
  • Local plans to relate new land use allocations to transport opportunities and constraints and locate new development to maximise sustainable transport modes.
  • Development likely to affect trunk and other strategic roads to be managed so as not to adversely impact on safe and efficient strategic traffic flows. New trunk road or motorway junctions will only be considered exceptionally and will require significant developer funding.
  • Roadside facilities to be considered under a special case for development affecting strategic routes. The comfort and safety of drivers should be accommodated through opportunities to stop and rest.

The relevant objectives of SPP 17, PAN 58 and PAN 60 have been integrated into the design of the proposed road improvement wherever possible.

11.4. Local policies and objectives

The existing adopted development plans that cover the Rannoch Moor area comprise the Highland Structure Plan 2001 and the Lochaber Local Plan 1999.

Policies and proposals within each plan, relevant to the proposed scheme, include those relating to infrastructure, sustainability/environmental improvements, access/footpaths and cycling, nature conservation, landscape, tourism and archaeology. These policies are set out in Appendix G.

11.4.1. Lochaber Local Plan, 1999

The Highland Council Planning and Development Service have highlighted the following policies in particular as of significance to the proposals:

  • Lochaber Local Plan, 1999, Policy 3.5.1 – The Council will encourage the Scottish Office to give priority to the allocation of resources necessary to undertake longstanding improvement and realignment of the A82(T) and A830(T).
  • Lochaber Local Plan, 1999, Policy 3.5.2 – The site is located within an area where the strategic road network should be upgraded where there are traffic hazards, and such improvements shall be carried out in a manner sympathetic to the rural character of the area.
  • Lochaber Local Plan 1999, Policy, 3.6.1 – The Council will not permit development or damaging operations to an interest to be protected within designated or proposed Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation except where there is an imperative and overriding public, social, economic, health or safety interest.
  • Lochaber Local Plan, 1999, Policy 3.6.2 – The site lies within an SAC, where there is a presumption against development which would have a significant detrimental effect upon these designations
  • Lochaber Local Plan 1999 Policy 3.6.3 – The site lies within a SSSI and National Scenic Area, where there is a presumption against development which would have a significant detrimental effect upon these designations.
  • Lochaber Local Plan, 1999, Policy 3.6.5 – The Council will seek to maintain continuity and linkage between habitats where this would help to sustain wildlife. Subject to SNH advice to their specific value, particular features which should be taken into account are, for example, rivers.
  • Lochaber Local Plan, 1999, Policy 3.6.12 – The site lies within a National Scenic Area, thereby safeguarding the scenic and landscape character.
  • Lochaber Local Plan, 1999, Policy 3.6.14 - The Council will encourage increased public access (to rights of way, hill routes and paths) and the enjoyment of the countryside, subject to agreement of landowners where necessary and the need for compatibility with natural heritage interests.
  • Lochaber Local Plan, 1999, Policy 3.6.19 - To protect against development which would adversely affect the character or setting of areas of archaeological significance and in areas of high archaeological potential, may require developments to establish the nature, extent and importance of any remains.
  • Lochaber Local Plan, 1999, Policy 3.6.23 – The Council will continue to give high priority to environmental improvements. The design of scheme, use of materials and treatments will be compatible with their surroundings.
  • Lochaber Local Plan, 1999, Policy 6.2.22 – The Council will encourage enhanced public access into Glen Coe from the village and other places of visitor activity. Any physical works or engineering operations should achieve the highest standards in respect of design and safeguards for the environment.
  • The Highland Council Planning Department has confirmed that there are no planning applications of relevance to the proposed scheme.

11.4.2. Sustainability/environmental improvements

These policies are of relevance to the scheme by requiring that developments are assessed in relation to a range of environmental issues including local communities, pollution, designated areas, cultural heritage, air quality and landscape issues. These issues have been addressed through the EIA process and mitigation measures proposed to reduce the environmental impacts associated with options and to enhance the environment wherever possible. This process supports these policies and, therefore, no significant conflicts with the policies are envisaged.

11.4.3. Access/footpaths and cycle ways

Policies relate to the development of cycle ways and the development and safeguarding of Rights of Way and strategic footpaths within the Highlands. The proposed scheme does not specifically allow for cycle ways as it comprises a replacement structure for the existing Ba Bridge, which does not provide for this facility due to site constraints. No long-term adverse impacts are predicted on existing footpaths. A footway will be provided on the replacement structure, providing pedestrians with safer passage across the bridge. The provision of a footway will be an improvement on the existing situation as none are provided beside the existing Ba Bridge. The proposed scheme, therefore, supports the objectives of these policies.

11.4.4. Nature conservation

Policies concern the protection of sites of international, national and local importance to nature conservation, including SSSIs and SPAs. The scheme is situated within the Rannoch Moor SSSI and SAC and is on the boundary of the Loch Ba SPA. With appropriate mitigation the nature conservation interest will remain undisturbed.

11.4.5. Landscape/tourism

Policies relate to enhancing present landscape character and safeguarding the scenic and landscape character within designated National Scenic Areas, as well as the protection of scenic views from tourist routes and viewpoints. These policies also encourage high standards of design and the development of measures to minimise visual impact. There will be some visual impact from the replacement of the bridge, but this will reduce through time as the materials of the bridge weather and the surrounding disturbed land regenerates. During the first few years of operation of the scheme this may cause slight conflict with the policy.

11.4.6. Archaeology

Policies seek to protect against development that would adversely affect areas of archaeological interest or potential. As archaeological features are not predicted to be affected, there will be no impact on these policies.

11.4.7. Waste management

Policies concerning waste management require a method statement to be prepared for major developments to minimise and manage the waste generated. A Method Statement will be prepared by the Contractor addressing the issues raised in this ES. Non-compliance with these policies is considered to cause a slight to moderate impact. However, appropriate mitigation will minimise these impacts.

11.5. Mitigation

The design of the proposed scheme has sought to accord with relevant planning policies and to avoid significant adverse effects on the environment. Where impacts cannot be avoided, appropriate mitigation measures will be implemented. Measures are highlighted in the appropriate sections of this assessment. However, the key measures are identified as follows:

Implementation of relevant SEPA PPGs and other mitigation measures suggested throughout this ES during construction of the proposed scheme; and

Implement landscape, ecological and hydrological mitigation as described throughout this report.

11.6. Summary

The scheme will help to promote an efficient and safe transport network for the movement of freight and goods distribution, meaning that the scheme broadly adheres to the key national policy aims of promoting a sustainable transport infrastructure.

In order to facilitate and adhere to predominantly environmental, but also some other local level and strategic policies, mitigation measures are required to address the potential impacts of the scheme.

Environmental aspects have been taken into consideration during the design process. The development of the scheme has identified and taken into consideration those areas (and receptors) identified as sensitive in terms of ecology, hydrology, land use, and landscape and visual impacts. Where avoidance of impacts has not been possible through design specification alone, specific mitigation measures will be implemented.

No cumulative impacts in relation to policies and plans have been identified.