Finding Potential Development Areas: A Site Selection Analysis
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Rural development faces many challenges; low population density, lack of resources and technology, support and infrastructure. However rural areas also have strengths and they should not be excluded as locations for potential development based on their weaknesses. Therefore the aim of this research is to find Potential Development Areas (PDAs) for Argyll & Bute. Twenty sub-criteria are used in the process, each contributing to determining whether an area is suitable for a development or not. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is used to process the data and Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) is used to calculate theweightings. EU, Scottish Government and Argyll & Bute policies and plans are used indetermining the importance and significance of each criterion in AHP. Areas found are then compared to Potential Development Areas (PDAs) from the Argyll & Bute Local Plan (2009). The comparison is between PDAs chosen based on proximity to urban settlements only and PDAs chosen based on 20 sub-criteria. The result is that the majority of the Local Plan PDAs do correspond to PDAs found in this analysis, but now they can be promoted for development based on more positive characteristics (high population density and good communications links) than just proximity to urban settlements.