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Orkney tops this year’s national planning awards

Words: Roger Milne
Stromness / Shutterstock_346197845

Orkney Islands Council has scooped the top award at the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning. It was named the overall winner across all four categories (partnership, place, plans and process) for its Team Stromness project.

Cairngorms National Park Authority was the People’s Choice Winner for its Snow Roads Scenic Route Initiative.

Orkney’s winning entry featured a council-wide task force which coordinated several distinct regeneration projects within the historic core of the town, including:

  • Repaving the main street in Stromness in local stone;
  • Construction of a landmark warehouse building;
  • Paving and redevelopment of the wider pierhead area;
  • Grants for private householders and businesses to help traditional repairs and refurbishment; and
  • The redevelopment by the council of the Commercial Hotel.

Much of the work was carried out under the aegis of the Stromness Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI).

The feedback from the judging panel was that: “(Team Stromness) was an exemplary urban design framework delivering on the ground. The council’s passion to see Stromness modernise whilst maintaining its historical elegance was to be congratulated.”

Leader of Orkney Islands Council James Stockan, said: “This accolade is just reward for the huge coordinated effort that went into rejuvenating and regenerating our much-loved town – in a way which built on the history and spirit of Stromness as a thriving economic and cultural hub.”

Gavin Barr MRTPI is the council’s executive director of development and infrastructure Services. He said: "I'm incredibly proud of this achievement which is strong validation of the hard work and professionalism of the council team, and the fruits of collaborative working with the community. There is heavy competition for this national award and it is fitting evidence of Orkney’s capability that we have come out on top."

A total of 14 other schemes won awards, including two from West Dunbartonshire. Full details of this year’s award winners can be read on the Scottish Government website.

Image credit | Shutterstock