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Scotland round-up: Firth of Forth coal-gasification project proposed, Edinburgh trams inquiry

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Scotland: 8 November - 14 November, 2014

Novel coal-gasification project proposed for the Firth of Forth

An ambitious plan to extract gas from under the Firth of Forth to power millions of homes is being drawn up following a major coal find.

The Planner

More powers for Edinburgh trams fiasco inquiry

The Edinburgh Tram Inquiry is to convert from a non-statutory to a statutory inquiry following advice from the chair, Lord Hardie. The change will allow him to compel the production of evidence and the participation of witnesses.

The Scotsman 

CFPA criticises Global Energy plan for Cromarty Firth

Plans for a private harbour on a Highland firth threaten access to the area, the Cromarty Firth Port Authority has warned.

BBC News 

Housebuilders defeated in historic battle site bid

House builder Cala Homes has been forced to concede defeat over a controversial application to build luxury houses on a site linked to the 17th-century Battle of Bothwell Bridge in Lanarkshire.

The Scotsman 

Perth hexagonal church to become curry house

A unique hexagonal church in Perth town centre dating from the early 19th-century that has been empty for more than quarter of a century is set to be turned into a curry house.

The Scotsman

Public Petitions Committee 3

On 11 November, during the third session of the Public Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament, Clare Symonds and Helen McDade of Planning Democracy gave evidence on petition PE1534 which dealt with the need for equal rights of appeal in the Scottish planning system (i.e. third party rights of appeal).

BBC Democracy Live 

Prestwick airport under scrutiny from MSPs

Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon has been quizzed by MSPs at the Parliament’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee on the administration’s strategy for Prestwick Airport, which it bought out a year ago. 

The Scottish Parliament 

Lonely Scottish island set for new inhabitants

A currently uninhabited island with no electricity, running water or internet in the extreme north of Scotland is set to be inhabited for the first time in more than 80 years. Linga, a 30 hectare ‘holm’, has a £250,000 price tag and permission to create an eco-tourism business and install a wind generator.

The Scotsman 

Marine protection measures

Views are being sought on proposed measures to protect some of Scotland’s most important and fragile marine environments in the shape of the 11 recently-designated Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and nine Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) in inshore waters.

Scottish Government