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Scotland round-up: Govan waterfront masterplan signed off by council; Major decision-making times in Scotland improve

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Scotland: 26 January-1 February, 2019

Govan waterfront masterplan signed off by council

Glasgow City Council has signed off a masterplan designed to change the face of Govan. The £56.8 million scheme will regenerate a key area of the city’s waterfront.

The Planner

Major decision-making times in Scotland improve

The average decision time for major developments concluded in the first half of 2018/19 in Scotland was 1.6 weeks quicker than the same period in 2017/18.

The Planner

Box-ticking prevents proactive planning

Under-resourcing and a box-ticking culture has closed off the space planners traditionally used for reflection, professional discretion and proactive planning, according to a report by the RTPI.

The Planner

Brokenshire wants ‘fresh thinking’ on planning recruitment

Housing secretary James Brokenshire has told an audience of planners that the government must do more to support the profession and give it the respect it deserves.

The Planner

RTPI urges planners to protect ancient woodlands

Planning has a key role in protecting ancient woodland and trees which are threatened by the cumulative effects of inappropriate developments on their fringes as much as permanent loss and damage.

The Planner

£1bn support for UK’s heritage

More than £1 billion of National Lottery money will go towards supporting the UK’s heritage.

The Planner

Construction SMEs grow but concerns remain

Workloads for construction SMEs grew in the fourth quarter of 2018. Despite this, the industry is concerned that it could be held back by a weakening housing market and rising costs.

The Planner

£100m boost for Ayrshire Growth Deal

Scottish secretary David Mundell formally committed UK government investment of £100 million for the Ayrshire Growth Deal and promised final decisions soon on funding allocations for specific projects during a visit to the area on Friday (31 January).

UK Government

Leith Walk development rejected by councillors

Drum Property Group’s revised proposals for a controversial £50 million mixed-used development – including a hotel, student accommodation and affordable housing – along a stretch of Edinburgh’s Leith Walk at Stead’s Place but which had divided the community were thrown out by councillors this week, against the advice of officials.

Edinburgh Evening News

Gas found in Central North Sea

A significant gas discovery – estimated as equivalent to 250 million barrels of oil – by Chinese state-owned company CNOOC at its Glengorm project, east of Aberdeen, has been hailed as the biggest find in the central North Sea in more than a decade.

BBC News

Capital tourist tax proposed

Plans to introduce a £2-a-day tourist tax in the capital would be capped at seven nights, according to the city council’s latest proposals.

BBC News

National land allocations needed?

A blog by Colin Lavety, a director at planning consultancy Barton Willmore, argues for housing land allocation decisions to be made at a national level in a bid to standardise the process and increase the number of homes being delivered in Scotland.

Barton Willmore

Edinburgh concert hall endorsed

A £45 million project to create the first new concert in hall in Edinburgh for more than 100 years has been endorsed by Historic Environment Scotland – meaning it is now highly unlikely to be called in by ministers.

The Scotsman

Glasgow build-to-rent project attracts backer

Legal & General has revealed that it is to fund the development of more than 300 build-to-rent flats in Glasgow city centre where Drum Property Group has proposals for an £85 million project at Buchanan Wharf.

Glasgow Herald

Falkirk distillery funding

Falkirk Council has given it approval for the long-awaited restoration of a local landmark, the historic Rosebank Distillery.

Scottish Construction Now

Tartan Passivhaus?

Leading architects, designers and builders are to partner with researchers at the Glasgow School of Art to develop a specific Scottish approach to the Passivhaus concept following a successful bid for funding from Innovate UK.

Scottish Construction Now

Glencoe hydro anger

Energy company Glen Hydro has angered villagers with plans to build a hydroelectric power plant next to the site of the 17th century Glencoe massacre at Ballachulish.

The Scotsman

Auld Reekie seeks affordable flats for rent

A strategy to encourage developers to build affordable flats for rent – despite concerns it could lead to ‘high end’ developments with gyms and cafés, is to be pursued by Edinburgh City Council.

Edinburgh Evening News

Green light for Perth City Hall transformation

Members of Perth and Kinross Council have approved proposals to transform the B-listed Perth City Hall into a new heritage and arts attraction for the city, designed by international architectural firm Mecanoo.

Perth & Kinross Council

Glasgow mulls property strategy

Glasgow City Council is considering a property and land strategy that could involve relocation of council offices from the city centre to key regeneration areas across the conurbation.

Glasgow City Council