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Scotland round-up: Inverness city deal signed; Way forward for sustainable land use

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Scotland: 19 March-25 March, 2016

Inverness city deal signed

Inverness is to benefit from a £315 million city deal to improve infrastructure over the next decade.

The Planner

New partnership aims to tackle skills shortage

The Construction Industry Training Board and the Home Builders Federation have together launched a £2.7 million initiative to train 45,000 new home building workers by 2019.

The Planner

Way forward for sustainable land use

The government has published Scotland’s second land use strategy, which sets out policies and proposals for the next five years and beyond.

Scottish Government

UK Government guarantee unlocks £800m Aberdeen infrastructure project

A UK Government guarantee worth £86 million has been made available to allow a major development in Aberdeen – the Counteswells scheme - to go ahead. The project involves 3,000 homes and extensive community facilities.

UK Government 

1,000 new affordable houses to be built in Aberdeen

An additional 1,000 affordable houses are to be built in Aberdeen following a landmark deal signed by Aberdeen City Council and housing developer Places for People.

Aberdeen City Council

Community right to buy

Two consultations on community right to buy for crofting and abandoned, neglected or detrimental land have been launched this week.

Scottish Government

Rail freight strategy

Transport minister Derek Mackay has launched the Scottish government’s new rail freight strategy for Scotland.

Scottish Government

Developer lodges late appeal against controversial Edinburgh hotel

Developers behind a controversial hotel project at the centre of a probe into Edinburgh’s world heritage site have mounted an 11-hour appeal. An alternative proposal has been lodged with the council to convert the old Royal High, which has been largely unused since 1968, into a home for a music school and a concert hall for the city.

The Scotsman

Historical buildings share £650,000 repairs fund

Five historical sites in Scotland are set to share more than £650,000 of funding to carry out crucial repairs to help safeguard their future. Projects include an A-listed Edwardian mansion in Glasgow and a 16th-century harbour in East Lothian that has links with Oliver Cromwell.

The Scotsman

Community design time

Seventeen projects in urban, rural and island communities are receiving a share of a £300,000 fund aimed at giving people a say on how their area can be improved.

Scottish Government

£24m Edinburgh development to combat shortage of offices

Work has begun on a £24 million development to help address Edinburgh’s serious shortage of high-quality office space. The speculative development on Semple Street, in the capital’s Exchange district, will provide five floors of Grade A accommodation that could accommodate up to 350 staff.

The Scotsman

Jack Nicklaus Aberdeenshire golf course plan faces objections

Plans to build a Jack Nicklaus golf course in Scotland could be bunkered by ancient woodland.

The Scotsman

Sandy Knowe wind farm promises ‘genuine benefit’

A wind farm firm says a 24-turbine south of Scotland scheme will provide "genuine benefit" for the community after it received planning approval.

BBC News

10 public toilets ‘may be converted into cafés’ in Edinburgh

Ten public toilets in Edinburgh that were closed to save the council £300,000 are to be sold and could be converted into cafés.

BBC News 

Plans for 600-home Blackdog project lodged with Aberdeenshire Council

Ashfield Land and Kirkwood Homes have submitted proposals to Aberdeenshire Council for a mixed-use, housing-led scheme involving 600 homes at Blackdog, north of Aberdeen.

BBC News

Longannet power station closes, ending coal power use in Scotland

Longannet, Scotland’s last coal-fired power station, has finally stopped generating electricity. The 2,400 megawatt Fife plant owned by ScottishPower will now be decommissioned.

The Guardian