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Scotland round-up: Mini hydropower projects test ‘wild land’ status of scenic glen; Holytown housing proposals

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Scotland: 23 February-1 March, 2019

Mini hydropower projects test ‘wild land’ status of scenic glen

Three hydroelectricity schemes proposed for one of the Scotland’s wildest and most photogenic glens are at the centre of a planning row over the status of areas of so-called ‘wild land’.

The Planner

Holytown housing proposals

Murray Estates Ltd, together with Taylor Wimpey West Scotland and Barratt Homes West Scotland, have submitted plans to North Lanarkshire Council for 640 new homes, the second phase of their development at Torrance Gardens in Holytown near Motherwell.

Scottish Construction Now

Aberdeen city centre project

A planning application for the regeneration of the Aberdeen Market and the former BHS building at the east end of Union Street in the city centre has been lodged.

BBC News

Murrayfield flats blocked against officers’ advice

Community campaigners are celebrating after Edinburgh City Council members went against the advice of officials and refused permission for two blocks of flats next to a B- listed former nursing home in Murrayfield.

Edinburgh Evening News

Car-use up, bus travel down

Scots are increasingly turning their backs on the bus and relying on their cars for travel, according to the latest Scottish transport statistics, which showed that people took five million fewer bus journeys last year.

Glasgow Herald

Giant battery for biggest wind farm

Energy company Scottish Power has announced proposals for a 50-megawatt battery storage project at its 539 MW Whitelee windfarm, the UK’s largest onshore array, at Eaglesham Moor, East Renfrewshire.

Scottish Power

Rural policy review

The Scottish Government has appointed consultancies Savills and Inherit to undertake research on rural planning policy to 2050, which will inform both the preparation of the National Planning Framework and planning policy overall.

Scottish Government

HES clocks increased footfall

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has reported an increase in footfall with 5,229,049 people visiting its staffed sites in 2018 – a 5 per cent increase on the previous year.

Historic Environment Scotland

Coul Links hearing kicks-off

The public inquiry into whether Coul Links, an area of rare coastal habitat near Embo in Sutherland, should become a luxury golf course is now under way and is expected to last four weeks.

BBC News

Skye tourism under the spotlight

A major new study by researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University will assess the impact of tourism on Skye in order to help shape a tourism masterplan for the island for the next decade.

The Scotsman

Edinburgh extends South Side Conservation Area

A group of category ‘A’ listed buildings, which includes the Royal Commonwealth Pool, are now part of Edinburgh’s South Side Conversation Area.

Edinburgh City Council

Boost for natural environment

The Scottish Conservation Finance Project, a pioneering bid to unlock £1 billion of investment, has been launched to save the country’s world-famous landscape and boost the natural environment.

Glasgow Herald

Funding for community rail projects

Community-led initiatives can bid for £1.3 million from the Local Rail Development Fund, transport secretary Michael Matheson has announced. The fund supports proposals for rail solutions to local transport issues.

Scottish Government