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Scotland round-up: Ministers urged to set up independent infrastructure body; Dyce office block conversion plans submitted

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Scotland: 25 July-27 July 2020

Scottish ministers urged to set up independent infrastructure body

Scotland needs an independent specialist body with a remit to prioritise the infrastructure needed for an inclusive, net-zero carbon economy as part of a 30-year strategy.

The Planner

Interactive roadmap seeks to aid improvement of town centres

The Better Towns Roadmap consortium has launched an interactive roadmap to help to ‘transform’ towns across the UK.

The Planner

Glasgow flats

Edinburgh-based developer Consensus Capital has revealed its intention to develop a disused site on the western edge of Glasgow city centre that includes a B-listed building with a mixed-use scheme providing 100 flats and ground floor retail units on Sauchiehall Street,

Scottish Housing News

Dyce office block conversion plans submitted

London-based property developer XUSA has submitted plans to Aberdeen City Council to convert a disused office block in Dyce into a complex of flats, neighbourhood offices, a café and a gym.

Scottish Housing News

Bid to UNESCO confirmed for peat bog

The Peatlands Partnership has secured approval from the UK Government to prepare a bid to UNESCO for the designation of Caithness and Sutherland’s Flow Country, Europe’s largest peat bog, as World Heritage status.

BBC News

Edinburgh observatory project

A Gothic-style landmark built on Calton Hill overlooking Edinburgh for 18th century astronomers is to be converted into an exclusive new artistic retreat under proposals unveiled by The Collective Gallery, which took over the historic A-listed observatory two years ago. 

The Scotsman

U-turn for Glasgow bowling club redevelopment 

Glasgow’s planning local review committee has given the green light to Kelvin Properties’ proposals to demolish part of Shawlands Bowling Club’s clubhouse, refurbish the rest of the structure, and build a five-storey block of 34 flats, with car parking, on the disused north-eastern bowling green and the area around it.

Scottish Construction Now

Derelict A-listed seminary gifted to trust

The ownership of the derelict A-listed modernist St Peter's Seminary in Cardross, near Helensburgh, which the Roman Catholic Church has been trying to get rid of for years, has been transferred to a charitable trust.

BBC News

Benbecula distillery scheme

The Uist Distilling Company has unveiled proposals for a new £6.5 million island distillery at Gramsdale on Benbecula.

Glasgow Herald

Approval for affordable homes on Mull

Mull and Iona Community Trust and Ulva School Community Association have been given planning permission to build four affordable homes at Ulva Ferry on the Isle of Mull.

Scottish Housing News

Fife quarry extension

Construction company Skene Group has unveiled proposals to extend and reconfigure development at its Lomond Quarry near Leslie in Fife, which would mean operations there could continue until 2040.

BBC News

Land Court and Lands Tribunal tie-up

The Scottish Government has started consulting on administrative issues surrounding the proposed amalgamation of the Scottish Land Court and the Lands Tribunal for Scotland.

Scottish Government

Rail electrification move

Transport secretary Michael Matheson has launched proposals to decarbonise Scotland’s rail passenger services by 2035 with a programme of electrification. 

Scottish Government

Developer, spare those trees

Scottish Forestry has urged developers to get in touch before felling trees in a blog stressing that companies risk hefty fines or losing the chance to build on a site for up to 10 years.

Scottish Forestry

Small is beautiful

The Scottish Government’s Planning & Architecture Division has published a blog that highlights the value of small but carefully tailored grants to make the most of initiatives to help local businesses in Galashiels to combat the impact of Covid-19.

Scottish Government

Mediation survey

Ministers will issue guidance next year on the promotion and use of mediation in planning. With that in mind, Scottish Mediation and PAS have joined forces to produce an interactive survey outlining some ideas on what might be involved.

PAS (Planning Aid Scotland) 

Redevelopment proposals submitted for key Edinburgh New Town site

Proposals for one of the largest developments for a generation in the heart of Edinburgh have been unveiled. Property company Ediston has submitted plans to redevelop the site of the former Royal Bank of Scotland office complex in the city’s New Town with a scheme providing 349 homes, 9,290 square metres of office space and a hotel.

Glasgow Herald

Surveyors encourage office-to-residential conversions

As demand for commercial floor space is on the slide, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has urged the government to encourage moves to convert offices into housing.

Scottish Housing News

Council approves Cupar western gateway

Fife Council has approved proposals from developer A&J Stephen to create a new western gateway in Cupar involving 168 new homes, employment uses and open space on land to the south of the A91. 

Scottish Housing News