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Scotland round-up: MSPs say land reform law needs strengthening; RTPI Scotland launches its 2016 Scottish Election manifesto

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Scotland: 4 December-11 December, 2015

MSPs say land reform legislation needs strengthening

The Scottish Government’s flagship Land Reform Bill requires significant strengthening in key areas to deliver on its radical ambitions, according to a report by the Scottish Parliament.

The Planner 

RTPI Scotland launches its 2016 Scottish Election manifesto

RTPI Scotland has published a manifesto for the 2016 Scottish Election comprising actions it believes are needed to build a successful and sustainable country, including appointing a cabinet secretary for places.

The Planner

Former Rangers owner Sir David Murray unveils £700m plan for new Edinburgh district near airport

Developers have submitted plans for a £700 million new district on the west side of Edinburgh close to the airport involving some 2,000 new homes as well as a business park, shops and community facilities.

Herald Scotland 

2015 SURF Awards winners announced

Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire was judged the most improved large town and Barrhead in East Renfrewshire the most improved small or medium-sized town in this year’s awards for best practice in community regeneration organised by SURF (Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum).


Murray tennis centre plan near Dunblane rejected

Councillors in Stirling have rejected plans for a controversial and high-profile sports and housing development proposed for a green belt site near Dunblane.

BBC News 

John Swinney declines to give timeline for multi-billion pound Aberdeen City Region Deal

Finance secretary John Swinney has declined to outline a timeline for Aberdeen’s much-anticipated multi-billion pound city deal – despite months having passed since the proposal was submitted.

Press and Journal

Local Development Plan 2 Consultation

Councillors have approved a consultation exercise for Dundee’s replacement local development plan, which will guide the city’s development over the period 2019-2024.

Dundee City Council 

How mining for undersea coal gas could cause fires, quakes, explosions and pollution, according to Scottish government’s green watchdog

Plans to turn coal under the Scottish seabed into natural gas by setting light to it could cause pollution, earthquakes, underground explosions and “uncontrollable” fires, according to confidential draft reports from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

Herald Scotland 

Nine firms apply for Scottish fracking rights

Nine companies have applied for licences to carry out fracking operations beneath 1,900 square kilometres of land in Scotland, it has been revealed.

BBC News 

Pairc Estate in hands of community after Scotland’s first hostile land buyout

A long and bitter crofting community buyout has finally been concluded after a local organisation took ownership of Pairc Estate on Lewis.

Press and Journal 

New café culture plans for Edinburgh’s George Street after part pedestrianisation trial

New ‘café culture’ plans to improve George Street, one of Edinburgh’s busiest shopping thoroughfares, are due to be unveiled by designers.

Herald Scotland

Councillor escapes reprimand after branding council staff ‘liars’

A north-east Scotland councillor has escaped punishment after alleging that planning officers were guilty of spreading “outright lies and twisted truths”. SNP councillor for Aberdeenshire’s Troup ward, Hamish Partridge, was accused of contravening the councillors’ code of conduct by showing disrespect and a lack of trust towards council officers.

Press and Journal

Appeal over rejected turbines between Lauder and Stow dismissed

An appeal over Scottish Borders Council’s refusal for a wind farm in the hills between Lauder and Stow in the Borders has been dismissed.

BBC News

Fresh plans in the works for rejected development at foot of iconic Aberdeenshire hill

The firm behind a controversial development at the foot of an iconic Aberdeenshire hill has announced plans for a fresh scheme – just months after it was rejected by councillors.

Press and Journal

Councillors approve new AECC development

Aberdeen City Council has approved the proposed new AECC (Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre), which will be developed on the site of the Rowett Institute in Bucksburn, and the redevelopment of the existing site at Bridge of Don with a residential-led scheme providing nearly 500 new homes.

Aberdeen City Council

Royal High School hotel plans ‘to be rejected’

Controversial proposals to transform Edinburgh’s Royal High School site into a luxury hotel have been dealt a serious blow after planning officials urged councillors to reject the scheme.

Edinburgh News