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Scotland round-up: Planning reporters delivered an improved performance during 2019/20; 800-home scheme approved near Bannockburn

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Scotland: 27 June-3 July, 2020

Planning reporters delivered an improved performance during 2019/20

The latest annual review published by the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) has highlighted improvements in performance, with 82 per cent of appeals decided within the target period during 2019/20 compared with 74 per cent over the preceding 12 months.

The Planner

800-home scheme approved near Bannockburn

Stirling Council has approved outline permission for a development of about 800 homes near Bannockburn.

The Planner

Dismantling planning system will lead to failure of ‘build, build, build’ agenda, warns RTPI CEO

RTPI chief executive Victoria Hills has written an open letter in response to government statements made this week in relation to the profession. Here’s the full text of her letter.

The Planner

Planner Live Online: Health considerations must drive post-Covid planning, say experts

A comprehensive rethink of the principles that drive planning will be necessary if we are to create healthier neighbourhoods, towns and cities in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Planner

Planner Live Online: Local control over transport spending will accelerate a green recovery

Local authorities should not have to be competing for small pots of ring-fenced money within a fragmented transport funding landscape.

The Planner

Johnson outlines ‘new deal’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's “new deal” will see funding brought forward to accelerate infrastructure projects in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The Planner  

Go-ahead for Barrhead retail park

East Renfrewshire Council has approved proposals from London & Scottish Developments for a retail park on part of the former site of the Nestlé Purina factory in Barrhead.

Scottish Construction Now

Montrose renewable hub mooted

A 50-hectare airfield site in Montrose, which already has permission for a mixed-use business park, is shaping up to become a renewable energy hub after it was acquired by Crown Estate Scotland.

Glasgow Herald

Lennoxtown housing row

Residents in the East Dunbartonshire village of Lennoxtown are concerned about proposals for a residential development of nearly 50 flats and houses – 85 per cent of which would be affordable – earmarked for a two-hectare wooded site on the eastern approach to the settlement. 

Glasgow Herald

New homes for Ross-shire

The Highland Council has given the go-ahead for 140 homes in Evanton in Ross-shire proposed by the Highland Housing Alliance.

Scottish Housing News

Redevelopment of former Exxon site in Bowling backed

West Dunbartonshire Council has backed revised plans to locate a major industrial and commercial development at the former Exxon site in Bowling, along with proposals for a new road.

Scottish Construction Now

Galashiels demolition plan

Waverley Housing Association has submitted proposals to renew the ageing Upper Langlee estate in Galashiels by demolishing the existing multistorey properties and replacing them with low-rise homes fitted with heat pumps. 

Scottish Construction Now

Fraserburgh memorial moves

Fraserburgh, the birthplace of Thomas Blake Glover – the Scot revered in Japan for his role in transforming the country from Shogunate dictatorship to modernity – is planning a Japanese-themed memorial garden in the town’s conservation area to be both a memorial to Glover and a tourist attraction.  

Glasgow Herald

Ailsa Craig granite excavation

A winter sports firm has applied for planning permission to excavate 30,000 tonnes of granite from the windswept island of Ailsa Craig to make curling stones.

BBC News

Planning minister blogs on post-lockdown Scotland

Planning minister Kevin Stewart has blogged about what kind of Scotland should emerge post-lockdown. He argues that the planning system should focus on a green recovery, on creating places that are built first and foremost around people and where space is used much more creatively.

Scottish Government

Imagining the future of town centres

Professor Leigh Sparks of the University of Stirling has been named as the chair of an expert group assembled by the government to look at optimising town centres in the aftermath of Covid-19. The group will include a representative from the RTPI.

Scottish Government

Kingston Bridge due for listing?

Glasgow’s 50-year-old Kingston Bridge, which carries the M8 motorway over the River Clyde, could be given listed status.

BBC News

Stirling office block approved

Stirling Development Agency has been given outline approval by the city council for a three-storey office block next to the River Forth at Kildean.

Scottish Construction Now

Removal of Wick eyesores

Two of the most notorious eyesore buildings in Wick’s High Street are to be demolished after lying empty for decades, and ownership returned to the community once site clearance has been completed and ideas for redevelopment are canvassed. 

BBC News

Highlands rewilding initiative

Conservation charity Trees for Life has submitted a planning application for what is claimed would be the world’s first rewilding visitor’s centre at its 4,050-hectare Dundreggan Estate in Glenmoriston, between Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye.

Scottish Construction Now

MSPs probe green recovery

Holyrood’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee has launched an inquiry into how Scotland can ensure that a green, just and resilient recovery is central to the country’s response to the social and economic challenges of the Covid-19 crisis.

Scottish Parliament

Report values World Heritage Sites

The UK National Commission for UNESCO has published research that shows how World Heritage sites – Scotland has six – can help build a greener, more equal and more peaceful world while also boosting local economies.

Historic Environment Scotland