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Scotland round-up: Planning review panel calls for views; green light for £41m Edinburgh student housing

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Scotland: 17-23 October, 2015

Planning review panel calls for views on root and branch reform

Organisations and individuals across Scotland are being asked to submit views as part of a nation-wide review of the planning system.

The Planner 

SNP conference 2015: Delegates vote for more radical land reform plans

Delegates at the SNP conference have backed calls to make the proposed Land Reform Bill more radical. Meanwhile anti-fracking delegates challenged the SNP’s policy for a moratorium on the controversial gas extraction technique, arguing that conference should go further and outlaw it.

BBC News and The Scotsman 

Green light for £41m Edinburgh student housing plan

Student housing specialist Select Property Group has secured planning permission for a £41 million development at Fountainbridge in Edinburgh which will see the area’s former Palais de Danse – most recently a Mecca Bingo – transformed into 261 self-contained studio bedrooms.

The Scotsman 

Views sought on options to improve transport between Fraserburgh and Peterhead to Aberdeen

North-east residents, commuters and businesses are being consulted on options identified as part of a study for improving transport connections between Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Aberdeen. Seven strategic options have been proposed which cover a mixture of road upgrades, bus travel improvements and rail options; including dualling the A90 north of Ellon and the potential re-opening of the former Formartine and Buchan railway line.

Aberdeen City Council

Report explores recovery of habitats and species in Scotland’s new Marine Protected Areas

A new report commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage has shown that once damaged, nationally and internationally important marine wildlife and habitats may take tens or even hundreds of years to recover.

Scottish Natural Heritage 

Community hydro scheme may be last renewable project

A green energy scheme in a remote part of the north-west Highlands looks set to be one of the final community hydro projects to be built in Scotland after the recent axing of subsidy guarantees by the UK government.

The Scotsman 

Dumbarton Academy building saved by £500,000 grant

West Dunbartonshire Council has secured a £500,000 grant to restore the Dumbarton Academy building ahead of moving 500 of its staff into the building.

BBC News 

Repair grant boost for historic Govanhill Baths

Plans to restore and reopen a historic Glasgow municipal bath house have been given a further financial boost. Govanhill Baths has been awarded £500,000 for repair and refurbishment work by new heritage body Historic Environment Scotland.

BBC News 

Edinburgh's Advocate's Close wins national award

A historic area of Edinburgh's Old Town, which was restored following decades of neglect, has been named best development in Britain in this year’s Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) awards.

BBC News 

£170m rail upgrade for Aberdeen - Inverness line

A key rail route in the north of Scotland - the Aberdeen to Inverness line - is to benefit from a £170 million improvement package which will cut journey times for travelers.

The Scotsman 

Plan to extend life of major quarry near Powfoot

The owners of a major Dumfriesshire quarry have applied to extend its lifespan for a further 24 years.

BBC News 

Planning bid for Auchenblae hotel destroyed in explosion

Planning permission to rebuild an Aberdeenshire hotel which was destroyed in an explosion in 2009 has been submitted.

BBC News 

Eight in 10 back luxury hotel, claim developers

More than 80 per cent of people in Edinburgh are supportive of one of its most famous landmarks becoming a luxury hotel, according to an opinion poll commissioned by developers.

The Scotsman 

Supermarket plan for Edinburgh pollution zone refused

Plans for a supermarket within the St John's Road Pollution Zone in Edinburgh have been refused by city councilors. The store would have had a 140-capacity car park. St John's Road has the worst air quality in Scotland due to congestion, environmentalists have claimed.

BBC News

Jobs hope with 'green energy park' plan for Chapelcross 

More than 500 jobs could be created at the former Chapelcross nuclear plant, according to the green energy firm behind ambitious plans for the 90-hectare site.

BBC News