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Scotland round-up: Scottish Planning Bill details and reaction; Paper mill site set to become 850-home neighbourhood for Fife

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Scotland: 2 December-8 December, 2017

Scottish Planning Bill published

The Scottish Government has published its eagerly awaited planning legislation.

The Planner

Bolder planning legislation needed, insists Scottish planning sector

Organisations involved in planning across Scotland have echoed the RTPI in urging the administration to be bolder and more ambitious for its planning reforms following publication of the government’s proposed legislation.

The Planner

Paper mill site set to become 850-home neighbourhood for Fife

Civil engineering company Advance Construction has submitted plans for a major regeneration project designed to transform the historic Tullis Russell Paper Mill site at Glenrothes, Fife, as a location for a new neighbourhood of around 850 new homes.

The Planner

RTPI: Whitehall having powers to protect environment post-Brexit not enough

It isn’t enough for Whitehall to be repatriated with the powers to uphold existing planning and environment-related EU directives following Brexit, according to the RTPI.

The Planner

Hitting cycling targets could prevent pollution deaths

If England and Scotland met their respective targets to get more people to walk and cycle, at least 13,000 premature deaths from air pollution could be averted over 10 years, says charity Sustrans.

The Planner

Online CPD modules on smart cities and digital economy launched

The RTPI has launched two new free online learning tools to help planners better understand the convergence of spatial data and technology in improving planning practice, as well as the role of planning in developing the technology sector.


Inverness blueprints

Two major planning documents that will help shape the growth of Inverness have been approved by Highland Council: a draft masterplan for 3,000 new homes plus a suite of community and employment uses and, separately, the latest version of the Inverness City Development Brief, which requires sign-off by the government.

Highland Council

Decision stats

Latest official quarterly planning application decision statistics, just published, show that the overall average decision time for all local applications (8.8 weeks for 6,967 applications) has decreased, but the picture for major developments had worsened.

Scottish Government

Inverness housing

Highland Council officials are recommending approval for 767 new dwellings in Inverness, which developer Tulloch Homes wants to build close to the new West Link.

BBC News

Review of local governance announced

The Scottish Government and council body COSLA have jointly launched a local governance review designed to make sure that local communities have more say about how public services in their area are run.

Scottish Government

Home truths

The Scottish House Condition Survey for 2016 has been published. It suggests there are fewer households in fuel poverty and a more energy-efficient housing stock.

Scottish Government

Key north Glasgow scheme

Glasgow City Council has concluded an agreement with Scottish Canals and Scottish Water to develop an innovative system to improve capacity in the sewerage system and reduce the risk of flooding in north Glasgow, which will allow for land release for the development of 2,500 homes.

Glasgow City Council

Pollockshaws project

Glasgow’s Pollokshaws area is a step closer to its next phase of regeneration, after developers Urban Union submitted a planning application to the city council for an urban village providing 137 new homes.

Scottish Construction Now

Tweedbank SPZ

Borders Council has agreed to progress plans for an innovation park at Tweedbank on the outskirts of Galashiels, and has adopted a simplified planning zone for the area as it seeks to maximise the economic impact of the Borders Railway and provide modern facilities for new and expanding businesses.

Scottish Borders Council

Sauchiehall makeover

A £7.2 million facelift for a section of Sauchiehall Street, one of Glasgow’s one most famous thoroughfares, is to begin in the New Year. It will see the creation of a new two-way cycle lane and a space for seating, trees and planters.

BBC News

Meadowbank: end of an era

Edinburgh's Meadowbank Stadium closed its doors last weekend for the last time as the facility is readied for demolition and replacement with a new sports centre, partly bankrolled by residential and commercial development on areas of the site.

BBC News

Go-ahead for Glasgow’s High Line

Ambitious plans to create a new linear park inspired by New York City’s High Line at the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal, have taken another step forward with consent for the project, which will transform a 120-year-old disused railway bridge at Bowling Harbour.

Scottish Construction Now

Capital electric charging zones

Strategic charging zones for electric vehicles could be rolled out across the capital as part of Edinburgh's first electric vehicle action plan.

Edinburgh City Council

Fraserburgh jobs

An empty Aberdeenshire fish factory at Fraserburgh is being brought back to life, with up to 20 jobs set to be created.

BBC News

Green project funding

Twelve projects to create local, green energy solutions have been awarded a share of £2.6 million, as part of the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme.

Scottish Government

Mackintosh house protection

The National Trust for Scotland has unveiled plans to cover Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House in Helensburgh with an 18-metre tall enclosure, amid mounting concern for the building’s structural integrity.

Scottish Construction Now

Loneliest station

Barry Links station in Angus is the least used in Great Britain, new figures have revealed.

BBC News

Peebles development

Plans for an £11.3 million tourism development in the Scottish Borders has been unveiled. It includes proposals for 56 cabins and 16 kilometres of new trails in Glentress Forest in the heart of the Tweed Valley near Peebles.

The Scotsman

More hydro

Metals giant GFG Alliance has bought Perth-based Green Highland Renewables and announced plans to develop more hydro power plants in Scotland.

Glasgow Herald

Crossed tram lines

The capital is divided on plans to extend the tram line to Leith, according to a survey carried out by the Edinburgh Evening News.

Edinburgh Evening News

A9 artefacts

Archaeologists have discovered a possible Iron Age structure, pottery and a stone tool amid major works to dual the A9 near Kinguissie.

The Scotsman

Superyacht strategy

A drive to attract superyachts to the west coast of Scotland has been launched to help businesses share in the £3.7 billion marine tourism industry.

The Scotsman

Moving walkway option mooted

An architect has proposed building the world’s longest moving walkway as an alternative to the planned train-tram link between Glasgow city centre and Glasgow Airport.

The Scotsman

Best park

A green space in East Renfrewshire has been named Scotland’s best park for 2017.

The Scotsman

Remote communities get 4G

Residents in some of the most remote communities across Scotland can now receive 4G coverage, thanks to a network expansion by communications company O2.

The Scotsman

Highland Council pushes for 6,000 new homes

Highland Council has approved a five-year strategy to deliver 6,000 new homes, 2,500 of which of will be socially rented.

Scottish Construction Now

Caravan development mooted for Borders castle

Plans for a major tourism development near Thirlestane Castle, near Lauder in the Scottish Borders, have been revealed involving 500 static caravans and 50 touring caravans.

BBC News

Land market woes blamed for housing shortage

A dysfunctional land market lies at the heart of Scotland’s housing shortage and presents a barrier to building affordable homes, argues a discussion paper from the Scottish Land Commission.

The Scotsman