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Scotland round-up: Sturgeon outlines infrastructure spending pledges; Orkney harbours masterplan set out

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Scotland: 29 August-4 September, 2020

Sturgeon outlines infrastructure spending pledges

The Scottish Government has committed itself to increase investment in infrastructure year-on-year so that by the end of the next parliamentary term it will be £1.5 billion higher than during 2019.

The Planner

Solar and wind set to be cheaper options for power generation by 2040

New solar and wind plants in the UK built in the next 20 years will be much cheaper than the government previously forecast.

The Planner

Wind sets power records in August

Wind power generation in the UK broke records in August by supplying nearly 60 per cent of the nation’s electricity on two occasions.

The Planner

Orkney harbours masterplan set out

An ambitious 20-year infrastructure masterplan designed to generate jobs and additional business to Orkney’s harbours has been unveiled, which includes a £116 million deep water quay at Scapa Flow, the largest natural deep-water harbour in the northern hemisphere. The Orkney Islands Council, which is the statutory harbour authority, has overall responsibility for the £230 million initiative.

Orkney Islands Council

Ibrox project makes progress

Rangers Football Club has submitted a planning application for a two-storey multipurpose facility that will replace Edmiston House next to its Ibrox Stadium and provide a state-of-the-art museum, a café, a multipurpose conference and concert venue and new retail facilities over two floors.

Scottish Construction Now

Leith Walk/Halmyre Street blueprint

A proposed housing-led blueprint for the Leith Walk/Halmyre Street area of Edinburgh has been published by the city council to help shape its future development.

Edinburgh City Council

Ayr station hotel move

Campaigners Save Britain’s Heritage have called for the currently derelict B-listed Ayr station hotel to be rescued from its owner as South Ayrshire Council launched a three-week consultation on its future. In 2018, the council served a dangerous building notice on the building, which is owned by Malaysian businessman Eng Huat Ung. 

The Scotsman

More student housing for Meadowhall?

Proposals have been unveiled for a 76-bed student accommodation scheme at a site on London Road in the Meadowbank area of the Scottish capital.

Glasgow Herald

Eyemouth harbour proposal

Scottish Borders Council has recommended for approval a facility at Eyemouth harbour providing an operations and maintenance base in the Borders for a major wind farm off the Fife coast.

BBC News

Green light for Falkirk Lidl

Discount supermarket Lidl has been given consent for a new store next to its current premises on Kemper Avenue, Falkirk, which is set to be demolished.

BBC News

Capital cul-de-sac concern

Residents have criticised road closure plans for an Edinburgh suburb saying they fear the changes in the East Craigs and North Gyle area will create Europe’s largest cul-de-sac. The proposals are being implemented by the city council under emergency measures related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

BBC News

Midlothian carbon strategy

Midlothian councillors have agreed on an action plan and strategy to become carbon-neutral by 2030.

Midlothian Council

Aberdeenshire education contribution repayment plea

Barratt North Scotland is seeking repayment of almost half a million pounds’ worth of education contributions made to Aberdeenshire Council as part of the permission for a 70-home development to the west of Newmachar now that fewer than expected children are attending the local primary school. 

Scottish Construction Now

Depopulation figures

Rural and island communities have been the worst affected by depopulation with parts of the west of Scotland also suffering, according to latest figures compiled by the National Records of Scotland. The statistics highlight that Inverclyde had experienced a significant decrease in population over the past decade.

BBC News

Strategic development frameworks added to Glasgow LDP

Strategic development frameworks to help guide the regeneration of the River Clyde corridor and, separately, the Govan-Partick area have been formally adopted as part of the Glasgow City Development Plan.

Glasgow City Council

Energy development clarification

Chief planner John McNairney has written to heads of planning services clarifying which energy projects require section 36 or 37 consents under the Electricity Act 1989, the circumstances in which energy consents can be varied and what developments can be covered by either section 42 or 57 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act. The letter also makes it clear that an energy battery installation should be treated as a generating station and that the Energy Consents Unit (ECU) must be notified of any amendments proposed by energy companies for developments under s42 of the Town and Country Planning Act (Scotland) Act 1997.

Scottish Government

Glasgow office block set for conversion back to hotel

The city council has approved a scheme to restore a B-listed empty office building in Vincent Street in Glasgow city centre back to use as a 149-bed hotel.

Scottish Construction Now

Highland regional strategy agreed

The Highland Council has agreed on a new 30-year indicative regional spatial strategy for the future of the region, which will be considered for inclusion in the government’s new National Planning Framework.

The Highland Council

Fife Council approves developments in Anstruther and Cupar 

Fife Council has approved plans for a new care village for elderly people in Anstruther and an £8 million retail park in Cupar,  

BBC News and Glasgow Herald