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Scotland round-up: Task force formed to transform derelict and vacant land; Stats: 4% increase in housing supply in Scotland

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Scotland: 22 September-28 September, 2018

Task force formed to transform derelict and vacant land

The Scottish Land Commission and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency have joined forces in an initiative designed to transform the country’s approach to vacant and derelict land.

The Planner 

Stats: 4% increase in housing supply in Scotland

There has been a 4 per cent increase in total new housing supply in Scotland in 2017/18 to 19,428 units, according to the country’s chief statistician.

The Planner 

UK Government calls for increased protection of world’s oceans

Environment secretary Michael Gove has appealed for 30 per cent of the world’s oceans to be protected by 2030 – a 20 per cent increase on the area currently protected.

The Planner 

RTPI to live-stream event at Conservative conference

The RTPI is co-hosting an event at the Conservative Party Conference on attracting new people into the built environment profession.

The Planner 

Effective engagement webinar available on demand

The Planner – in association with the developers of the community engagement platform Commonplace – has hosted a debate on the best ways that planners can manage truly effective consultation processes in a free webinar.

The Planner 

First phase approval for major Edinburgh scheme 

The first phase of the biggest development in Edinburgh for more than a decade has been given the green light following approval for developer Parabola’s proposals for seven office blocks and two multistorey car parks, part of the Edinburgh Park development on the west side of the capital. 

Edinburgh Evening News

Significant Shetland gas find

Energy company Total has announced a major gas discovery 125km north-west off Shetland after initial tests at a site on the Glendronach prospect indicated that there could be about a trillion cubic feet of gas that could be extracted.

BBC News

Greenhouse gas curbs urged for road transport

Scotland continues to outperform the rest of the UK in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, but successful strategies for the energy and waste sectors mask a lack of progress in road transport, agriculture, forestry and land use, the Committee on Climate Change has reported. 

The Committee on Climate Change

City investment prospectus

More than £10 billion of potential investment opportunities have been highlighted in a new prospectus from Scotland’s seven cities launched this week by the Scottish Cities Alliance. 

Capitals digital ambition

Edinburgh bids to become Europe’s data capital

A new venture that aims to make Edinburgh the data capital of Europe and train 100,000 people in the necessary skills over the next decade has got under way, funded by the Edinburgh City Deal. 

Edinburgh Evening News

Call for city ‘tsar’

The government must appoint a city ‘tsar’ and overhaul lobbying organisation the Scottish Cities Alliance, an expert on urbanism has urged. 

Glasgow Herald

Clyde ship repair site campaign

Senior politicians from three parties have backed calls for a new industrial strategy to help “save” former ship repair sites on the River Clyde.

BBC News

Edinburgh tourist tax consultation

Visitors to the capital would be charged £2 or 2 per cent of their room cost each night under detailed tourist tax plans which the city council will consult on.

The Scotsman

Barrhead retail park proposal

Developer London & Scottish Investments has unveiled plans to create around 100 new jobs in Barrhead by transforming the derelict Nestlé dog food factory site in Glasgow Road into a 5,300 square metre retail park.

Scottish Construction Now

Aberdeen moratorium on affordable homes contribution

Aberdeen City Council has introduced a two-year moratorium on affordable housing contributions from developers as part of a series of initiatives to increase the number of city centre homes.

Aberdeen City Council

Kishorn dry dock heavy metal project

Liberty Steel, part of a group that owns the Fort William aluminium smelter, has proposed constructing an arc furnace to make new metal by recycling decommissioned offshore oil and gas structures at its Kishorn dry dock in the west Highlands. 

BBC News

Successful wind farm appeal rates

Just over 40 per cent of wind farm planning appeals handled by the government’s Planning and Appeals Division since 2002 were successful, according to figures compiled by BBC News. Some 104 projects were approved over this period.

BBC News

Cupar pioneers Digital BID status

Cupar in Fife is set to become a Digital Improvement District in a first for Scotland which should showcase a potential model for smaller towns.

Scottish Government

Clyde quay walls initiative

Glasgow City Council is to work with several third-party owners of quay walls on the Clyde close to the city centre to help unlock the full potential of the waterfront and continue the river's regeneration by upgrading and repairing these key parts of the city's infrastructure where necessary.

Glasgow City Council