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Scottish planning authorities offered green recovery support from national organisations

Words: Roger Milne
Scotland / iStock

Ten national organisations known collectively as the Key Agencies Group – each with a role in land-use planning – have offered to help local authorities with measures to aid a green recovery.

The group has suggested that its members could contribute to regional spatial strategies, local development plan preparation and site identification to support environmental and biodiversity initiatives.

The group comprises: Architecture and Design Scotland, the British Geological Survey, Historic Environment Scotland, Public Health Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Water, Sport Scotland, and Transport Scotland.

The group’s chair is SEPA’s Katherine Lakeman. She said: “There are significant benefits to be had through the key agencies working with local authorities and other stakeholders to help make sense of the complexity and scale of significant places undergoing change or development to support a green recovery. 

“Over the past 12 months we have started to both organise ourselves so that we can work in a more collaborative ‘key agency team’ approach with stakeholders to deliver place objectives for complex sites and to help develop knowledge of how new evidence approaches can be developed to help better inform strategic and regional planning approaches.

“Our early and continued engagement not only helps improve place outcomes but provides opportunities to align resources more effectively and bring greater certainty for developers and communities.”

She stressed that support could come in different forms and could help the development of “visions, briefs and masterplans and ultimately the alignment of resources to support delivery”.

Meanwhile, in a separate but related development, SEPA’s pioneering River Leven project – the subject of an agreement between a mix of public and private partners including the agency, Scottish Enterprise, Fife Council and global spirits manufacturer Diageo – has won international recognition for its initiative to transform an area once at the centre of Scotland’s industrial revolution with sustainable, inclusive growth.

Volans, a global think tank, has recognised the scheme as its first ‘living case-study’.

Image credit | iStock