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Scottish Round-up: Ben Nevis views, power station, hill track protection

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Scotland: August 19-25, 2014

Tidal energy scheme secures funding

A scheme to build a tidal array in North Scotland, claimed to be the biggest such project in the world, has sealed funding for its first stage. The Meygen project will include 269 turbines submerged on the seabed, generating enough power for almost 200,000 homes in Scotland, when completed.

The Planner

More controls on Scottish hilltracks

Scottish planning authorities will get more control to protect the countryside from hilltracks under new rules. Through the introduction of a prior notification and approval process, planning authorities will be able to consider how propsed tracks will impact on the enviroment , and intervene to ensure that design, siting and appearance are acceptable.

The Planner

Glasgow and Clyde Valley funding agreed

The Scottish government will invest £500 million in infrastructure in Glasgow and the Clyde Valley, local government and planning minister Derek Mackay has pledged. That promise came as a so-called Glasgow City Deal was formally agreed between the Scottish government, UK government and the eight Glasgow and Clyde Valley councils. Funding will be targeted towards enhancing transport infrastructure, unlocking new sites for housing and employment, and improving the city’s public transport system.

Scottish Government

Power Station gets consent

Planning consent has been granted for a new Lerwick power station which will improve electricity supplies on the Shetland Islands, energy minister Fergus Ewing has announced. The new plant will replace the existing Lerwick Power Station, which is now over 40 years old.

Scottish Government

Objections deadline extended for Park of Keir

The deadline for objections to a controversial housing and leisure development proposed by a consortium which includes tennis star Andy Murray’s mother Judy has been extended after complaints by campaigners. The Park of Keir development earmarked for a site between Dunblane and Bridge of Allan in Stirlingshire features proposals for six indoor and six outdoor tennis courts, a six-hole golf course with practice range, mini golf, a 3G multi-sport all weather pitch along with changing facilities, coaching suites, and cafe restaurant, as well as 100 homes and a hotel.

The Scotsman

Residents complain over blocked Ben Nevis views

Elderly residents of a Highland street are campaigning to have their view of Ben Nevis restored after the construction of a school gym meant they could no longer gaze out on Britain’s highest mountain. Pensioners in Birch Road, in Caol near Fort William, claim the first they knew they were about to lose their vista of the 4,409ft peak was when building began on the new £7 million Gaelic Medium primary school last month. Many complain they did not get planning letters from Highland Council informing them about the 18m height of the gym now under construction.

The Scotsman

Ineos buys share of shale gas exploration licence

Grangemouth plant owner Ineos has bought a majority share in a licence for shale gas exploration and development in Scotland. The petrochemical company's licence covers 329 square kilometres of the Midland Valley around its Stirlingshire site. Grangemouth is being developed to import shale gas ethane from the US.

BBC News

Historic buildings get repair funding

More than £1.5 million has been awarded to help repair seven historic buildings across Scotland. The restoration work is being funded by Historic Scotland's Building Repairs Grants scheme.

BBC News

Wind turbine plans blocked

Plans for a 20-turbine wind farm at Glen Kyllachy near Tomatin have been blocked by councillors. Highland Council's south planning applications committee unanimously rejected RWE Innogy UK's proposals despite council planners recommending that the project be approved. Councillors were concerned about the cumulative impact in an area where several other wind farms have either already been built or are in the pipeline.

Inverness Courier

More vegetated shingle beaches than thought in Scotland

A report published by Scottish Natural Heritage has highlighted that there are more vegetated shingle beaches in Scotland than previously thought and most of them are in good condition. Vegetated shingle is protected under the EU Habitats Directive and about 20 shingle sites in Scotland are protected under national legislation.

Scottish Natural Heritage 

Renowned architect Prof Andy Macmillan dies

Renowned Scottish architect Prof Andy MacMillan has died suddenly aged 85. He co-designed St Peter's College seminary in Cardross - a building considered to be a modernist masterpiece. He was Professor of Architecture at Glasgow University and head of the Mackintosh School of Architecture from 1973 to 1994.He died in Inverness on 16 August during a judges' tour of buildings nominated for an architectural prize in this year's Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Andrew Doolan awards.

BBC News

Betting shop consultation starts

The Scottish government has begun consulting over whether, and how, the planning system can address concerns around the negative impact of over-provision or clustering of betting shops and payday lenders on the character and amenity of town centre and shopping areas. Consultation seeks views on various changes to the Use Classes Order and the General Permitted Development Order.

Scottish Government

Glenmorie wind farm refused consent

Energy minister Fergus Ewing has refused planning consent for a 34-turbine Glenmorie wind farm near Bonar Bridge in the Highlands. He agreed with the findings of the public local inquiry reporter that the wind farm would cause unacceptable landscape and visual impacts, including on wild land. Earlier the the Highland Council had objected to Glenmorie Wind Farm LLP’s application. 

Scottish Government