As our regular blog readers will know, we’ve been following the Planning (Scotland) Bill’s progress through the Scottish Parliament with great interest since it was introduced in December 2017. Most recently, in June this year, the Bill was passed in what has been described as “a radical shake-up of planning laws”. But, has the Bill ultimately created a radical new framework to achieve what it aspired to?
We can’t believe we’re half-way through 2019 already, and this month we celebrated our second birthday! Our thanks to everyone who has worked with us since we started out, we couldn’t have come this far without you – it’s been a great two years, and we’re very much looking forward to what the years ahead bring. Focusing on the present for now though, here’s our selection of planning highlights for this month.
Despite much speculation on the future of the Planning (Scotland) Bill following Stage 2 of the Parliamentary process, the Bill is now proceeding to Stage 3 with three days of debate over more than 150 amendments scheduled to take place this week. Read on for our observations on just a few of the amendments of particular interest to us.
This time last year, our May Spotlights was co-written by our intern Lisa Crossan. This year, we’re delighted to welcome another new face to the team, graduate planner Negar Maydanchi who is assisting us for four weeks. So below is Negar’s pick of what’s of interest this month.
A couple of years ago, a friend of ours set up home on a canal boat in Edinburgh, making us look at Scotland’s canals in a new light. And we’re not the only ones to have done that. After a period of post-industrial decline, these once important shipping routes are now increasingly valued again as places for people to live, work and play, and for their contribution to wider regeneration and placemaking.
April marks the anniversary of the Battle of Culloden and, with the National Trust for Scotland consulting on what new development (if any) would be acceptable near the site, and the Scottish Battlefields Trust suggesting that the land should be bought on “behalf of the nation” to safeguard it from any future development, we’re reminded of how often planning can feel like a battle for both developers and communities…
Given that the Planning (Scotland) Bill appears to have stalled in its passage through the Scottish Parliament, we thought that it would be interesting to consider how the scrutiny of legislation works in Scotland. So, this month we have a guest blog from Professor Hugh Bochel (yes, he is related!), who has a particular research interest in the workings of Scottish Parliament committees.
An introduction to the Planning (Scotland) Bill
Tuesday 16th April, Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce Property Network, 11.45am to 2pm, Spaces, Marischal Square, Aberdeen
With Spring now officially underway and the prospect of longer warmer days ahead, many people will be looking forward to spending more time out of doors. But the promise offered in the Planning Bill of a statutory requirement for local authorities to have up-to-date open space strategies which would deliver high quality open spaces for all to enjoy may need to wait for another day…
The power of architecture to effect is reported extensively in respect of the Guggenheim museum building in Bilbao and, on the opening of the V&A in Dundee in September last year, comparisons with Bilbao were inevitably drawn. That said, a single iconic building shouldn’t be relied upon to be the catalyst for regeneration on its own.