Blog and Bulletins

“Presumption is our natural and original malady” - Michel de Montaigne

“Presumption is our natural and original malady” - Michel de Montaigne

The presumption in favour of sustainable development is one of the most often quoted elements of Scottish Planning Policy (arguably, so often so as to have become meaningless). The Scottish Government has however been consulting on proposals to remove this, along with other policy changes, but will this actually address the malady that the presumption is thought to currently represent?

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Aurora Spotlights - September 2020

Aurora Spotlights - September 2020

As we move into autumn, we are starting to brace ourselves for the end of the Brexit transition period in just a few months’ time, we have learned that there are sharks in Regents Canal in London, and this all makes us really want a beer! These aren’t just passing observations, but reflect some of the diverse matters having an impact on the built environment this month. For more on which, read on…

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Planning for the future

Planning for the future

In July, we mentioned that our Director Maggie had been getting some insight into anticipated planning reforms in England through her role as a member of the British Chamber of Commerce’s expert planning panel. Now, we are delighted to be able to share some of that insight with this blog from one of Maggie’s fellow panel members, Amanda Beresford, Partner and Head of Planning at Schofield Sweeney LLP…

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Aurora Spotlights - August 2020

Aurora Spotlights - August 2020

Extreme weather events have again been in the news this month, with some devastating impacts. At the same time, our built environment needs to be resilient not just to a changing climate environmentally, but also socially, economically, and in terms of public health. And of course, planning is central to this. So, for what’s been happening in the world of planning this month, read on…

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Heart versus head: some insights from a planning committee clerk

Heart versus head: some insights from a planning committee clerk

We often describe planning as being more of an art than a science and so, for an insight into the planning decision making process, including what can sometimes be a tussle for Councillors between the heart and the head, we are delighted this month to have a guest blog from a former committee clerk. Here are his reflections from 3 years in a planning committee clerk’s chair.

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XUSA Mastermind session

XUSA Mastermind session

Lockdown has provided a great opportunity to participate in a number of on-line training and networking events and, this month, our Director Pippa is pleased to have been invited to participate in a Mastermind session organised by our client XUSA. This is one of a series of events held by XUSA to facilitate learning and development amongst their network…

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Aurora Spotlights - July 2020

Aurora Spotlights - July 2020

Will this be our last lockdown Spotlights?  In line with Scottish Government guidance, working from home continues to be the default position for us, but we will keep this under review when offices are allowed to re-open at the end of this month. Meantime, we’re re-adapting to the lifting of restrictions in all other areas of life, including the re-opening of cafes, bars and shops…

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Rising from the ashes

Rising from the ashes

With many (but not all) city centre businesses now reopening, we got some insight into the issues facing Business Improvement Districts and how these might be addressed when we caught up with Aberdeen Inspired’s Adrian Watson… And the good news is that, with a combination of partnership working, innovative thinking, and culture change, there seems to be a positive future for BIDs and our city centres. 

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Aurora Spotlights - June 2020

Aurora Spotlights - June 2020

As lockdown restrictions are now starting to be relaxed, planning has an important role to play in shaping our post-Coronavirus cities. At the same time, as we all adapt to the new normal (however temporary that normal may turn out to be), planning continues to impact on a wide range of matters completely unrelated to Coronavirus. For more on both, read on…

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A tale of two cities

A tale of two cities

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” The current Covid-19 crisis may not be the best of times for anyone but, like that being described by Dickens in his tale of two cities, it is undeniably a time of controversy and contradiction.So how might our cities - the current, and the post Covid-19 - compare?

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