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where will all the turbines go?

This year’s annual Scottish Planning and Environmental Law conference included an enlightening session on the new policy framework created by Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) for onshore wind turbines. SPP spatial framework The SPP introduced a new three tier spatial framework for onshore wind farms (paragraph 161): Group 1: areas where wind farms will not be acceptable (National Parks and National […]

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planning and entrepreneurship

Recently I was at an interesting meeting with Iain Scott of Can Do Towns and Scotpreneur, civil servants from the Scottish Government’s regeneration & planning divisions and RTPI Scotland. The subject of the discussion was how can planners and planning encourage entrepreneurial activity.  The contexts were, firstly, the undersung importance of small private and social enterprises to local economies […]

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new urban voices

Finding money for improving our towns and cities is getting harder and harder – whether you’re a business, a local authority or particularly a social enterprise. In the past you might have asked a bank or a grant-funder for some money. Now you need to be more nimble. Lots of people are finding clever new […]

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young people in planning | TAYplan leading the way

TAYplan, one of Scotland’s four Strategic Development Planning authorities, have been doing some interesting work in recent years. Their latest Strategic Development Plan for Dundee, Perth, Angus and north Fife won the Royal Town Planning Institute’s top award last year, the Silver Jubilee Cup; not bad for a plan that was produced on a tight budget with a core team of […]

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what our town centres really need

I’ve only caught one episode of BBC2′s Robert Peston Goes Shopping, but I’m glad I did. It sharpened my unease about the much vaunted “death” of the High Street. There are two facts that tend to get lost in this debate. Fact one: High Streets have always been places of change. The speed of that change may […]

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collaborative approaches to town centres: what should planners do differently?

This article was published in the Scottish Planner (August 2013), the journal of RTPI Scotland. I was RTPI Scotland’s representative on the Fraser Review of town centres, which reported to the Scottish Government in July 2013. The government’s response is due at the end of September 2013. But most importantly, the planning system cannot nurture the other ingredients that make […]

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making the most of opportunities

This post was written for RTPI Scotland to outline what I learnt from representing RTPI Scotland on the Scottish Government’s Town Centres Review Advisory Group. Last year, I was lucky enough to be invited to represent RTPI Scotland on the Scottish Government’s Fraser Review of town centres. I jumped at the opportunity: it’s not every day that I’m offered the opportunity to […]

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Scotland’s town centres | how can planning help?

The Scottish Government’s Town Centre Review External Advisory Group is due to report to Ministers in April. I’ve been representing RTPI Scotland on the Group. Here’s my update on what the review is likely to mean for planners. This article was also published in the March 2013 edition of the Scottish Planner. Last summer, Scottish Ministers launched a Town Centre Review to […]

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Haddington youth enquiry | young people shaping their place

Haddington in East Lothian is busy co-producing the future of its town centre – building a bright future by businesses, local authority and the community working together to plan and delivery change. It’s an exciting initiative, not least because of the increasing collaboration and power-sharing that’s taking place, as I explain here. The framework for action is the vision […]

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East Lothian Rural Voice | pointers for integrated policy

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about a fresh’n’lo approach to rural planning. It described a pioneering public/private sector collaborative approach to informing the next generation of rural planning policy in East Lothian, with the objective of encouraging more rural investment, more diverse and sustainable rural economies, and thriving rural communities. Now, Richard Heggie […]

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