Saturday, 20 February 2010

Award-winning Planners

"The awards presentation for the RTPI Planning Awards 2009 took place on Thursday 4 February 2010 at the London Hilton, in a ceremony attended by Ann Skippers, President of the RTPI and Bob Neill MP, Shadow Minister for Local Government and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party."

For more detail click here

Friday, 19 February 2010

Senior Planners turn out today!

According to the Council's HwLDP blog, Senior planners turned out today for a meeting with key agencies and discussed the key agency involvement in the production of the Highland wide Local Development Plan to date and the need for continued partnership working to deliver planning reform in production of the proposed plan.

I am sure we are all very keen to know just what the objectives of the Highland-wide Local Development Plan will turn out to be. The content of their blog post - "how the plan objectives can be delivered" - certainly seems to indicate that whatever will be included in the HwLDP very much depends on whether or not it can be delivered.

Click here to read the planners blog post.

(All views always gratefully received)

Your views duly noted

Thanks to all who have responded thus far to the call for views on how APT should plan for the future. Here is just a small selection of comments so far?

Question 1: Do you think it is important to know how much land we are using for development and where that land is?

"Most definitely - although the local plan should identify where the land is but changes in between local plans being drawn up could slip people's attention"

"Yes, clear maps really get the message across"

"PPS 1 says it is the right of the community to decide the future shape of their environment therefore its important that the community view is reflected by the planning policy teams preparing the Local Plan and the Local Development Frameworks."

"The reason why I would always support (and indeed, I often 'champion') planning as a system/activity/profession is because without it - we are left with only the market, and with market allocation of land, land uses and all the things that come with that (goods, services etc). So, outside all the bunkum that you've no doubt read about the planning system being there to do x, y and z (which is it's purpose, of course) - really the reason we have a planning system is that we as a society decided some time ago that the use and development of land should be regulated and strategically provided for. That means that all the red tape and regulation you're currently working through is supposed to be there to ensure that land is developed in a way that doesn't just suit the landowner, but contributes something to broader social/environmental/economic goals. Now, that of course is the key question for debate - and where planning becomes very politically contested (as you know) over whether a development constitutes something that contributes to such goals, and even what the goals should be."

Apologies in advance if all the fonts come out differently: it happens when I import from e mails

Do you want to have your say on planning matters?

Would you welcome the chance to stand up and tell the world exactly what you think about planning in the Highlands of Scotland?

If APT hired a hall and set up a microphone would you come along and speak out in a 5 minute slot?

Would you come along and listen to what others had to say?

Would you like to hear from your councillors, politicians or even the Director of Planning for Highland?

How about hearing from local architects or other planning professionals working in the area?

What about the landowners perspective?

What is it that you feel needs to be done?

Post now or contact APTSec through the e mail address.

"...missed opportunity for homes and jobs"

Two items caught my eye today. The first was an item in my 'in box' sent through from the Planners Network UK regarding a conference in the US. PNUK sent these details to introduce ideas and possibly stimulate potential lines of debate for the network .

"No More Affordable Housing Scams (NO MAHS)" Towards Community Control of Land in New York City.

This is a call for those who are tired of being told that their dream for truly sustainable housing, free from market pressures, is unreasonable, impractical, or naive. This conference aims to create a space where we can radically re-imagine what is possible in our struggles over land, learn about some of the concrete skills to implement new strategies for community control over our resources, and build and strengthen ties within the housing, community and social justice movements."

The next item was on the 'Shelter' web site:

"Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland said: 'The smoke and mirrors will not blind us to the fact that there is nothing new in the Scottish Budget for homes, and nothing new for construction jobs."

To find out more from Mr Brown and Shelter click here

So where do you stand on the affordable housing debate? Do you think we are building the homes that people need and importantly want to live in? Where is the money going to come from?

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Looking to the future

APTSEC sent out an e mail today to all those on our database. The questions were straightforward but designed to help APT plan for the future. If you read this blog but do not normally receive information from us please feel free to answer the questions and either post answers on the blog or send answers through using the e mail on the LHS of the main page.

1 Do you think it is important to know how much land we are using for development and where that land is?

2 Do you think it is important to know what will be developed on the land – roads, railways, schools, surgeries, shops, houses, industrial units, tourism centres, renewable energy provision, waste management etc?

3 Do you feel that Government’s and Local Council’s could play a greater role in helping people understand the planning system? (Facilitate more courses for Community Councils from Planning Aid Scotland for example)?

4 Do you find the information that APT provides - through meetings and / or e mails and / or the blog - of any help?

5 Do you feel that you could continue to support the group? (‘Support’ can take many forms and membership is open to anyone who agrees with the groups objectives)

If you are not on our database and would like to be please contact APTSEC at the address on the LHS

Wildlife & Natural Environment Bill

The consultation responses have now been published.

Wildlife & Natural Environment Bill Consultation Analysis

Full Consultation Analysis -

Research Findings -

Monday, 15 February 2010

Keep up to date with progress of local plans

Click here

Enhanced ePlanning goes live in the Highlands...

"An enhanced online system enabling people to submit planning applications, appeals against decisions, and track progress of proposals in the Highlands goes live on Tuesday 23rd February"

for full item see Highland Council web site click here

Health and Housing

A recent item picked up by 'Planning Magazine' will strike a chord with local residents concerned about the impact of the scale of development proposals planned for the area:

"Planners should consider the impact of new housing on local health services when considering planning applications, according to the British Medical Association Scotland"

Planning Magazine item here

BBC Item here

Edinburgh Evening News item here

Roll on the next census!