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06/11/14 10:12

Athletes village takes gold

Top prize at Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning.

The Commonwealth Games Athletes Village in Glasgow has scooped gold at this year’s Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning, which was held in Edinburgh last night.

The awards celebrate achievements in planning, from high level visions to development on the ground, and are considered to be one of the Scottish Government’s most prestigious events.

The Athletes Village was picked out as overall winner from a field of 42 entries, with judges describing it as a ‘triumph’. They praised the high international standard of the development, as well as the strong partnership working that brought the project to fruition.

In total there were 22 winners across six categories, with 10 projects receiving awards, and 12 more receiving commendations.

The awards were attended by Planning Minister Derek Mackay, who praised the high standard of this year’s competition entries.

He said: “The Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning is one of the Government’s most prestigious events, and this year saw a superb range of excellent projects which have raised the bar in terms of quality.

“As the overall winner, the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village has only enhanced its reputation as a place that looks great and which will bring lasting change to the east end of Glasgow, demonstrating the legacy of the Commonwealth Games for local communities.

“All of the projects that made it onto the final shortlist are of exceptional calibre, and demonstrate the passion, knowledge and talent of those who drive forward new ideas and keep our planning system delivering to the best of its capacity.

“The Scottish Government’s ambition is to create great places that support economic growth across the country, and together, the new National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy set out a shared vision for Scotland as a place which benefits from a positive planning system that protects our unique environment.

“This vision, coupled with the talents of those whose achievements have been recognised at this year’s planning awards, testifies to the strength of a planning system that is delivering real and lasting change in communities across Scotland.”

Craig McLaren, Director of the Royal Town Planning Institute (Scotland and Ireland) said:

"The awards are an incredibly valuable way of rewarding, identifying and sharing examples of best practice in planning. I am especially pleased that the judges have seen an exemplary standard set this year as this comes at a time when we are celebrating 100 years of planning and the planning profession. Our ambition should be to build on this as we move into the next century of planning great places for people"

Notes to editors


Overall Award

Glasgow Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village – won jointly by Glasgow City Council and City Legacy

The judges were impressed with the ambition and focus which had been applied to creating a new residential district in the East End of Glasgow. Both the quality of the masterplan and delivery on the ground were matched by the partnership approach through the faith and commitment of the consortium.


Community Involvement

Aberdeen City Council – Engaging Young People in the Local Development Plan

The principle aim of the project was to promote and encourage the important role young people can play in looking into the future of places. Expressing how, they think, they should be designed and planned. The Judges commented on the Council’s genuine commitment to involve school children within the planning process. With the teachers involved, there was a feeling that the project had an inspiring impact on young people and their city centre.

TAYplan - TAYplan MIR consultation

The Main Issues Report stage offers the primary opportunity for public consultation in the development plan process. TAYplan embarked on workshops with industry and partners; community briefings and school events. The Judges noted that TAYplan worked with a limited budget but used many creative ideas, and media channels, to try and maximise awareness. The Judges particularly noted TAYplan’s commitment to the Youth Camp.

West Dunbartonshire Council – Bowling Basin Charrette

Working with the local community and Scottish Canals, the aim of the project was to develop proposals for the future development of the Bowling Basin area using a charrette. The Judges noted the charrette approach marked an important positive shift for the Council, whereby, they could experience how successful working with a community and using hand drawings, can aid dialogue and outputs.

Delivering in Partnership

City Legacy – The Athletes’ Village

This project had six main aims including the creation of a distinct, new residential district in the heart of the East end of Glasgow which will kick-start wider regeneration, change perceptions about the area, and set a new standard for similar future developments. The Judges felt that partnership was at the heart of this project, as well as the driving force to getting the outcomes delivered

Glasgow City Council – Central Govan Action Plan

In essence, the aim of the Action Plan was to attract more people to Govan. This was supported by a physical development strategy which was to be implemented, over a 10 year period, with a focus on an early action programme. The Judges were delighted to acknowledge the scale of output and quality of partnership working. They considered the team have created a ‘new’ place built on the area’s heritage and respected by its locals.

Development Plans

Aberdeen City Council – Strategic Infrastructure Plan

The aim of the Plan is to identify infrastructure goals, with a range of local, national and international stakeholders, helping to deliver the Council’s Strategic and Local Development Plans. The Judges considered this a unique and innovative piece of work, acting as the link to enable planning to move more towards implementation and delivery.

City of Edinburgh Council – Edinburgh Design Guide

The Council states that it wants new development to be of the highest design quality and worthy of the city. This Guidance is being used by planners when assessing proposals at both the pre-application and application stages. The Judges were impressed with the overall layout of the document into three coherent and well-illustrated chapters as well as linking the guidance to a training package

Development on the ground

Glasgow City Council – Athletes’ Village

The project, with a focus on family housing has delivered more than 700 residential units. The Judges noted that both the scale of ambition and delivery on the ground were exceptional. Pushing forward the place making agenda to a new standard.

Glasgow City Council – The Reid Building

Key to its success was how the Council established a partnership relationship with the applicant, and this in turn, provided an open forum for discussion of all issues. The Judges were truly inspired by this building as a place of learning and creativity.

Quality of Service

Fife Council – Fife Planning Gateway

This project involved the creation of a multi-disciplinary team within the Fife’s planning service to support the wider Development Management Team. The aim was to fundamentally improve performance whilst providing a better service to customers and creating a better workplace for staff.


Community Involvement

Perth and Kinross Council – Carse of Gowrie Community Mapping

The project sought to engage and empower the local community to record and visualise what matters to them, helping inform and shape decisions about their local environment and community. The Judges considered this an inspiring and exciting project - driven by the community and using state of the art mapping, not only to protect their area but also to link into the development plan.

Delivering in Partnership

Dundee City Council – The Crescent, Whitfield

The project involved partnership working in creating a ‘centre’ for Whitfield. The Judges felt this project was very strong on engagement and partnership within, and between, agencies. And that this project showed how, through having confidence and taking initiative, this regeneration project is acting as a community anchor and catalyst for wider investment.

North Ayrshire Council – Place through Partnership

This project was based on Japanese project management techniques where a project is developed ‘collaboratively’ rather than ‘in-sequence’.

The Judges felt that this was a commendable creative approach to place-making, not least because there was a genuine attempt to become more visual in how planners, again, communicate spatial challenges through drawings, as well as involving the local community.

Orkney Islands Council – Schools Investment Project

This project involved partnership to deliver a range of projects including Kirkwall Grammar School (incorporating Arts Theatre) and the adjacent Halls of Residence. The Judges recognised the scale and complexity of this project for an Island authority.

Development Management

Perth and Kinross Council - Delivering the ecological recovery of Loch Leven

The essential aim of the project has been to ensure there is an improvement in the ecological recovery of Loch Leven by reducing the extent of phosphorus entering the Loch. A revised planning procedure was appraised and agreed with Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Environment Protection Agency. The Judges welcomed this initiative with the change in process clearly based on analysis and scientific evidence.

West of Scotland Archaeology Service – Mitigation Service

This is a shared service for 11 planning authorities in west-central Scotland. The aim of the project was to look at ways in which changes to the working practices of the Archaeology Service could be combined with increased use of available online resources. The Judges were impressed with the deliberate commitment to deliver an improved level of service.

Development Plans

Orkney Islands Council – Orkney Local List

This project seeks to ensure that appropriate interventions are now being made, safeguarding and bringing back into use the existing built heritage stock, and ensuring that locally important buildings and structures are not lost. The Judges felt this merited a Commendation because it joined up housing, heritage and grants.

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs – Renewables Supplementary Planning Guidance

The aim of this project was to provide guidance to support the National Park’s first Local Plan approach to small scale renewable energy. Providing greater upfront information for communities, developers and landowners. The Judges felt that the guidance could easily have a resonance beyond the Park. With regard to the ‘look’ of the document - spatial mapping, illustrations and photographs were all applied to make the guidance user-friendly.

East Renfrewshire Council – Local Development Plan

The project involved the Council bringing parties together to take forward a key strategic proposal in its Local Development Plan. The Judges were pleased to see how the Framework document was written and produced by the planning service and accompanied by an action programme and delivery team. Overall, there was clear evidence of how ‘front loading’ the planning process helps to create a more efficient decision-making outcome.

Development on the ground

City of Edinburgh Council – 26-31 Charlotte Square

The overall objective was to permit a major office redevelopment of six former townhouses. The Judges felt this development showed quality and boldness. It was a sensitive and complex regeneration project but all handled with skill and care. There was also a real commitment to do justice to Robert Adam’s original design.

East Ayrshire Council - Kilmarnock Townscape Heritage Initiative

The initiative was a heritage led regeneration project which has seen significant investment in Kilmarnock town centre. An additional key outcome has been the reconstruction of the Opera House and the use of the Johnnie Walker Bond, to provide accommodation for 600 Council employees. The Judges felt this showed commitment as well as proactive planning from strategy to delivery. The approach is very much aligned to the Government’s Town Centre First Principle.

Quality of Service

Highland Council – Delivering major developments in growth sectors

The aim of the proposal was to provide a clear project management approach to developers for major strategic sites in Highland. The Judges felt the approach adopted by the Council provided certainty, efficiency and early delivery. The result was a positive impact on the planning system through taking a holistic approach to major applications.