Next steps for planning policy in Scotland

14 September 2017

This seminar will provide a timely opportunity to discuss priorities for Scotland’s planning system as the Scottish Government prepares for the expected introduction of a Planning Bill.

 The agenda includes keynote addresses from John McNairney, Chief Planner, The Scottish Government and Andrew Thin, Chair, Scottish Land Commission.

Delegates will assess the Scottish Government’s proposed changes to Scotland’s planning framework at local, regional and national levels – including the phase-out of Strategic Development Plans – and the likely impact on the strategic planning of major infrastructure projects.

They will also discuss opportunities for future-proofing Scotland’s planning system, drawing on lessons from the rest of the UK to assess approaches for tackling the skills shortage within planning, the potential for technological innovation and realising the resilient and sustainable communities outlined in the Scottish Government’s draft energy strategy.

 Further sessions consider proposed changes to the planning system aimed at addressing barriers to the delivery of housing in Scotland, and how this may impact on the provision of other vital infrastructure such as telecommunications.

The agenda looks at the possible role of Simplified Planning Zones for housing, changes to funding mechanisms for the planning system such as the rise in planning fees and the proposed infrastructure levy, as well as how proposals such as extending permitted development rights may encourage the infrastructure first approach put forward by the Scottish Government.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • Community engagement, regional partnerships working and strengthening the National Planning Framework;
  • Developing Scotland’s infrastructure: major projects, housing and moving towards an infrastructure first approach;
  • Implications of land reform on the planning sector; and
  • Future-proofing the planning system: skills, innovation and developing resilient places.

 The draft agenda is copied below my signature, and a regularly updated version is available to download here. The seminar is organised on the basis of strict impartiality by Scotland Policy Conferences. Follow us @ScotlandPolicy for live updates.

Canal Heritage and History

24 May 2017

This event seeks to enrich the understanding of our canal heritage and their ongoing restoration and maintenance.
The Canal & River Trust is responsible for the care, restoration and maintenance of 2,663 listed buildings and 50 scheduled monuments over 2000 miles of waterways throughout Britain.
The Dudley Canal Trust was created in 1970 to protect and preserve the tunnels after they were closed by Government in 1962. Local people who were faced with the loss of a unique nationally important site re-opened the tunnel and fought to restore it to working order.

Please refer to this link for further information.

Traditional Craft Skills Day

24 May 2017

Join us for a day of fascinating practical demonstrations – and have a go yourself!

Find out about the specialist conservation skills and repair techniques used to maintain the 350 churches cared for by The Churches Conservation Trust.

Practical demonstrations will focus on the repair techniques and traditional skills required to maintain St Andrew’s Wroxeter and the rest our incredible estate. Skilled craftspeople will be on hand to explain and demonstrate their craft, and to highlight the importance of their particular skill in the on-going maintenance and repair of our historic churches.

The day is open to all who are interested in the practical skills involved in conservation. There will be the opportunity to have a go yourself, so come prepared to get your hands dirty! Subject areas that will be covered include:

  • Stained and leaded glass repair with conservator Elizabeth Hippisley-Cox.
  • Lime cycle, including slaking and application, with Nigel Copsey of Earth Stone & Lime Company and Associates.
  • Historic building conservation with consultant Tim Ratcliffe.
  • Timber framed construction with Simon Harper of the Shropshire Oak Carpentry Company.
  • Church maintenance with Jamie McNamara, Estate Officer at The Churches Conservation Trust.

The skills demonstration day will run from 10.30am until 4.00pm, and you are welcome to stay all day or to drop in between those times. The day is free to attend, but booking is essential. To reserve your place, contact Jessica Robertson on or 0113 244 1689. Tea and coffee will be provided, but we ask that you bring your own packed lunch.

– See more here…

Understanding Historic Buildings Training Course

17-20 July 2017

Historic England is launching a four-day field school, Understanding Historic Buildings, to be held in Oxford on 17-20 July 2017. It is a practical course that will give people a deeper understanding of investigation techniques alongside hand-measuring and hand-drawing skills to analyse the fabric of historic buildings. Delegates will first learn why these techniques are so useful and then have an opportunity to practice surveying and drawing a historic building themselves. The course is therefore ideal for existing historic buildings professionals that would like to enhance their survey skills, or for people considering a career in this area. It replaces Building Survey Week, a long-running and highly-popular course; it covers the same topics in four days instead of a full week and will be taught by past and present HE staff.

For more information about the course content, tutors and venue, as well as details of how to book, please see Historic England’s website.