Scottish Government names planning pilots cash recipients

The Scottish Government has announced the recipients of a £119,000 funding package for a programme of 'town centre planning pilots', including proposals for a simplified planning zone (SPZ) in Renfrew town centre.

Bookies: cash will target clustering
Bookies: cash will target clustering

The Scottish government announced the allocations as it released an update report on its Town Centre Action Plan which was intended to boost struggling town centres.

In the report, Scotland's planning minister Derek MacKay said the stakeholders had made a "good start" in delivering the Town Centre Action Plan over the past year.

As part of building on this progress, the Scottish government said the £119,000 programme of town centre planning pilots would see nine local authorities share of the money over two years "to fund pilot schemes under the proactive planning theme".

One of the initiatives to benefit from the money is the plan for the Renfrew town centre SPZ. The Scottish government said there are no current SPZs in town centres and the pilot "would allow certain changes of use, and other minor changes such as signage, shopfronts etc. to be made without the need for a planning application (providing the proposals complied with the scheme) – offering simplicity for businesses and those wishing to undertake changes in town centres and efficiency and resource savings for the planning authority".

The funding will also support the sharing the experience of setting up the SPZ with other planning authorities, the Scottish government said.

Another initiative will see Glasgow City Council and West Dunbartonshire receive funding to tackle clustering of pay day loans and betting shops.

The Scottish government said the funding would help local authorities "to follow a transparent approach to form a robust evidence base/and prepare supplementary planning guidance to support their position in tackling clusters of pay day loan shops and betting shops, when making decisions on planning applications and at appeals".

"The authorities receiving this funding will be expected to also prepare step-by-step templates and electronic resources to assist authorities with similar concerns about concentrations of particular uses to prepare supplementary guidance to address the issue".

The report and full list of councils to receive money from the £119,000 fund can be found here.

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