Scotland’s only Simplified Planning Zone (SPZ) has received an award in the Delivering in Partnership category at the Scottish Government Awards for Quality in Planning (10th November).
The Delivering in Partnership award recognises work achieved through public and private bodies coming together, using innovative techniques to get development moving and the planning system delivering.
The SPZ, which is the first in Scotland for over 20 years, aims to accelerate business growth at one of Scotland’s largest business parks.
The joint SPZ scheme, with Renfrewshire and Glasgow City Councils, simplifies and streamlines planning regulations over a 10 year period allowing construction projects to proceed within weeks if the proposed works fall under the agreed parameters of the scheme. All of the key planning considerations have been dealt up-front.
Economic development forecasts have suggested that the SPZ at Hillington Park has the potential to generate 2,800 full time jobs and generate additional economic wealth of £217m every year over the next ten years.
Jamie Cumming, Commercial Director at Hillington Park said: “Hillington Park has been at the heart of commerce in Central Scotland for over 75 years and the SPZ aims to help it develop further through the use of this innovative approach to planning. This award is testament to a team of people who worked extremely hard to secure its status.
“Companies already based here, and those looking to locate here for the first time, can plan confidently in the firm knowledge that any proposed new development scheme, that falls within the SPZ guidelines, can progress promptly. The Park also has over 75 acres of development land available which we know has a strong appeal for potential developers.”
Hillington Park worked closely with development consultants Terence O’Rourke to create the SPZ using legislation that was previously rarely used in Scotland.
James Iles, associate director at Terence O’Rourke and project lead, said: “We are incredibly proud to have helped achieve the approval of Scotland’s first SPZ in, what is thought to be more than 20 years. So, to be awarded this accolade is the icing on the cake. Judges said that they hope this approach will act as a model for other local authorities to follow to add competitive advantage to the Scottish business and economic market. With the SPZ in place businesses can plan confidently for growth, which can only be good for business.
“To be recognised in the Delivering in Partnership category demonstrates that the development of the SPZ is a big achievement for everyone involved.”
Hillington Park, which is owned by Patrizia UK Ltd, is one of Scotland’s largest business Parks. It lies to the south of the M8 motorway between Glasgow and Paisley and straddles the administrative boundary between Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Council. It covers in excess of 400 acres, is currently home to over 500 businesses working across all sectors and who collectively employ around 8000 people.