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Proposed planning revamp to boost infrastructure projects and create new jobs

The Scottish Government

Scotland’s planning system will create new trade jobs and economic benefits to help deliver sustainable economic growth, Planning Minister Derek Mackay has announced today.

The third National Planning Framework (NPF) and draft Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) will influence development plans across Scotland and guide future planning decisions on a range of sectors including transport, energy and infrastructure.

The NPF is the Scottish Government’s strategy for the long-term development of Scotland’s towns, cities and countryside. It sets out strategic infrastructure needs and priorities over the next 20 to 30 years that will pave the way for new jobs in the construction sector.

Mr Mackay said: “Scotland needs a planning system that has, at its heart, the overriding principle of delivering sustainable economic growth in order to maximise the country’s attraction to investors and visitors in a global economy.

“We want future planning decisions to give significant weight to the economic benefit of proposed developments, particularly the creation of new jobs.”

These draft proposals are supported by on-going measures to improve the overall performance of the planning system, ensuring smoother delivery and a stronger focus on economic recovery.

Planning Minister Derek Mackay added: “The consultation on the National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy will influence development plans across the country for the next thirty years affecting every part of Scotland.”

He said: “We will support our review of Town Centres by insisting that major new developments which attract people – like workplaces, leisure facilities and shops – are in town centres wherever possible. We want to see development which ensures lively, successful and viable town centres.

“I am keen that planning does more to encourage good design, and the creation of the kind of places we would all like to live in or visit. Our forthcoming policy on Architecture and Place will show what we are doing to achieve this.

“Scotland is enriched by a high quality environment and many special places to live in and visit. These physical assets underpin our economy and our quality of life and that is why we need to ensure developments go in the right place, providing positive benefits for our communities and environment.”

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New £36m Huddersfield Sports Centre reaches out for new jobs

BAM Construction has won the first stage of a £36 million deal to build a new Huddersfield Sport Centre that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

Kirklees Council has today announced BAM as the preferred contractor for the new multi-million pound Sports Centre which will be built on Spring Grove car park, Springwood, Huddersfield.

Construction work of the new centre is expected to start in 2013 as it is planned to be open to the public in 2015.

Kirklees Council Cabinet Member for Communities, Jean Calvert, said: “This is great news for Kirklees and is a major step forward for the regeneration of the town and a welcome boost for the local economy.

“Not only have we been working closely with communities to improve quality of life, but building the sport centre will help with our regeneration plans for the town, as well as supporting apprenticeships and creating job opportunities.”

The new sports centre will include building a 25-metre swimming pool; a teaching pool; two sports halls; climbing, squash and martial arts facilities; a large fitness suite; and a café and children’s area.

The sports centre will be owned by the council but managed by Kirklees Active Leisure. It will replace the Southgate sports centre which is coming to the end of its life and will close once the new centre is up and running.

BAM project and construction director John Phillips said, “We very much value the opportunity to work with Kirklees Council and are pleased to be building again in Huddersfield where we most recently delivered the Business School for the University, for which we’ve also delivered several other projects.

“As a community-minded contractor, this is a great building to be delivering because it means so much to the people around it. We’re sure that it will be an impressive building and it sits well with our other leisure sector projects in Yorkshire such as the City Varieties and the Leeds Arena, and we’re looking forward to making an early start.”

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