Minister visits Orkney

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The people of Orkney deserve a high performing, modern planning system that places a stronger focus on economic recovery, Local Government and Planning Minister Derek Mackay said ahead of visit to the islands.

Mr Mackay will be in Orkney on July 22 to 23, to meet with front line planning staff to underline the importance of improving the performance of Scotland’s planning system.

In Orkney Mr Mackay will meet with several representatives from Orkney Island Council as well as tour renewable projects and meet with Kirkwall Business Improvement District members.

During his visit the Planning Minister will meet with Convener of Orkney Island Council, Councillor Steven Heddle to discuss Our Islands Our Future and the unique needs of the islands. He will also meet with Councillor James Stockan, chair of the development and infrastructure committee and with Councillor Rob Crichton, chair of the planning committee.

He will also tour renewable projects on the islands including the recently extended Hatston Pier and Coplands Dock development and the Town Heritage Initiative area in Stromness, as well as meet with Kirkwall BID members to discuss what the BID is aiming to achieve.

Commenting on his visit to Orkney, Mr Mackay said:

“The Scottish Government is determined that our islands continue to support vibrant communities with attractive places to live and thriving businesses.

“Planning plays a vital role in facilitating this. The third National Planning Framework and draft Scottish Planning Policy, as well as the independent Town Centre Review give significant weight to the economic benefit of proposed developments, particularly the creation of new jobs.

“Orkney is enriched by a high quality environment and many special places to live in and visit. During my visit I am meeting with those at the coal face, who deal with planning issues on a daily basis. It is important that they maintain a high level of performance; our people deserve no less.

“Future planning decisions should be given significant weight to the economic benefit of the proposed developments, particularly the creation of new jobs.”