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National Park Authority planning projects win prestigious Scottish Government awards

Two Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority planning projects have won three awards at the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning.

The national awards celebrate achievements in planning, right from the detail of processing through to the bigger picture of creating places.

Ripple Retreat on the banks of Loch Venachar was voted the People’s Choice Award and also won an award in the Place category. Built on the shores of Loch Venachar, Ripple Retreat is a place for families of young cancer patients in Scotland to get some respite from the everyday realities of living with cancer and is run by the charity It’s Good 2 Give.

During the planning process, the Park Authority worked closely with the charity highlighting the need for a sensitive and excellent design as the site is in an area of the National Park where development is only supported in very exceptional circumstances. The final, finished building includes a ‘ripple’ roof which was inspired by the waterside setting, the ripples in the loch and the way they sparkle as they catch the sun.

The stunning Ripple Retreat - photography by Kettle Collective

Co-founder, Chair and Director of Fundraising of It’s Good 2 Give, Lynne McNicoll said:When we were gifted the land for our Ripple Retreat, we were apprehensive about applying for planning consent.  We needn’t have been though as the team at the National Park Planning Authority were helpful, supportive and we really enjoyed working with them on the Retreat plans.

“We are delighted that all our efforts were recognised with these awards. It is a lovely and rightful recognition for their contribution to a beautiful building that supports young cancer patients and their families.”

The National Park’s innovative Rural Development Frameworks were also successful on the night winning an award in the Plans category.

The Rural Development Frameworks cover areas of East and West Loch Lomond and are more focused, place based plans that allow the Park’s communities to influence and deliver actions that improve their quality of life and place. In Luss the development of more affordable housing has helped meet the needs of working families and ensure local services remain viable.

Stuart Mearns, Director of Rural Development and Planning said: “We were absolutely thrilled to receive these awards in recognition of how the planning system can support local businesses and the rural economy.

“Our positive working relationship with Its Good 2 Give demonstrates the benefits of early engagement with the applicants in the planning process and maintaining that engagement after the decision is made to support such a high quality in the development.

“These awards highlight the quality of our work and demonstrate our ability to work successfully with applicants and stakeholders to deliver transformational development on the ground and positive planning strategies.”

The Keltie Water Hydro Scheme, within Drummond Estate, north of Callander, was also shortlisted in the Partnership category that celebrates collaborative working in planning.

The Rural Development Frameworks are available to read here and here.

To find out more about our Rural Development Frameworks, you can watch a short video here.

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