APBC Scotland 2

1099

Welcome to the 2nd Edition of Planning and Building Control Today Scotland. The housing crisis is still causing much political wrangling with shadow housing minister Mary Fee claiming in October that Scotland was at risk of the worst housing shortages since 1945 and the housing minister Margaret Burgess claiming the SNP government had “outperformed the record of previous Scottish adminis – trations” in delivering new house building programmes. Regardless of claim and counter-claim, the fact remains that housing is a key priority and more affordable housing is desperately needed. In November, the Scottish government announced that it is providing £200m in additional funding to stimulate the housing industry and safeguard construction jobs. This increase in funding is expected to deliver thousands of new affordable homes. So, some good news there for those “languishing on housing waiting lists” as Mary Fee describes them, but extra housing is only part of the solution. Any development should provide places where people want to live and engage the community in recognising the benefits. PAS (formerly Planning Aid Scotland) encourages community engagement in creating positive places for people and they are opening this edition highlighting how they have assisted in developing a vision, and importantly a practical plan of action, for two areas in Scotland. But PAS are also about educating the young, so they also explain what their role is to encourage them in the planning system. Local authorities and developers should also be interested in an article from Noel Farrer of the Landscape Institute who argues that by considering effective landscaping within develop – ments, not only are good places delivered, but they are valued and maintained, making them sustainable as well as profitable for all. David Philp of the UK BIM Task Group also makes a welcome return with an article outlining how BIM can help industry to collaborate and deliver better outcomes, and Steve Thompson, Chair of BIM4M2 addresses the challenges faced by manufacturers in the BIM process, and the requirements of the digital product information that can be exchanged with supply chain partners. This edition also turns its attention to the subject of energy efficiency with articles from the Energy Saving Trust discussing the benefits of solid wall insulation, Richard Sharpe of Exeter University warning of the dangers of poor ventilation, and Nick Ralph of MIMA on how to close the performance gap. All quite timely pieces considering we are now in the winter months. As ever, comments and suggestions for future editions are always welcome, so please get in touch with the editorial team if you have anything to say.