Planning guide leads to hutting resurgence seen in Scotland

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Planning guidance published in February has generated a resurgence of hutting in Scotland…

Campaign group Reforesting Scotland launched the ‘Good Practice Guide on Hutting on Scotland’ last month. The event, held at the Scottish parliament, was hosted by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Angus Macdonald MSP and was attended by some 80 planning professionals, architects, and hut builders.

Huts were first acknowledged in 2014 as a distinctive form of Scottish development in the Scottish Planning Policy (SPP). However, there has been little guidance for how local authorities, architects, planners, and hut builders should approach designing and buildings these structures, as well as the planning rules that should be in place.

Reforesting Scotland’s Thousand Huts campaign has an online community of almost 4,000 members. The organisation’s guide aims to clarify planning considerations, such as what constitutes a hut, where huts might be built, and issues relating to the land surrounding the hut. It also outlines special considerations for planning hut sites, management of sites, as well as the tenure and ownership of land.

The document, which spans some 28-pages, states: “The intention in doing this is to help lay the groundwork for a new hutting culture beneficial to the wellbeing of people and the environment.”

Huts were previously built to provide industrial workers with a natural retreat from the city. These structures are now beginning to see a resurgence. Carbet, near Glasgow is home to Scotland’s largest remaining hutting community, comprising of 140 huts.

Angus Dodds, Savills Rural Planner based in Edinburgh said: “Huts are really exciting for lots of different reasons, not least because they represent a completely new type of planning unit than we are accustomed to, and by extension, potential business opportunities for our clients.”

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