The APRS Climate, Planning and Communities webinar, held on 20 January, proved a popular event. Members and guests were given an introduction to the new Scottish Planning regulations, how they might tackle the climate emergency, and how local communities can engage with the planning system at national and local levels

There were three presentations on the following issues

  1. National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4), Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) and Local Place Plans (LPP). Speaker: John Esslemont, APRS Trustee, past convenor of RTPI Scotland with over 40 years experience in local government as a strategic planner which included managing the Ayrshire Joint Planning Unit. John will provide an overview of the draft NPF4, the key proposed changes, the implications for planning in Scotland, how it might address climate change and the role of RSS and LPPs in the future. Mr Esslemont’s presentation can be found here
  2. Local Development Plans and responding to planning applications. Speaker: John Mayhew, APRS Director, Chartered Town Planner, former Head of Policy and Planning at the National Trust for Scotland and former Chair of Scottish Environment Link. John will explain what Local Development Plans are and why they are important, then will give some key tips on responding effectively to individual planning applications. John’s presentation can be found here
  3. The role of the new Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland (ERCS). Speaker: Ben Christman, ERCS In-house solicitor, Planning Democracy Trustee and member of the Law Society of Scotland’s Access to Justice Committee. Ben will explain the role of ERCS in supporting citizens and environmental organisations to use the law to hold the government and public bodies to account in order to protect our rights to a healthy environment. Ben’s presentation can be found here

If you have not yet already chosen to support APRS please consider a donation or becoming a member here:

Annual General Meeting (AGM) – Thursday 26 May 2022

Our AGM this year will once again be a virtual one on the morning of Thursday 26 May (10.30am by zoom). Members are most welcome to join APRS staff online. Our President, Patricia Macdonald, will be giving an illustrated presentation on rural landscape issues in Scotland which will expand on her article in our forthcoming newsletter. Patricia is an environmental/cultural landscape researcher, writer, academic and photographer whose powerful, boundary-crossing environmental aerial imagery has won many awards so I think it will be an interesting morning.
If you would like to attend please register at this link: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.  Agenda & further information.

APRS Members’ Day Autumn 2022?

There are no arrangements in place at present but members will be notified as soon as possible should APRS decide to proceed with holding this event.

Image copyright Alex Berger

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