In the news, w/e November 3

A ‘HOUSING emergency’ has been declared by elected members of The City of Edinburgh Council.

In a what is being described as a “first for the city”, councillors agreed to officially declare an emergency today during a full council meeting.

Says a council announcement, here: “It comes as [housing charity] Shelter calls on local authorities to take concerted action across the country, and as homelessness reaches close to 5,000 households a night in the capital despite a huge amount of preventative work by the ‘Third sector’, council and partners.”

Glasgow ‘affordable’ homes

OVER 7,000 ‘affordable’ homes are to be built in Glasgow over the next five years, following approval by elected members of a budget of £527 million.

The housing – some 7,500 across 185 developments – covers the years  2024/25 – 2028/29.

Says an announcement from the city council (here): “Amongst the priorities for new housing developments delivered through the Strategic Housing Investment Plan [SHIP] is that ten per cent of all new homes in developments of 20 units and above will be wheelchair readily adaptable; and 60 new family-sized homes with three or more bedrooms are built each year.”

In January, elected members identified (here) a target 13,000 new homes in the city by 2028, half of which would be ‘affordable’.

Also in January, the city council announced (here): “It is expected that the SHIP will deliver investment of over £535million that will see almost [‘affordable’] 6,500 new homes built during [2023/24 – 2027/28].”

Re-imagining your street

IT’S a recent discovery on the part of placedesignscotland, that many readers might be already long familiar with.

But, thanks to a bit of Artificial Intelligence, it is possible to choose a street in Scotland and see how it could be ‘re-imagined’ by removing cars.

The ‘street re-imagination’ involves typing in a street name and hitting a button, and the resulting images often comprise ‘active travel’ (cyclists are permitted), hard landscaping and flower beds.

It’s fun.

The software is a Dutch innovation that can be found, here.

Passivhaus-standard build begins

WORK has begun on a new school in Edinburgh, which will be constructed to the exacting energy efficiency standard, Passivhaus.

Says The City of Edinburgh Council, here, of a replacement Liberton High School: “The plans for the school, which will have capacity for 1,200 pupils, will consist of a variety of inspirational and inclusive spaces for learning.  

“Classrooms, studios, workshops and science labs will connect and work with shared collaborative areas and breakout spaces, providing learners with more personalisation and choice over their learning environment.”

Liberton high School is the fourth passivhaus-standard project in the city’s schools estate, the others being a four-classroom block at Sciennes Primary School (here), Currie High School (here) and Trinity Academy (here).

Community space a winner

A ‘COMMUNITY space’ that “provides opportunities for children, young people and families to take part in valuable health and wellbeing activities” has been named winner of two prizes at a biennial awards ceremony celebrating architectural and landscape design in Aberdeenshire.

The Vinery has taken the main prize at the awards, but also the category prize, Conservation and building adaptation.

Read more, here.

Planning excellence

AN awards ceremony – recognising ‘planning excellence’ in Scotland – has just announced its winners.

The awards – run by the Chartered Institute of Housing (Scotland) – revealed (here) the following winners:

Excellence in customer service – Wheatley Group’s Customer Voice Programme – Wheatley Group

Excellence in housing innovation  – Book it, Track it, Rate it – Wheatley Group

Working in partnership – The Outreach Worker Project – Places for People Scotland in partnership with Police Scotland Edinburgh Division, NHS Lothian and the Edinburgh Alcohol and Drugs Partnership

Excellence in development for affordable housing – Primrose Place, Alloa – Kingdom Housing Association with Clackmannanshire Council

Excellence in tenant scrutiny – Your Voice Group – Your Voice Group with Argyll Community Housing Association 

Excellence in the private rented sector – PKC Lets and Ukraine Landlord Offer – Perth & Kinross Council

Excellence in regeneration and sustainability – North Sighthill Regeneration, Edinburgh – City of Edinburgh Council with 21st Century Homes

Housing organisation of the year – Link Group at 60 – Sustainable Homes, Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Business – Link Group

Excellence in learning and development – Learning, Educating, Attaining, Recruiting and Nurturing (LEARN) – Elderpark Housing Association

Excellence in health and wellbeing – Heat and Eat Initiative – Grampian Housing Association

Housing-led approaches to ending homelessness – Naumann Initiative – Kingdom Housing Association; Highly commended: SCS Homes – Simon Community Scotland

Excellence in communications – Transformative Communication to Engage Tenants, Communities and Staff – Link Group

Net zero in housing – ACHA Whole House Retrofit Project – Argyll Community Housing Association in partnership with Procast Group; Highly commended: Zero Emission heating Project: Mackenzie Gardens, Turiff, Aberdeenshire – Grampian Housing Association in partnership with M-4

Marion Gibb award for equality in housing – Equality in Housing Podcast – Housing Options Scotland in partnership with UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence

Apprentice of the year – Amber Wilson – Hillcrest Homes

Excellence in leadership – Yvonne Baulk – North Ayrshire Council

Housing team of the year – Housing Access Team – Fife Council 

Young achiever in housing – Becky Clark – Hanover (Scotland) Housing Association

Lifetime achievement – Craig Stirrat – Grampian Housing Association

Unsafe cladding

LEGISLATION has been proposed that might result in the penalising of developers who refuse to co-operate in the remediation of their buildings with unsafe facade cladding.

Says a Scottish Government announcement, here, about the Housing (Cladding Remediation) Bill: “The Bill would also give [Scottish Government] Ministers the power to establish a Responsible Developers Scheme, to support engagement with developers and encourage them to pay for or carry out remediation work.

“Whilst subject to further consultation, such a scheme would likely include agreement to pay for remediation costs, with potential sanctions for developers that are eligible but do not join or continue membership.”

Also being proposed is a Cladding Assurance Register, “to give residents confidence about the assessment and works undertaken once those buildings are remediated”.

National Park City nomination for Glasgow

GLASGOW is among five cities chosen to be part of a global programme described as a “grassroots movement for people making their cities greener, healthier and wilder”.

Along with Breda, Chattanooga, Rotterdam and Southampton, Glasgow has been selected as a ‘National Park City‘.

Says the National Parks Foundation, here: “Each campaign team has demonstrated that they have an active movement with at least 200 supporting partners, and have shown their commitment to work towards submitting their applications to be recognised as National Park Cities.”

London became the world’s first National Park City in 2019, with Adelaide becoming the second two years ago.

Glasgow National Park City announces the news, here.

‘Net zero’ awards

AN awards competition recognising efforts to reach net zero carbon emissions has announced its winners list.

The awards – called ‘Accelerate to Zero‘ and organised by Built Environment – Smarter Transformation – took place after a day-long festival run by BE-ST.

The winners were:


Winner: Loco Home Retrofit CIC 

Highly commended: Morgan Sindall  

Diversity and inclusion

Winner: Women in Property 

Built environment changemaker

Winner: Chloë Yuill 

Highly commended: Cameron Galloway 

Collaborative partnership 

Winner: Retrofit Balsall Heath 

Highly commended: Novoville and partners 

Green skills

Winner: Timber TED 

Highly commended: Smith Scott Mullan Associates 

Green technology

Winner: Integrated Environmental Solutions  

Highly commended: OnGen Expert  

Circular economy

Winner: Kenoteq 

Highly commended: EGG Lighting  

Just transition

Winner: Comann Eachdraidh Eirisgeidh  

Highly commended: Retrofit Balsall Heath  


Winner: John Gilbert Architects

Highly Commended: Energiesprong

A to Z Hero

Winner: Agile City 

BE-ST Beacon Award 

Winner: Emily Carr  

Winner: Robert Hairstans  

Spotted a news story you think should be brought to the attention of Place Design Scotland readers? Use our ‘Contact us’ link on the front page of the site, to get in touch. Thanks, in antcipation.

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

Comments are welcome – only courteous ones (as per our T&Cs) – but they can only be posted by signed-in members. To sign up, for as little as £12 a year, please go here. Please note, comments appear following moderation (so expect a delay when submitting).