Moray Council has won an award at the Scottish Government’s Awards for Quality in Planning ceremony for its Creating Places in Moray initiative.
The submission, submitted by the council in partnership with Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS), explained the steps that have been taken to improve the design standards of development and promote better placemaking across Moray.
The benefits of high quality design include creating places that are attractive, safe and well connected with their own sense of identity which, in turn, helps to establish communities, promotes healthier lifestyles, and encourages inward investment.
Winning the award reflects the commitment and leadership of the council to work together with its partners to improve design standards which is supported by the three key steps of training, policy and process.
The council’s head of development services, Jim Grant, said: “The award recognises our commitment to improve design standards in new development across Moray.
“High quality design is embedded in the Moray Local Development Plan which forms the basis of all planning decisions, and our Urban Design Guide.
“The council has introduced a quality auditing process which involves a multi-disciplinary team of council officers assessing development proposals and working together - and with developers - to resolve design issues.”
Council officers from a range of key services, elected members, local developers, and community councils have also undertaken a programme of design and masterplan training facilitated by A&DS which has provided a common understanding of design issues and fostered a shared ambition of creating better places in Moray.
This has informed the production of both the Findrassie Masterplan - which also received a Scottish Award for Quality in Planning at the same ceremony in Edinburgh - and Elgin South Masterplan, both of which demonstrate high standards of urban design.
As part of the awards submission, the council submitted a short film featuring the work of partners including Springfield Properties, Urban Animation, Pitgaveny Estate and A&DS.
Councillor Chris Tuke, who chairs Moray Council’s planning and regulatory services committee, said the Creating Places in Moray award underscored the council’s commitment to enable the building of well-designed places for people to live.
“I welcome this award as it acknowledges the work of all involved - council officers, councillors, developers and the wider community.They have worked well together which will lead to a more pleasant environment for all.
“Coupled with the partnership award which the council had won in conjunction with Pitgaveny and their design team for the Findrassie masterplan, this has been an auspicious week for the council’s planning and development section.”
Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 95,510 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.
Headquartered in Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.