National Award for the National Scenic Area

Dumfries and Galloway has won a national planning award for work in the region’s three National Scenic Areas (NSAs). Finance Secretary John Swinney presented the award to the NSA project for the community involvement in helping to conserve and enhance some of Scotland’s finest landscapes.

 

Over the last ten years our Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and local communities have worked together on a wide range of issues, such as tourism, economic development and environmental protection. This commitment has enabled the development and funding of a series of innovative projects including the improvement of existing, and creation of new, viewpoints, and the development of Village Design Statements.

Roger Grant, Chair of Planning, Housing and Environment Services Committee, received the award on behalf of the project partners Scottish Natural Heritage and the NSA Advisory Groups. He said, “I am delighted that we have been recognised in the Awards for Quality in Planning. The work in the Nith Estuary, Fleet Valley and the East Stewartry Coast NSAs has been made possible because locals have shared their knowledge and enthusiasm for these outstanding landscapes. They have been involved in Advisory Groups, in delivering projects and in volunteering with the NSA Countryside Team who have been helping to look after the areas.”

Joan Burnie, Chair of the judging panel, said, “A comprehensive approach was taken, resulting in planning being more meaningful and the National Scenic Areas becoming more than a line on a map. Such an approach has potential for other areas across Scotland.”

• The Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning is an annual event that aims to raise the profile of planning and encourage good practice.

• Mr Swinney said ‘These awards recognise the achievement of quality in planning across Scotland. The Government’s drive for a quality planning service will help to accelerate economic recovery and improve long term economic performance.’

• Since the NSA Management Strategies were launched in 2003, over £0.5 million of funding has been secured by our Council, from a variety of sources, to undertake a wide range of projects - a large proportion through the Sulwath Connections Landscape Project.