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Hillington Park wins Delivering in Partnership category at the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning

Vectos is proud to announce that the Hillington Park redevelopment project is the winner of the 2015 Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning’s Delivering in Partnership category.  

Vectos was engaged by Patrizia UK Ltd and worked with Terence O’Rourke, Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Council in the application for Scotland’s first Simplified Planning Zone (SPZ) in 20 years to facilitate an employment-led regeneration of Scotland’s first industrial park.

Hillington Park is an established business and industrial location spanning approximately 200 acres and home to 500 businesses and organisations on the western edge of Glasgow, straddling the boundaries of Glasgow City Council and Renfrewshire Council.

The aim of the project was to introduce a simplified planning system to promote Hillington Park as an opportunity for sustainable economic investment over the next 10 years. The SPZ provides a flexible approach to planning whereby commercially viable developments can come forward in an efficient and bespoke manner in line with the criteria set out in the SPZ.

The SPZ allows a maximum of 579,000 sqm of floorspace across the site. Almost 90 per cent of this is reserved for business, general industrial and storage and distribution use plus up to 17,000 sqm of motor vehicle sales and hotel, retail, financial and professional services, food and drink, and leisure floorspace.

We have been working with Scottish Enterprise to make Hillington Park a Living Lab for new transport concepts.

The Judges were impressed with the SPZ scheme and considered it to be an ingenious model to promote sustainable development using existing but rarely used legislation. They also felt that the project established solid partnership early in the process, ensuring the key organisations met regularly while scoping and drafting the joint scheme. Through the SPZ, more upfront ‘certainty’ was given to developers and the project generated interest and investment. It is hoped that this approach will be replicated by other local authorities and the SPZ could be seen as a way to add competitive advantage to the Scottish business and economic market.

Throughout the development of the SPZ scheme, Vectos provided advice to the project team. The ethos from the outset was, by design, to enable a shift from reliance on single occupancy car travel, to a community that embraces smart mobility and creates a sustainable living environment.

Vectos and the project team embraced the smart cities concepts of technology-based platforms for everyday innovative travel. This meant developing new sustainable ideas for buildings and transport on the park to complement the existing uses and provide a social heart to the site.

To create a more accessible site, it is planned to invest in improving local public transport facilities. In addition, investment is also planned to create better walkaways and cycleways, introduced a local cycle hire scheme, a car sharing scheme and provide personalised travel planning.

As part of this smart cities concept, Vectos is working with the European Commission as part of Horizon 2020 to develop a new concept in electric vehicle car sharing, formerly known as Easily Distributed Personal Rapid Transit (ESPRIT), which will be trialled within Hillington Park over the coming years. It is also included in proposals for experimental transport projects in a Europe-wide forum, the purpose of which is to implement, test and monitor new ideas to roll out to follower cities and countries. This project is another example of Vectos using its state-of-the-art international expertise to provide clear advice locally on the increasingly vital sustainability measures necessary for new and existing developments and the requirements to design and achieve behavioural change in mobility patterns.

The project was also a finalist in the Decision Making in Planning category of the 2015 RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence.

Thank you to Terence O’Rourke for preparing the submission.