Bertha Park scoops top planning award
The new Bertha Park village being built on the edge of Perth has been recognised by the Scottish Government for its innovative approach to planning.
Developer Springfield Properties and Perth & Kinross Council picked up the prestigious Scottish Award for Quality in Planning within the Partnership category, reflecting the success of their collaboration on the landmark project.
Springfield Properties first engaged with Perth & Kinross Council with plans to develop the 300-ha site into a new village in 2012. Construction is now well underway with the first show homes due to open their doors early next year.
The extensive development boasts everything needed for a community to thrive, including one, two, three and four-bedroom homes; retail and offices spaces; restaurant and cafes; and a medical centre. It will also be the site of the first-purpose built school in Scotland for over 20 years, which will accommodate up to 1,110 pupils.
Innes Smith, chief executive of Springfield Properties, said: “On a project of this size, collaboration between developer and local authorities is absolutely paramount. Since the outset, we have worked closely with Perth & Kinross Council, and the landowners, to facilitate the delivery of a landmark development for the area. To be recognised for the partnership award is a wonderful achievement and testament to the diligence of all those involved.”
To ensure an effective procedural structure from the beginning, Springfield Properties and Perth & Kinross Council set up a working group with representatives from both organisations. This allowed quick and sound decisions that have led to swift progression of the project. Given the effectiveness of this model, Springfield are utilising it again and meeting regularly with Stirling Council during the planning process for a 3,000 home village, Durieshill.
Innes added: “Where we used our expertise to create homes, the council led on the new Cross Tay Link Road and a new secondary school. Together, we have been able to create a new place which will meet the demand for housing in the area and create ample business and leisure opportunities around Perth.”
Cllr Murray Lyle, leader of the council, said: “I’m delighted that Bertha Park has been recognised with this award. Planning a new community takes close partnership working, and this project has really shown what can be achieved when all parties strive towards the common goal of providing not just homes, but a thriving new neighbourhood with a new secondary school and leisure opportunities.
“With new road access delivered by Perth & Kinross Council, and support for active travel, people moving to Bertha Park will be well-connected, benefitting from Perth’s independent culture and the living oasis of our countryside. The quality of our partnership with Springfield reflects the characteristics of our communities.”
Springfield Properties is undertaking the development of a number of other villages throughout Scotland, including Durieshill in Stirling, Elgin South, Dykes of Gray, Dundee and Gavieside near Livingston.