The Scottish Government's Finance Secretary John Swinney today congratulated winners of this year's Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning.
At a ceremony in Edinburgh, the top prize went to Scotia Homes for its mixed residential and commercial development at Rothienorman in Aberdeenshire.
The judges were impressed with a distinctive development in keeping with the surrounding area and encouraged by the success of the development in a challenging economic climate.
Mr Swinney said:
"These awards recognise the achievement of quality in planning across Scotland - not just developments on the ground but also the processes and people that make development happen.
"The Scottish Government's drive for a quality planning service will help to accelerate economic recovery and improve long term economic performance.
"I congratulate all those being recognised today, and acknowledge the contributions made by individuals and organisations in both the public and private sectors which have contributed to enabling high quality development in Scotland."
Richard Summers, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, said:
"I am very pleased that the Scottish Government values the positive role that planning plays in sustainable development and is keen to praise best practice. I want to congratulate the winners of the Scottish Awards for Quality Planning, Scotia Homes, and also every one of the shortlisted entries for the way they have gone about the task of balancing social, economic and environmental interests in their projects."
Other award winners include: Development Plan category - TAYplan's Main Issues Report and Dundee City Council's Mill O'Mains Community Regeneration Masterplan; Community Involvement category - Dumfries and Galloway Council for their Delivery of National Scenic Area Management Strategies; Development on the Ground category - City of Edinburgh Council for their Improvement of the Public Realm in the Grassmarket.
Commendations were presented to Energy Saving Trust Scotland for their Sustainable Energy in the Built Environment: Best Practice for Scottish Planners; Highland Council for their Pre-Application Advice Service; Orkney Island Council for E-Planning Connecting a Remote and Rural Community; and the Rural Development Trust for their South Lanarkshire Rural Partnership, Market Towns Initiative.
The Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning is an annual event that aims to raise the profile of planning and encourage good practice. The awards promote quality developments that have been achieved through effective planning processes.
The awards, presented today at The Hub in Edinburgh, are judged by Joan Burnie, Associate Editor of the Daily Record, Richard Holland, Development Manager, Mansell Construction Services Ltd, and Ben Train, Town Planning Manager (Scotland & NI), Tesco Stores Ltd.