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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008, 13:34 GMT
Scotland's 20-year plan unveiled
Artist impression of new Forth crossing
A new Forth Crossing is part of the National Planning Framework

Major projects that will shape the future of Scotland over the next 20 years have been outlined by Finance Secretary John Swinney.

Nine schemes, including a new Forth bridge and improvements to both Glasgow and Edinburgh airports, are among those being put forward for consultation.

Plans to enhance Grangemouth's Freight Hub also features on the list.

The potential projects are part of a National Planning Framework which sets out a vision of Scotland for 2030.

Other plans include grid reinforcements to support renewable energy development and the Glasgow strategic drainage scheme.

The framework also identifies the Rosyth International Container Terminal and the Scapa Flow Container Transhipment Facility as developments of national interest.

Create opportunity

The nine schemes have been identified by the Scottish Government as having vital national importance to Scotland.

A 14-week consultation, which gives people the opportunity to suggest other projects of national importance, is due to conclude in April.

Launching the consultation, Mr Swinney said the plans would improve Scotland's competitiveness and promote opportunity as well as quality of life.

He said: "The government's economic strategy requires a planning framework that supports sustainable economic growth across Scotland while protecting the quality of the natural and built environment.

"Enhancing our national infrastructure with national developments will create a more successful country, increase sustainable economic growth and create opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish."

Facilities and infrastructure to support the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games
Grid reinforcements to support renewable energy development
Replacement Forth crossing
Enhancements to Edinburgh Airport
Enhancements to Glasgow Airport
Enhanced access to the Grangemouth Freight Hub
Rosyth International Container Terminal
Scapa Flow Container Transhipment Facility
Glasgow Strategic Drainage Scheme.

The final National Planning Framework is expected to be published in the winter of 2008.

Mr Swinney said the list was not limited by finance but because the government did not want to compromise the decision making powers of local authorities.

He insisted the SNP's other major transport commitments, including improving rail times and dualling the A9, will be achieved through the use of other powers.

The secretary added that applications will still be decided upon by individual councils through the existing planning system.

Chief planner Jim Mackinnon said the proposed framework had no bearing on speculative private applications, such as Donald Trump's controversial plans for a golf resort in Aberdeenshire.

Mr Mackinnon added: "They will not all be planning applications. Some of them will be pursued through roads legislation, some through electricity legislation - for example all the energy things.

"The issue is then the need of principle so you are not having a debate on whether there should be, for example, a Forth road crossing - that need or principle is established.

"But it is perfectly appropriate to say well is the design of that crossing appropriate? Is the specific route right? What about the way of mitigating the environmental implications of that?

"The whole idea is that it's not about a question of need or principle which will be the subject of discussion with MSPs with the final decision by ministers."

New Forth crossing decision due
18 Dec 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Freight traffic build-up concerns
07 Nov 07 |  Tayside and Central
Business chiefs make economy plea
28 Dec 07 |  Scotland


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