Page last updated at 17:25 GMT, Thursday, 10 November 2011

Architecture and placemaking debate 1

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop led a debate on the importance of architecture and placemaking to the economy of Scotland on 10 November.

Ms Hyslop told the chamber Scotland had a proud heritage of architecture and place-making but also a productive present and a positive future.

She said the contribution of the architecture and design sector accounted for around £1.3 bn of the estimated £5.2 bn per year that the creative industries generated towards the Scottish economy.

The culture secretary added the architecture and design sector, obviously, also generates work in the construction sector valued at around £11 bn .

Early in 2008, the Scottish government created a new Directorate for the Built Environment bringing together internal interests on planning, building standards and architecture with a view to greater co-ordination of policies.

As part of this restructure the Architecture and Place division was created.

The culture secretary's motion called on Holyrood to recognise the importance of high quality buildings and places and the vital contribution that they make to Scotland's economy as well as its cultural identity.

It also calls on the UK government to reduce VAT for renovations, repairs and home improvements to 5%, which would act as a significant stimulus to the building industry.

The amendment from Scottish Labour's culture spokesperson Patricia Ferguson stated that local communities should be an integral part of any regeneration of their local environment or facilities.

Speaking for the Conservatives, Jamie McGrigor called for a review of the planning system to idnetify barriers to the growth of business, including the 40% inrease in the cost of submitting a planning application.

Local Government and Planning Minister Aileen Campbell told Mr McGrigor there would shortly be a consultation on planning fees and invited him to contribute it.

In the second part of the debate Scottish Labour MSP Michael McMahon told the chamber "every building speaks to our senses".

This can be viewed below.

Architecture and placemaking debate 2

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