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Polnoon: Scotland’s first eco-village

Scotland’s first eco-friendly village is set to be built on the outskirts of Glasgow.

The pioneering development would see a low-carbon village called Polnoon created near Eaglesham, in East Renfrewshire.

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The Scottish Government has worked with developers on the design of the community, which they are dubbing the “conservation area of tomorrow”.

Polnoon will have 121 homes and interconnected shared areas such as a central square, lanes and courts, which designers say will make better use of space and encourage residents to walk and cycle.

Homes will also be as energy-efficient as possible and public transport links are planned.

The development of mainly three and four -bedroom family homes will also include 21 affordable apartments plus a shared equity scheme for first-time buyers in a project the Government says will set new standards in urban planning.

Children’s play areas will also be integrated into the design by award-winning London-based architects Proctor and Matthews.

The village will take its name from Polnoon Castle, a 14th century fortification which once stood in Eaglesham. Construction is expected to start in the next two years.

The Scottish Government has worked with developer Mactaggart & Mickel Ltd and East Renfrewshire Council on the plans for the site, which were first given planning permission in 2006.

The development has been hailed as a groundbreaking move for the future of house building in Scotland by politicians and industry experts.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “The Polnoon project demonstrates what can be achieved in a residential development where the focus is on designing quality streets, public spaces and housing. The project collaboration has applied Scottish Government planning advice and Mactaggart & Mickel’s award-winning track record for good design to ensure an excellent sustainable design which enhances the environment for residents.

“New developments of this kind have an important role to play in helping to position Scotland’s economy for recovery and creating a greener and healthier environment. I hope that this project in East Renfrewshire will set a new standard for Scotland.”

Allan Lundmark from home building industry organisation Homes for Scotland, said: “Polnoon illustrates a progression from policy ambition to real achievement, demonstrating an approach which will help us deliver modern, sustainable homes and communities across Scotland. What the Scottish Government has achieved in leading all of the parties, both public and private sector, to produce excellence in design should not be underestimated. Homes for Scotland is keen to champion this new way of working and apply this proactive and co-ordinated delivery process across Scotland.”

The site has been owned by the developers Mactaggart & Mickel for 40 years, and the Scottish Government put £10,000 into revising their original proposals to create the eco-village.

The plans will be presented at a meeting of senior planners in Edinburgh today.

 

Bio-gas plant will power 2800 homes

A facility which will turn manure and household waste into energy to power 2800 homes has been given the go-ahead.

The £22.5 million bio-gas plant in South Lanarkshire will be Scotland’s first green commercial and industrial park.

Bio-gas, also known as methane, is produced when manure and organic waste are fermented in the absence of oxygen.

The first phase of Proactive Energy’s M74 Eco-Park development will be capable of producing 5MW of electricity, which will be supplied to the National Grid. It should start operating in early 2011.

Ron Coakley, director of proactive energy, said: “Our total commitment to a cleaner and safer environment is supported by our initial £22.5m investment.

“This demonstrates our vision for providing state-of-the-art and cost-effective waste disposal solutions with huge environmental spin-offs.

“By-products of our process become a high-quality natural fertiliser that can be used on local farms.”

Niall Stuart, chief executive of green energy trade association Scottish Renewables, said: “Scottish households throw away some 570,000 tonnes of food every year, and we need to look at how we can convert this to energy through technologies such as bio-gas and bio-fuels.”

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