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Premiere of Film Aimed at Improving Public Involvement in Planning

Date: Friday 9th March 2007

Time: 1.40pm

Location: Roxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh EH2 4HG

Photo Call: The Macaulay Institute will premiere a new film demonstrating how the public could become more involved in the planning process, as part of a one day conference announcing the details of the Planning etc (Scotland) Act. Photo Opportunities will follow the screening of the film.

The Macaulay Institute will premiere a new film demonstrating how the public could become more involved in the planning process, as part of a one day conference announcing the details of the Planning etc (Scotland) Act, at Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh on the 9th March. “Putting People in the Planning Picture” will be screened as part of the conference organised by Holyrood Magazine, launching the new legislation which will radically alter Scotland’s planning system.

The conference will allow the opportunity for delegates to hear Deputy Minister for Communities, Des McNulty MSP, provide an explanation of the Planning etc (Scotland) Act, widely regarded as one of the most ambitious pieces of legislation introduced in the history of the Scottish Parliament.

Professor David Miller of the Macaulay Institute explains: “The Macaulay Institute has produced the “Putting People in the Planning Picture” film to explain how individuals could make a real difference in influencing the decisions made regarding their surroundings. When it comes to the planning process, members of the public often feel that although the outcome of an application often directly affects them and the area in which they live, they are not given the opportunity to contribute and have no real control over the decisions made.

“Encouraging communities to become more closely involved in the decision making process is an important step. But in order to do this effectively, it is essential that they have a credible impression of how their world might look in the future. The Macaulay Institute’s Virtual Landscape Theatre, the first mobile unit of its kind in the UK, uses cutting edge virtual reality technology to recreate landscapes and therefore allow people to visualise and fully assess the impacts of a proposed change. This is a vital tool which provides members of the public with a sense of informed knowledge of the affect of any decisions which will alter the environment in which they live.”

Professor Miller continues: “”Putting People in the Planning Picture” demonstrates how the technology provided by the Virtual Landscape Theatre, is moving forward how the public can engage in land use planning, and voice their opinions on the decisions which shape the landscapes around them. Gaining a greater understanding of the public perception benefits the planning process significantly and paints a much more vivid picture of what is valued in the landscape and what isn’t.”

The Macaulay Institute is the premier land use research institute in the UK. Two hundred and seventy staff are based at the Macaulay Institute at Craigiebuckler in Aberdeen. The Macaulay Institute aims to be an international leader in research on the use of rural land resources for the benefit of people and the environment and is involved in research across the globe; from Scotland to Chile and China. More about the Macaulay Institute can be found at www.macaulay.ac.uk

Ends

Notes to Editors:

Journalists wishing to register for the event should contact Fiona Burns, Holyrood Communications on 0131 272 2175, or email fiona@holyrood.com

‘Putting People in the Planning Picture’ was produced on behalf of the Macaulay Institute by Callisto Productions.

For further information please contact:

Kelly Cromar Account Manager Tricker PR Aberdeen

Tel: 01224 646491 Direct: 01224 654085 Mobile: 07795 522 010 Email: kcromar@trickerpr.com