Tonight: Huts planning guide celebrated

Angus Macdonald MSP, planning consultant Richard Heggie, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead MSP and Karen Grant of Reforesting Scotland's Thousand Huts campaign.

Angus Macdonald MSP, planning consultant Richard Heggie, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead MSP and Karen Grant of Reforesting Scotland’s Thousand Huts.

Tonight we’re celebrating the launch of the new huts planning guide at the Scottish Parliament with 80 planning professionals, architects and hut builders at an event hosted by Angus Macdonald MSP. Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead has welcomed the guide, saying:

“Huts and hutting are a great way for people to enjoy Scotland’s outstanding natural environment, with all the benefits to health and wellbeing this can bring. I very much welcome the publication of this guidance, which I hope will provide an important opportunity for many more people in Scotland to enjoy the recreational benefits associated with huts and hutting.”

The Thousand Huts campaign team and Planning Advisory Group have spent 2 years working with planning and building professionals to produce this guide to help planners, architects and hut builders alike achieve good practice in new hut developments. This work was supported by The Planning Exchange Foundation, and has been reviewed by planning, legal and tenancy professionals in the public and private sectors and at a local and national level. It is designed to help support the rolling out of Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) on huts.

Download your copy of New hutting developments: Good practice guidance on the planning, development and management of huts and hut sites’ here.

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It’s here! New guidance on huts and hut sites

Cabinet Sec. for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead MSP welcomes the guidance. Pictured here with Richard Heggie and Karen Grant of Reforesting Scotland's Thousand Huts campaign.

Cabinet Sec. for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead MSP welcomes the guidance. Pictured here with Richard Heggie and Karen Grant of Reforesting Scotland.

Today we are delighted to launch New hutting developments: Good practice guidance on the planning, development and management of huts and hut sites’.

Whether, you’re a planner, an architect or a prospective hut builder, this guidance will be a useful source on: the Scottish Planning Policy definition of a hut; siting and location; services; the land surrounding huts. The document has a strong focus on preserving the low-impact, environmentally sustainable ethos of traditional hutting and also looks at some non-planning considerations such as ownership and hut site tenure.

Reforesting Scotland's new good practice guidance on hut developments

Reforesting Scotland’s new good practice guidance on hut developments

The Thousand Huts campaign team and Planning Advisory Group have spent 2 years working with planning and building professionals to produce this guide to help planners, architects and hut builders alike achieve good practice in new hut developments. This work was supported by The Planning Exchange Foundation, and has been reviewed by planning, legal and tenancy professionals in the public and private sectors and at a local and national level. It is designed to help support the rolling out of Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) on huts.

You can download your copy here.

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Donate now to support new hutting in Scotland

Ninians-hut4The Thousand Huts campaign has been running for 4 years now. Over that time our small campaign team has laid down much of the groundwork needed for a revival of hutting in Scotland. The next couple of years are a pivotal time in which we expect to develop many new opportunities for aspiring hutters. To make this a reality we are aiming to raise £100,000. We already have £35,000 of this in place and ask you to consider donating now to help us reach our target.
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Huts and Building Regulations: Have your say!

Alasdairs-hut-1

Have you responded to the Scottish Government consultation proposing a possible exemption of huts from building regulations? If not, hurry – you only have until 12 February to do so. This is our chance to make having a hut easier and more affordable.

Why do the regulations need to be changed?

Currently, if you want get permission to build a simple hut with sleeping accommodation you have to comply with the same building regulations as you would if you were building a house. The Government’s proposed amendment would make hut building simpler and more affordable by exempting huts from most building regulations. Continue reading

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New planning guidance for huts in 2016

Inshriach Bothy built by Bobby Niven and Iain Macleod as part of an RSA residency.

Inshriach Bothy built by Bobby Niven and Iain Macleod as part of an RSA residency.

Many of you will know that we’ve been working on a new publication, New hutting developments: Guidance on planning, developing and managing huts which sets out the values and characteristics of good practice in hut developments to maximise their benefit for health and wellbeing, our relationship with the natural environment and our cultural life. This document has been subject to a rigorous review by planning professionals and is now nearing completion. It will be launched in mid February.

Now Reforesting Scotland’s Thousand Huts campaign has been given a grant by the Planning Exchange Foundation to roll this out into a series of seminars for planning professionals, hut builders and other interested parties. If you would like to be kept up to date with news of the launch of this guidance and the events following it, please send an email to huts(at)reforestingscotland.org

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Scottish Government launches huts consultation

Alasdairs-hut-1This week the Scottish Government opened a consultation on a proposed amendment to building regulations which could make it simpler and more affordable to build a small, low impact hut for recreational use.

Currently huts and bothies have to meet building regulations in full, adding significant cost to their construction. However this consultation presents several ways to reduce the regulatory burden on them. One option under consultation is a proposal that huts and bothies should become exempt from the building regulations Continue reading

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Crofters, ceilidhs and cabins!

Henry-at-the-studioThis past weekend we were up at the Assynt Foundation’s Glencanisp Lodge for the Reforesting Scotland gathering. If you’ve never been to an RS Gathering, do think about coming next year. It brings together a feisty collection of like-minded folk in a beautiful part of Scotland for enlightening conversations, study trips and a good bit of ceilidh-ing – what more could you ask? Find out about next year’s gathering by becoming a member of RS.

Reforesting Scotland’s Thousand Huts campaign hosted a session at the gathering which included a walk round a selection of buildings by Henry Fosbrooke around Glencanisp Lodge, and a look with Assynt Foundation deputy chairman Nigel Goldie at a possible hut site on the hillside behind the lodge. Glencanisp is the proposed location for the Bothy Project’s latest building, the Pig Rock Bothy, currently installed at the Gallery of Modern Art Continue reading

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Stirling Council proposes inclusion of huts in Local Development Plan

Carbeth-Thistle-Dae-hutStirling Council – the home of the Carbeth hut site – is taking a lead in bringing the new Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) on hutting into its Local Development Plan (LDP).

Stirling Council has published a  Topic Paper on Huts and Hutting to accompany its Main Issues Report, the first formal stage in preparing a new LDP. Currently under consultation, this paper proposes to include specific policy on huts in the new LDP, based on the definition of huts contained within the SPP, and the legacy of hutting in Stirlingshire at Carbeth and other locations. A number of years ago Stirling Council designated Carbeth as a Conservation Area in recognition of its heritage value, and the Conservation Area Appraisal was adopted as Supplementary Guidance (SG07) for planning decisions.

The Main Issues Report is under consultation until Friday 9th October 2015. You can participate in the consultation here.

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Why do huts make people happy?

Huts and wellbeing eventOn 17th August, Reforesting Scotland’s Thousand Huts campaign hosted an event at Abriachan Community Woodland exploring the health and wellbeing benefits of hutting.

A lively crowd of people came together to lend their thoughts and ideas to the discussion, including hutters, builders and representatives of the Forestry Commission, NHS Highland and the Cairngorm National Park Authority. Continue reading

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Students! Opportunity for research on hutting

Kittiwake hut KGWe are looking for some students who might like to take on several pieces of research, including the analysis of two surveys we have carried out:

  • Survey of prospective hutters – including around 20 questions on peoples aspirations for a hut of their own, including affordibility, location etc. (there are around 560 responses to this)
  • Survey of existing huts – including around 20 questions on hut use, structure, cost etc (there about 60 responses to this) 
  • Study of the development of Hut Pilot Sites
  • Huts and Wellbeing

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