In announcing the start of this year's awards scheme Ms Boyack said:
'We are all affected by the planning system and we all want better service, better access and to be able to enjoy our surroundings. We need to recognise when high quality in these areas has been achieved and we must encourage others to achieve it. These awards do just that.
'There has been a good response to the awards scheme and many examples of high quality planning have been highlighted as a result of it.'
1. Local authorities have the primary responsibility for operating the planning system in Scotland. They deal with applications for development under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, and prepare development plans as the policy context for their decisions.
2 The Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning were first launched in 1997. They have attracted more than 100 nominations over the three years to date. The awards cover outstanding achievements in development control, development planning and development on the ground. As in previous years, nominations will be assessed by three independent judges, and the awards will be managed in conjunction with the Royal Town Planning Institute in Scotland.
3. A launch message from the minister can be seen on the planning web pages, with further information and details of previous nominations and winners. Nomination forms for the 2000 Awards are available from the Scottish Executive (Lynn Jameson, Scottish Executive Development Department, H2 Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ; tel 0131 244 7543) or the Royal Town Planning Institute (57 Melville Street, Edinburgh EH3 7HL; tel 0131 226 1959, fax 1909).
4. Sarah Boyack will present the winners for the year 2000 with their awards on 15 February next year.