Building Futures in Rural Scotland

18apr4:00 pm6:00 pmVirtual EventBuilding Futures in Rural ScotlandJoin our inspiring panel to discuss how we might build more sustainable rural communities and encourage the repopulation of the countryside OrganiserScottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA)Online4:00 pm - 6:00 pm(GMT+00:00) Event TypeWebinar & TalksThemeFood & Agriculture,Governance & Just Transition,Nature & Biodiversity,Transport & Infrastructure

Event Details

Ninety-eight percent of land in Scotland is rural so why aren’t rural communities providing more sustainable homes and more employment?

People’s work-life balances have changed since the pandemic. More people are appreciating the health and wellbeing benefits of rural life and flexi-working. However, this can be isolating and difficult without appropriate infrastructure in place – including digital connectivity, availability of land, good transport links, healthcare and child care. We need more affordable, multi-generational homes, alongside places in which to work.

At this event, we will hear about a range of innovative placemaking ideas some of which repurpose existing buildings and some of which are attractive new developments. We will discuss the potential of rural enterprise hubs and hear from planners about the new National Planning Framework 4(NPF4) and how this can be translated down to the grassroots level. All these issues will be addressed alongside infrastructure, availability of land, and flexi-working, with a great panel of speakers from a broad range of backgrounds, including landowners, and MSP, builders and manufacturers, planners, academics and local policy officers.


JoIn us to hear about what is being done now and what we could be doing in the future, and put your questions to the Panel:

Debbie Mackay, Director, Planning Savills & Rural Housing Scotland

Ariane Burgess MSP, Scottish Greeen Party

Sam Parsons, Balcaskie Estate

Neil Sutherland, Makar & Beldorney

Ewen McLachlan, Development Officer, Assynt Development Trust

Craig McLaren , Director of Scotland, Royal Town Planning Institute

Ian Merrell, Rural Policy, SRUC

Neil Sutherland, Makar / Highland Rewilding

The Aims of the Conversation are:

  • To showcase good models of sustainable living and working rural developments
  • To identify the obstacles and the support that is needed to enable communities and landowners to create such places. Can we work within the existing policy framework?
  • Is the planning system both centrally and locally helping or obstructing such developments?

We hope to see you there!

For full details of the projects and the speakers please see:



(Tuesday) 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm(GMT+00:00)