Scottish Property Federation

Blog: Why introducing Third Party or ‘Equal’ Right of Appeal would be a backward step

Mandy Catterall

By Mandy Catterall at the Scottish Property Federation

This September, the Scottish Parliament begins its line-by-line scrutiny of the Planning (Scotland) Bill. A necessary task to ensure that the Bill continues its passage through the legislative process at Holyrood and we arrive at a planning system that is inclusive, respected by everyone and works in the long term public interest.

It is a lot to ask of any piece of legislation, but in this particular case these ambitions will be dealt a severe blow if third party or ‘equal’ right of appeal (TPRA) is introduced. Instead of ushering in a collaborative way of working and constructive early engagement, TPRA throws up the prospect of polarising opinion with decisions made by Scottish Ministers (not local communities) months or even years later.

Public trust in the planning system will not be achieved if every decision can be appealed, or where the views of more vocal objectors prevent all other points of view from being heard. People with no direct connection with a development could get involved without any consequence to themselves.

Likewise, developers and investors will not commit their time nor their funds where the end-game is mired in conflict.

An effective planning system has the ability to unlock development and deliver much needed infrastructure which would be a vital shot in the arm to Scotland’s economy. Yet the investment required to build the business premises, homes and local amenities to allow our economy to grow is increasingly coming from overseas.  In Edinburgh for example, over 90% of investment into the city’s new office stock comes from outside the UK.

So in an environment where infrastructure projects in Scotland need to compete globally for every dollar, euro or yen, it is vital that investors have confidence that their infrastructure investments are proceeding through an efficient and well-resourced planning system.

The shape of the Planning (Scotland) Bill when it finally emerges from the legislative process will be a key determinant on whether Scotland can deliver crucial new infrastructure projects, which in turn create much needed jobs as well as the places that we all want to live, work and enjoy.

The need for an efficient planning system is clearly recognised by the Scottish Government and its willingness to look at innovative funding arrangements for new development through mechanisms such as the Scottish National Investment Bank and the Building Scotland Fund are hugely welcomed.

Developers also recognise that further discretionary fees may be imposed, and pragmatism dictates that these will be accepted – but only if there is clear indication as to how they might work in practice to deliver a well-resourced and efficient planning system.  Despite developers across Scotland already paying increased fees for planning applications, there has been little improvement in the service offered.

In addition to these new sources of capital, how the public and private sectors can better collaborate to unlock the potential of many development sites and projects across the country is, however, critical and needs the same kind of pragmatic thinking.

Any new planning system must ensure the views of communities are represented and at the Scottish Property Federation, we continue to favour engagement taking place as early in the process as possible.  TPRA is simply the wrong point of engagement. Front loaded consultation with recognised community stakeholders is a key element of the full package of reforms and will help move towards an environment where people can say positively what they do want for their local area.

No planning application is ever undertaken lightly. Extending the appeals process will not improve planning efficiencies nor make the development planning process more equitable, but it does have the potential to scare off investors.

  • Mandy Catterall is government relations manager at the Scottish Property Federation

This article originally appeared in The Scotsman newspaper.  See the original article here.

New figures reveal changing picture for commercial property in Scotland

Commercial Quay, Leith

The latest analysis of commercial property sales across Scotland by the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) reflects a shift in fortunes for the nation’s major cities over the three months from April to June 2018, the organisation has said.

For the second successive quarter, activity in Aberdeen exceeded that in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Total sales values in the Granite City totalled £123 million and while this figure is 26% less than the total from the previous quarter, it is 68% greater than Q2 2017.

By comparison, in Edinburgh and Glasgow sales activity was “subdued”, the report said. The total value sales in the Scottish capital in Q2 2018 was £122m. This is 19% down on the previous quarter and is also 46% down on Q2 2017. There were 110 commercial property sales in Edinburgh during this time.

In Glasgow, there were 129 commercial sales, totalling £104m. The value of commercial sales in Glasgow rose 8% compared to Q1 2018, but was down 42% on the same quarter in 2017.

Nationally, total sales values were down 29% on Q1 at £684m (13% down on the previous year), although the number of transactions rose from 1,006 in Q1 to 1,095 in Q2 (a rise of 9%). It is the first fall in total sales values since Q3 2017 and one of the main contributing factors is that there were a lower number of high value sales.

The figures were collated using data from Registers of Scotland.

David Melhuish

David Melhuish, director of Scottish Property Federation, said: “Our analysis of Q2 commercial sales figures shows an interesting picture emerging in the cities. Aberdeen continued to have marginally higher sales than both Edinburgh and Glasgow – especially noteworthy as Aberdeen had under half the number of sales than the other two. Looking at the bigger picture, across Scotland the recent data suggests that the commercial property sales market has been quieter than we have been used to in the past few years.

“That said, investment remains strong in Scottish real estate, with industry data experts CoStar reporting £584m invested into the sector in Q2. This brings the total investment for 2018 so far to £1.4bn, up on the same period in both 2017 and 2016.

“Overall, it was a mixed quarter for Scottish commercial property sales, with Aberdeen again showing signs of recovery, but subdued elsewhere.”

LBTT delivers third highest monthly revenues total

A seasonal upturn in property market activity has delivered a £57 million boost to Scottish Government revenues, generating the third highest monthly return since the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) was introduced.

According to the latest figures reported by Revenue Scotland and analysed by the Scottish Property Federation, revenues from LBTT in June 2018 hit a total of £57m, which is over £14m more than May’s total and more than £13m up on June 2017.

The largest increase in revenue came from the commercial property sector, which in total generated £21.8m. This is £8.1m up on May 2018 and £10.7m up on June 2017.

The residential element of LBTT generated £24.1m in June 2018 – a rise of £4.7m on May’s figures and £0.8m up on June last year.

The additional dwelling supplement continues to play a strong role in the overall figures and increased in June to £11m.

The Scottish Government’s draft budget expects that LBTT will generate £588m in total during 2018/19, an increase of £25m (4.5%) on the 2017/18 LBTT revenue total.

The Scottish Property Federation said revenues have still slightly underperformed against the Scottish Government’s expected trends for the main residential market.

David Melhuish

David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation, said: “This year, the Scottish Government expects to see a 17.5% annual increase in revenue from the residential sector, and a slight drop in revenue from the commercial property market.

“However, in the first three months of this tax year to June, we have seen revenues slightly underperform against the Scottish Government’s expected trends for the main residential market. Despite a good month in June for the government, residential LBTT revenues fell below 2017/18 levels in both April and May, but with some of the busiest months for the residential market still to come the government will have an opportunity to make up ground.

“Meanwhile, the commercial market is showing initial signs of being better than forecast and so far, this year has generated just over £10m more than in the same period in 2017/18. The additional dwelling supplement also continues to deliver better than expected revenue for the government, albeit with some 19% now refunded to taxpayers since its introduction in April 2016.

“For now, it will be steady as it goes for the government, but there is considerable dependency on the £325,000 to £750,000 residential market band, which supports nearly 60% of residential LBTT revenue, based on less than 10% of the total number of sales. Should this section of the market stall, as in 2015/16, then there could be a significant impact on revenue.”

Planning application decisions record quickest annual figures

The average decision times for planning applications in Scotland have recorded their quickest annual figures since records began.

Local developments, which include applications for changes to individual houses and smaller developments for new housing, were decided within 9 weeks on average in 2017/18, over one day quicker than the average of 9.2 weeks in the previous year and the quickest annual figure since the start of this data collection in 2012/13.

Local housing applications were decided in an average of 12.2 weeks, three and a half days quicker than the previous year (12.7 weeks).

A total of 19 out of 34 planning authorities have reported improvements in their average decision times for local developments in 2017/18 compared to 2016/17.

Major development decisions, including applications for 50 or more homes, as well as certain waste, water, transport and energy-related developments, larger retail developments, and other developments, were also quicker in 2017/18.

The average decision time for major developments (238 applications) in 2017/18 was 33.6 weeks, almost three weeks quicker than the average of 36.4 weeks in the previous year. Major housing applications were decided in an average of 38.2 weeks, more than five weeks quicker than the previous year (43.4 weeks) and the quickest annual figure since 2012/13.

A total of 17 out of 26 planning authorities with major application decisions in both 2017/18 and 2016/17 have reported improvements in their average decision times for major developments since the previous year.

The number of local development decisions in 2017/18 totalled 26,220, a decrease of 3% (766 applications) from the previous year. This drop was largely due to fewer decisions for householder applications (539 fewer).

The number of major development decisions in 2017/18 totalled 238, a decrease of 3% (8 applications) from 2016/17. There were decreases in other developments, business and industry and electricity generation while decided applications for housing, minerals and waste management increased.

In contrast, the number of applications that were subject to processing agreements increased by 40% from 1,503 in 2016/17 to 2,106 in 2017/18. There were 1,671 local applications (6% of all local applications) and 93 major applications (28% of all major applications) that were subject to processing agreements in 2017/18.

Commenting on the planning service statistics, David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation, found “cause for concern” in the statistics, particularly given an increase in planning fees.

David Melhuish

He said: “For the average time taken to deliver decisions on major developments to have increased significantly in quarter four, despite a continuing fall in the overall number of applications determined, is particularly worrying and we must simply do better.

“Planning fees were increased six-fold last June with major applicants hoping to see an improvement in the planning service. However, the jury is clearly out on whether an improvement in planning performance has been achieved.

“While we recognise that it can take time to put in place the additional resources necessary, it is critical that local authorities use the new planning fees to invest in their planning services. At the moment that improvement is patchy and we must see tangible progress across the board before any further fee increases are contemplated.

“We urge local authorities to see planning as a tool of economic development and to prioritise these additional fees for the management and delivery of major developments.”

He added: “The Planning Bill offers a chance to improve up-front engagement and to streamline the planning process but we cannot afford any further obstacles to investment to be created in the planning system if we are to deliver much needed jobs, investment and economic growth.”

Conversation not confrontation needed in Scottish Planning Bill

RTPI Scotland has joined forces with a number of high profile organisations in a letter sent to the Scottish Government and MSPs arguing for a change of direction in the Scottish Planning Bill.

In an edited letter published in The Herald on June 29, the signatories called for the new legislation to move away from a system that entrenches confrontation to one that fosters positive conversation between all with a stake in an area.

The full text of the letter and the list of signatories are below:

RTPI joint letter

Dear Sir/Madam

We are organisations who have an important role to play in the planning system.  We see the planning bill as an opportunity to put communities at the heart of planning through ensuring that they are engaged early and meaningfully.  Our vision is for a system that is inclusive, respected, ambitious, holistic, and that works in the long term public interest.  We want to empower communities so that they are able to influence how their place changes over time with a planning system that fosters participation, collaboration and co-production from the very beginning.

We believe that the planning bill provides us with the opportunity to do this. Introducing well-resourced Local Place Plans, prepared by communities, can foster a transparent dialogue about planning at the very local level.  The bill can usher in new ways of involving young people and ensure communities are at the heart of creating development plans. This will help us to move away from the current situation where the main motivation for people to engage with the planning system is to say what they don’t want, to a positive conversation between all with a stake in an area.

Introducing a third party or ‘equal’ right of appeal will not these support these ambitions. We believe:

  • It will lead to more local decisions being made by government at a time when we want to give communities more say over where the places where they live.
  • It will open the door for competing commercial interests to frustrate development and potentially to pit one part of a community against another.
  • It will clog up the planning system at a time when planning departments are under severe resourcing pressures.
  • It will undermine democratically elected planning authorities’ responsibility to ensure planning decisions are taken locally in the public interest.
  • It will weaken constructive early engagement.
  • It will further widen inequality in our communities by disproportionally favouring those with the capacity, time and resources to pursue an appeal.
  • It could mean that seldom-heard voices in the planning system may be further marginalised.

We are also firmly of the view that ‘equalising’ appeal rights by removing or reducing the current applicant right of appeal would be a mistake.

Enhancing public trust in planning must be a top priority and should be done through a positive and proactive approach to supporting communities to engage with the planning system. Not with a new right of appeal that only entrenches confrontation.

Yours faithfully

  • Fraser Carlin, convenor, Royal Town Planning Institute Scotland
  • Iain McDiarmid, chair, Heads of Planning Scotland
  • Tammy Swift-Adams, director of planning, Homes for Scotland
  • Stewart Henderson, president, Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
  • Gail Hunter, regional director – Scotland, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • Graham Boyack, director, Scottish Mediation
  • David Melhuish, director, Scottish Property Federation
  • Phil Prentice, chief officer, Scotland’s Towns Partnership
  • Petra Biberbach, chief executive, PAS

Scottish Property Federation event aims to unite industry around ‘pivotal’ diversity & inclusivity issues

David Melhuish

Practical initiatives to unite the Scottish real estate sector behind the principles of diversity and inclusivity will be put forward and discussed at an industry event in Edinburgh tomorrow.

Led by the Scottish and British Property Federations (BPF), the Association of Women in Property, Freehold and Revo, the event will focus on inspiring best practice in the workplace and the built environment to allow people and businesses to flourish.

The aim is to create a collective force for progress, with panel discussions on inclusive place-making and building a more diverse and inclusive industry.

Chairing the event will be Brenda Jones, developments manager for Stornoway Port Authority, and currently delivering their 2017 master plan. She has over 20 years’ experience in managing construction projects throughout Scotland and is the outgoing National Chairman of the Association of Women in Property.

She said: “The real estate sector is vital to our economy and for any economy to thrive it must embrace the economic, social and business benefits of genuinely diverse organisations and places. I believe we can do that. As an industry, we can influence how places are designed, how they work for the people who live and work there – and we can start to do that by ensuring that our own organisations are attracting the best talent and creative thinking the industry needs.”

David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation (SPF), added: “This Diversity and Inclusivity Forum builds on similar successful events run by the British Property Federation and partners in London and Manchester, and I’m delighted that BPF President Paul Brundage will be joining the debate to lend a global perspective on these key issues. As an industry we have a pivotal role in inclusive place-making and appealing effectively to the changing communities in which we live and work.

“The event aims to ensure everyone is united behind these goals and that we are capable of meeting the challenge and opportunities in Scotland effectively.”

The Diversity & Inclusivity Forum takes place on June 26, 2018, at the SPF Office in Edinburgh. Speakers include:

  • Brenda Jones, Former Chair, Association of Women in Property and Developments Manager Stornoway Port Authority (chair)
  • Paul Brundage, Executive Vice President, Senior Managing Director – Europe & Asia Pacific, Oxford Properties and President, BPF
  • Emma Mackenzie, Director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, NewRiver Retail
  • Stefano Faielli, Threesixty Architecture & Rev
  • Chris Edwards, Founding member, Freehold and Executive Partner Tuffin Ferraby Taylor
  • Giulia Bunting, Past President, Revo & Planning Director GL Hearn
  • Andrew Sutherland, Chairman SPF and Joint MD, Miller Developments
  • Morag Henderson, Burness Paull LLP, Partner, Employment Law
  • Emma Watson, RICS Registered Valuer, Cushman & Wakefield

New data highlights build-to-rent gap between Scotland and UK regions

A build-to-rent project under development in Dundee

The significant gap between the number of purpose-built rental properties in Scotland and those being constructed in different English regions has been highlighted in a new report.

According to the Scottish Property Federation (SPF), figures at the end of Q1 2018 show that for every build-to-rent (BTR) home in Scotland, North West England has nearly 10.

The research, compiled by Savills on behalf of the British Property Federation, calculated that Scotland currently has 3,365 BTR homes complete, under construction or in planning. In comparison, the North West has 29,600, the South East (excluding London) 7,101, the West Midlands 6,378 and Yorkshire and The Humber 5,131.

Across all areas of the UK including Scotland, the data shows that this sector of the housing market has grown by 30% in the past year.

In the UK there are now 117,893 BTR homes across all stages of the development lifecycle, compared to the total of 90,761 homes at the end of Q1 2017.

As the BTR sector continues to grow, it has also been able to diversify its offer – with 17% of schemes in the pipeline including houses, rather than just typical high-rise apartments.

While Scotland currently accounts for just under 3% of the total pipeline, there are signs that this is set to increase significantly – particularly in Glasgow.

David Melhuish

SPF director, David Melhuish, said that while the figures are a stark reminder of how far Scotland lags behind the rest of the UK for new BTR properties, they also show a shift in gear for BTR in Scotland and indicate how attitudes to renting are changing.

He said: “Build-to-rent has historically been characterised as simply a step up from student accommodation for millennials, but this is now changing. The sector’s growth means it can cater for a wider range of people, including families. These purpose-built rental properties are high-quality, often with linked amenities, sustainably constructed and well-managed intergenerational homes.

“As a result, there is now a significant shift in perception and we are beginning to see changes here in Scotland, which will help boost further BTR development.

“Investors want assets which are going to provide returns over the long term, which drive up quality; architects and planners have the opportunity to create a built environment for communities; and local authorities are beginning to understand how BTR could tackle brown field sites, support new infrastructure development and be a catalyst for further development.”

David added: “In Scotland, there has been a promising boost in the number of BTR homes, with 3,365 homes now at varying stages of the development process. The numbers are still not high in comparison to the rest of the UK, but there are now multiple sites in Glasgow which should act as a spur to other BTR projects across the country.

“BTR is an opportunity and Scotland has some important advantages for attracting the investment necessary – the Rental Income Guarantee Scheme being one and an exemption from the 3 per cent second homes tax for large-scale PRS investments is another. With planning policy guidance now amended to support BTR developments, particularly around the treatment of development viability, there is no reason why we cannot see the BTR sector provide a new catalyst of economic growth in our cities.”

An interactive map showing all UK development sites can be viewed here.

Commercial property ‘worth £4.8bn to Scottish economy’, finds SPF report

A new office development at New Waverley in Edinburgh

The Scottish real estate industry contributes almost £4.8 billion to the Scottish economy and supports more than 92,000 jobs, according to a new report.

Compiled by the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute under commission by the Scottish Property Federation (SPF), The economic contribution of the commercial property sector was unveiled today at the SPF’s annual conference in Edinburgh.

Among its findings is a comprehensive look at the potential economic impact of new commercial work. In total, the commercial property element of Scotland’s construction industry has a direct impact of around £2.4bn to Scotland’s economy, however taking into account the additional spill-over effects of the industry, commercial property is estimated to have a total impact of almost £4.8bn.

Combining FTE employment in construction and real estate activities, the report estimates that around 49,000 FTE jobs are directly supported by commercial property in Scotland, with the additional indirect and induced effects, helping to support total FTE employment of around 92,000.

The sector is an important source of tax revenue for both the Scottish and UK governments and is acknowledged as a barometer of economic activity; with the report’s authors stating that without high quality and effective commercial property there would be no business activity.

Despite this, however, the report also identifies a worrying lack of investable space with the amount of new commercial property being built in terms of square ft. smaller than a decade ago.

In 2009, new commercial property construction equated to 7.1 million sq ft but in 2017 the equivalent of only 1.6 million sq ft was constructed.

Similarly, whist the value of sales of commercial property have been increasing in recent years to £3.2 billion in 2016/17, this figure is still significantly lower than a decade ago.

The report goes on to show the potential for growth and concludes that for a £100m increase in new commercial property output, the economy benefits from a further £73m.

Taking a universal approach to the sector, it calculated that construction makes up around 65% of commercial new work (and 70% of total impacts from direct, indirect and induced effects). The other large contributors are from real estate and financial services who make up around 28% of the direct output of new commercial projects.

David Melhuish

David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation, who commissioned the research, said: “Commercial property plays an important role in the Scottish economy and we welcome this excellent piece of research by the Fraser of Allander Institute.

“The industry has experienced challenging times in recent years due to the economic downturn and fragile levels of business and consumer confidence which has led to a dampening of growth. However this report highlights that the industry remains an important growth generator for the Scottish economy and that there are huge opportunities for the industry to grow as a valuable financial asset for investors which in turn will drive economic activity and important infrastructure in our cities and towns.

“We continue to work with the Scottish Government to look at the barriers which exist to attracting investment into the sector. One such area where more work is required is to ensure that Scotland increases its overall supply of Grade A office stock – a vital component in attracting businesses to locate or indeed remain in Scotland and continue to be important tax generators for the economy.”

Professor Graeme Roy, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, added: “Our analysis shows that Scotland’s commercial property industry is an important barometer of economic activity, particularly in a service based economy such as Scotland.

“The latest data shows that the sector has been growing in recent years, but levels of activity remain down on where they were a decade ago.

“That being said, our analysis demonstrates that the sector continues to make an important contribution to the Scottish economy. This is not only through the direct economic activity that the commercial property sector supports but also the wider spill-over effects benefiting businesses throughout Scotland.”

Finance secretary unveils Scottish commercial real estate opportunities to investors in London

Queen’s Square in Aberdeen would be transformed into a mixed-use urban quarter

Three of Scotland’s biggest commercial real estate propositions for 2018 were unveiled to investors in London today at a business breakfast hosted by Derek Mackay, cabinet secretary for finance and constitution.

The potential investments include a £137 million opportunity in Bothwell Street in Glasgow, the £150m Queen’s Square, Aberdeen proposition and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland in Renfrewshire which is seeking £250m in investment.

These opportunities were presented to a targeted audience of investors, intermediaries and leading decision makers at Scotland House, the Scottish Government’s headquarters in London.

This event is the second of its kind at Scotland House in a push by Scotland’s economic agencies – Scottish Development International, the Scottish Cities Alliance and the Scottish Property Federation – working together to pool resources and maximise results.

Finance secretary Mr Mackay said: “With more than 2,300 foreign-owned companies employing a total of 317,000 staff here and realising a combined turnover of £86 billion, foreign direct investment plays a vital role in Scotland’s economy.  A recent study reported that for every £1 spent on attracting inward investment, £9 is generated for our economy.

“Attracting inward investment is a key priority for the Scottish Government – something which assumes even more importance in light of Brexit – and is one of the aims of our Trade and Investment Strategy. The events at Scotland House, our innovation and investment hub in London, bring together senior investors, fund managers and decision makers to hear more about the benefits of investing in Scotland.”

The latest EY Scotland Attractiveness Survey (2017) highlighted that Scotland won a record number of investments from overseas in 2016, with 122 foreign direct investment deals done over the course of the year, up from 119 in 2015.  EY’s report showed for the fifth year in a row, Scotland was the second most popular part of the UK to invest in behind London.

Events such as this aim to maintain Scotland’s high ranking with the message that Scotland is a low-risk location with a variety of robust, investor ready propositions and a track record of success with international companies such as Spire, Genpact, Corporate Health and Dexcom all setting up operations here.

Neil Francis, interim managing director of Scottish Development International, said: “Much of Scotland’s success in attracting international investment comes from the strength of our connected cities and competitive business environment, and together with the Scottish Cities Alliance, we are actively engaging with target audiences in London and further afield to promote Scotland to international influencers.

“We must continue to build on the international connections that exist across many parts of our economy to attract new investment, and this event at Scotland House is a great example of how we are working closely with partners to combine our voices, networks and resources to secure economic impact for Scotland.”

The propositions on show will demonstrate the strength of Scotland’s investment opportunity across the country with the public sector agencies working closely with the private sector.

Aberdeen’s Queen’s Square project centres on the city living approach in a bid to deliver housing and re-energise the heart of the city.

Richard Sweetnam, chief officer for city growth at Aberdeen City Council, presented the city’s Queen’s Square scheme to the invite-only audience.

He said: “This is a great opportunity to showcase the major investment potential in Aberdeen directly to London-based investors as well as several international investors. We are the first Scottish city to float a bond on the stock market, we have thriving energy, digital and life science sectors and Aberdeen is soon to be Scotland’s first gigabit-speed fibre broadband city, so we have all the infrastructure in place for investors to make this their destination of choice.

“Queen’s Square offers an excellent opportunity for the right investor – with a residential-led mixed use urban quarter in the heart of Aberdeen, the project has a GDV of £150m and sits next to the new Marischal Square development which brought in £107m to Aberdeen’s economy. Events such as this, working with our partners in the Scottish Cities Alliance along with Scottish Development International, offer a fantastic opportunity to highlight the huge potential of Aberdeen.”

Scottish Property Federation unveils 2018 annual conference line up

Andrew Sutherland

Industry leaders, policy makers and academics make up the list of speakers at the 2018 annual Scottish Property Federation (SPF) conference, which looks specifically at the value of place-making, the people-centric approach to planning and design of public spaces, and how it is funded.

Investing in Places, which takes place on March 7 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, will welcome Derek Mackay MSP cabinet secretary for finance and the constitution, as its keynote speaker to give the government’s perspective on the sector’s role in the wider economy.

To accompany this, Professor Graeme Roy of the Fraser of Allander Institute will unveil the findings of the latest in-depth report into the economic impact of the real estate sector in Scotland, highlighting the key economic drivers, opportunities and challenges for government, developers and investors.

Also taking the stage will be David Paine, co-head of global real estate at Aberdeen Standard Investments, Peter Reekie, chief executive of the Scottish Futures Trust and Lesley Watt, chief financial officer of Miller Developments, who will join SPF vice chair Miller Mathieson, MD of CBRE in Scotland, to discuss sources of investment.

Delegates will also hear from Michaela Sullivan, group land manager at CALA Group, Maria Francké, partner at Cushman & Wakefield, and Mike Galloway, director of city development at Dundee City Council, who will lead the discussion on place-making, along with SPF chairman Andrew Sutherland, joint MD of Miller Developments.

Award-winning Scottish television and radio broadcaster Gavin Esler will facilitate the conference.

Andrew Sutherland said: “The role of the real estate industry to create our built environment around the needs of local communities and attract investment capital to grow our economy has never been more important.  This year’s SPF conference looks at how we can harness these opportunities.

“With such a strong line-up of speakers and several interactive sessions to enable delegates to debate the issues of investment and place-making, the conference provides a platform for the industry to help shape the way forward.”

The SPF Conference is sponsored by Edinburgh-based Miller Developments and international law firm Womble Bond Dickinson.