Copper’s Polly Blythe has been verified by Planning Aid for Scotland (PAS) for meeting its benchmark for effective engagement in planning.

Polly’s approach to delivering public consultation for SP Energy Networks on behalf of Copper, was independently certified as meeting the SP=EED standard.

SP=EED stands for Successful Planning equals Effective Engagement and Delivery and is referred to in the Scottish Government’s Planning Advice Note on Community Engagement, (PAN) 3/2010.

Said Polly: “Community involvement is essential to help people understand and shape infrastructure and development in their area and is an increasingly important part of the planning process. This was recognised in the Scottish Government’s recent planning consultation paper Places, people and planning.

“By helping practitioners rigorously apply best practice and put the most effective engagement techniques into place, SP=EED sets the bar for genuine community involvement in planning in Scotland.”

As well as a training session, PAS provided practical guidance. The verification process concluded with a reflective learning exercise and interview based on a real-life consultation project in Scotland. In Polly’s case this was the Kendoon to Tongland 132kV Reinforcement Project – a proposal for a new overhead electricity line in Dumfries and Galloway.

PAS is a volunteer-based organisation which provides free, independent and impartial planning advice service and training with the aim of stimulating interest in planning issues while providing knowledge, unravelling planning policy and procedures and explaining how people can get involved.