We worked hard to ensure the final Scottish Planning Policy was improved.
People, places and planning
In January 2017, the Scottish Government launched a consultation on the future of the Scottish planning system, setting out proposals for change in four key areas.
These relate to simplifying and strengthening development planning; empowering people to have more influence on the future of their places, building more homes and delivering infrastructure and strengthening planning leadership and resourcing.
Among other things, planning has a crucial role in addressing the challenge of climate change and delivering renewable energy, but the consultation does not detail how the future planning system would fulfill this. Noting the proposals to have clearer national and regional housing targets and more strategic planning for housing land provision a similar strategic approach should be taken to the planning of renewable energy, and to habitat creation and enhancement.
We support the proposed introduction of an ‘infrastructure levy’, some of which should be dedicated to provision of green infrastructure.
In respect of local development plan production, we welcome the proposal to introduce a ‘draft plan’ consultation stage, which should improve the quality of final plans. However, we believe that this stage should be additional to, rather than a replacement of, the current ‘main issues report’ stage which provides stakeholders with an important opportunity to comment on alternative options for development sites and policy approaches.