Planning experts claim bill ‘dangerously close’ to failure

Planning experts claim bill ‘dangerously close’ to failure

Kevin Stewart

Members of the independent panel tasked with reviewing Scotland’s planning system are close to withdrawing their support for the current Planning (Scotland) Bill.

In a letter to planning minister Kevin Stewart, Crawford Beveridge, Petra Biberbach and John Hamilton, joined calls by the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) for a rethink of the current bill, which they claim is “dangerously close to creating a system that is more complex than before, more remote and in danger of losing the spirit of the original review recommendations”.

It is now estimated that the bill adds 91 additional burdens to the current planning system (66 on local authorities and 25 on the Scottish government).

The authors write: “It is now apparent that the likely impact of recent amendments introduced during stage two proceedings will lead to significant departures from our original recommendations and that these will place a range of additional burdens upon local authorities and the Scottish government, as well as those working in Scotland’s private and third sectors. Indeed, it is estimated by the RTPI that the bill adds 91 additional burdens to the current planning system (66 on Local Authorities and 25 on the Scottish government).”

They add: “We feel that without swift intervention from the Scottish government, Scotland is at risk of being left with a planning system that operates in ways directly counter to the key principles of simplification, efficiency and effective place-making that we placed at the heart of our review’s conclusions in 2016.

“Whilst we remain encouraged that several positive aspects of the bill envisaged by our review remain on course for delivery, such as the creation of local place plans or the desire to involve young people on planning issues, there remain fundamental flaws which make it difficult for us, as members of the original independent review of planning, to support the draft legislation in the form that is now being proposed.”

Share icon
Share this article: