Planning system needs to be more inclusive, says report

Written by Tom Freeman on 1 June 2016 in News

Independent review of the planning system says barriers to community engagement in planning need to be broken down

Local communities need to be involved more in planning decisions, an independent report for the Scottish Government has said.

The independent ‘Empowering planning to deliver great places’ review makes a number of recommendations, including further work to find out why the majority of Scotland’s public are unaware or uninterested in planning.

It also calls for a statutory right for young people to be consulted.


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The system needs to be more innovative and take a longer-term view, the report says.

“Planning needs to move away from micro-management of the built environment, avoid focusing on processes which add little value, and to focus instead on delivering great places now, and for future generations,” the report’s authors Crawford Beveridge, Petra Biberbach and John Hamilton say.

“Whilst this has been an aspiration for some time, the current context of public sector finance, low market confidence, complex interagency relationships, land reform and community empowerment all demand that there is a renewed and collective drive towards achieving this goal.”

Local government and planning minister Kevin Stewart welcomed the report.

“This independent report will help form the basis to kick-start a new, focussed and revitalised planning system. We will consider its recommendations in further detail and will respond in due course,” he said.

“I’d like to thank the panel for their work in this review and publication, and the efforts made to ensure everyone who has an interest in planning could contribute their ideas.” 

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