Scotland needs a clearer national planning roadmap

Written by Kate Shannon on 4 April 2017 in News

RTPI Scotland has called on the Scottish Government to establish a new national development plan

House plans: Picture credit - Holyrood stock images

Scotland needs to establish a clearer national planning roadmap, according to the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Scotland.

Responding to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the future of the Scottish planning system, RTPI Scotland said the country needs more specific strategies to drive forward and achieve its economic and social targets.

It has also called for the government to establish development priorities across Scotland and map them out clearly in a new national development plan (NDP).


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Stefano Smith, convenor of RTPI Scotland said: “We are living in uncertain times.

“Given this we need a plan that gives certainty and confidence to communities, developers and investors. 

“Our proposals for a new national development plan can do this by being clear on what the national priorities for development are, where they are to be constructed and how they will be funded. 

“Providing a proactive, route-map of Scotland’s future development will be beneficial to everyone who wants to make Scotland a successful and sustainable country.”

The organisation said an NDP would set out where new developments should be located, how they would be funded and what infrastructure and facilities such as schools, public transport, roads and health centres are required.

The NDP would be a single statutory document that brought together and replace two existing documents - the National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy. 

It would need to be agreed by the Scottish Parliament so as to ensure an open public debate on how to plan for the country’s future, RTPI Scotland said.  

Smith continued: “Such a plan also helps to better connect the government’s various strategies and funds – such as those on economic growth, infrastructure, housing, transport, climate change, social justice and energy – and achieve better integration across policy areas.”

RTPI Scotland has also proposed appointing a statutory chief planning officer in each local authority; ensuring full cost recovery for planning applications and ringfencing fees to support their assessment and exploring how best to provide a community right to plan. 

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