RTPI Scotland has welcomed the First Minister's confirmation in her Programme for Government that the Planing Bill remains a priority.
Craig Mclaren, RTPI Scotland Director, said: "We are pleased that the Programme for Government confirms the Planning Bill as part of 2017/18 legislative programme. We look forward to continuing to work with Scottish Government on this. The programme also includes Bills on Climate Change, the Crown Estate, Transport and Warm Homes. It will be good to see the details each Bill and how they will complement one another. Planning could have important role in all.
"It is good to see the Programme for Government proposes to double active travel investment to £80m in 2018-19 and that it is planned to establish a new Active Nation Commissioner. We are also pleased to see proposed action on air quality including the establishment of Low Emission Zones in 4 of Scotland's biggest cities between between 2018 and 2020.
Last week, Craig spoke on BBC radio amd TV responding to a speech by Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson where she had called for a number of new towns to be built across Scotland.
Speaking on the John Beattie programme, Craig outlined how new towns may be part of the answer but it was also necessary to explore how best to use existing derelict land, to extend existing towns and cities, and to look at how best make best use of existing vacant properties. He said that we needed to avoid building houses “in the middle of nowhere” without the services and facilities people need.
On Reporting Scotland Craig highlighted the need for a new approach to providing infrastructure saying the tight fiscal circumstances meant that house builders, developers and local authorities now claim that they cannot afford to build the schools and other services required. This was creating an impasse which required urgent action.
You can read think piece papers RTPI Scotland has published on housing and infrastructure here.