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Planning Review

RTPI Scotland thinkpieces - Proposals for change

The Scottish Government consultation paper Places, People and Planning contained many ideas for making the planning system more influential and effective. Working groups of RTPI Scotland committee members have now come together to prepare a series of thinkpieces that advance some of these ideas into implementable changes that could make a major impact on how our planning system works. The thinkpieces are:

A statutory Chief Planning Officer in local authorities

Making an infrastructure first approach a reality

Making local place plans work - collaboration rather than conflict

Delivering more homes

A new development plans process

We hope that these concrete proposals will inform the drafting of the planning Bill we expect later in 2017, as well as the policy, guidance and regulation that will emerge from the planning review.

Places, People and Planning - Scottish Government consultation

In January 2017 the Scottish Government published 20 proposals for reforming the planning system, for consultation until 4 April, in a paper called Places, People and Planning. These proposals are a direct response to the May 2016 report of the Independent Review of the Scottish Planning System. In June 2017 the Scottish Government published a Position Statement in response to the outcome of this consultation. This includes some clarification on the changes we can expect to see in a Planning Bill in late 2017/early 2018.  Many of the proposals will not be included in this legislation, but could be implemented through secondary legislation, policy and guidance.

The RTPI Scotland response to Places, People and Planning is available here.

The RTPI Scotland response to the June 2017 Places, People and Planning Position Statement is available here.

Our briefing, aimed at MSPs but a good overview for anyone looking for an 'at a glance' guide to the consultation proposals, can be read here.

The Planning Review - Timeline so far

June 2017

The Scottish Government published its Position Statement regarding the outcome of the consultation on its Places, People and Planning paper, along with a full analysis of the responses received. The Statement gives some clarity on the measures likely to be included in a Planning Bill later in 2017.

April 2017

The Scottish Government consultation on the future of the planning system, Places, People and Planning, closed.

RTPI Scotland submitted a response to the consultation, heavily informed by the views of our members.

RTPI Scotland will also publish a series of thinkpieces, exploring in more detail ways of implementing in practice some of the Government's ambitions for planning.

December 2016

RTPI Scotland outlined its game-changers for planning in Repositioning Planning: Building a Successful and Sustainable Scotland. The headlines are:

  •  make sure every council has a statutory Chief Planning Officer to ensure that they are involved in early strategic decision-making to enable a better planned approach to new development and the infrastructure it requires.
  • allow for a Community Right to Plan where communities can prepare their own spatial plans which set out their aspirations and which can become part of the Local Development Plan.
  • introduce full cost recovery for planning applications and ring-fence money raised for development management. This will help address resourcing issues in planning departments.
  • introduce a National Development Plan to integrate and plan for the infrastructure investment plan and the national transport strategy, and, to provide more guidance and certainty to resolve national issues including building more houses

We will use the outcomes from the chapter workshops and online conversations to build on these game-changers in our formal response to the Government consultation.

May 2016

Report of the Independent Panel, Empowering planning to deliver great places, published. Read RTPI Scotland's response and briefing for MSPs.

Autumn 2015

'Root and branch review of the planning system' announced by then Minister for Planning. An Independent Panel was convened to carry out the review. The purpose of the review was 'to achieve, a quicker, more accessible and efficient planning process in order to build investor and community confidence in the system'. Read RTPI Scotland's written evidence and cover letter to the review.