‘Ambitious’ programme of planning reform welcomed by builders

Tammy Adams
Tammy Adams

Industry body Homes for Scotland (HFS) has welcomed the Scottish Government’s response to the report of the independent planning review panel, praising its commitment to strengthening and simplifying the planning system to achieve positive outcomes for Scotland, including the delivery of more homes.

The response sets out ten ‘immediate actions’ which will be taken forward as a priority, as well as a programme of longer-term collaborative work to define the scope of wider reform.

A White Paper will be published for consultation in Autumn / Winter 2016, enabling a Planning Bill to be brought forward in 2017.

Head of planning, Tammy Adams, said: “Having been encouraged by the ambitious nature of the 48 recommendations previously made by the independent panel appointed to undertake the ‘root and branch’ review, we are pleased to see the Scottish Government maintaining the momentum of this work, both in pace and tone.

“The programme that has now been outlined provides an excellent opportunity for HFS and other key stakeholders to work collaboratively with the Scottish Government to ensure this next set of planning reforms achieves real results. For us, the over-arching priority is clearly on ensuring we can fully meet the need and demand for new homes of all tenures across Scotland. That requires a planning system which prioritises and enables the delivery of significantly more homes on the ground, not just on paper. The ‘immediate actions’ could provide a good start on that, if we get the details right.

“Looking ahead to the consultation on the White Paper later this year, we are particularly keen to see what detail will be added to the proposal for a new approach to planning for and delivering infrastructure, and the welcome but undefined hook for ‘new tools to assist housing delivery’. We would particularly welcome early discussions on these very important topics.

“This review provides a genuine opportunity to create a planning system, and more importantly a working culture, that delivers enough new homes for our growing population. We remain committed to playing a full and constructive part in that, and in supporting the Scottish Government across the full range of emerging work streams.”

Yesterday RTPI Scotland and the Scottish Property Federation also welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement which follows a report of the independent planning review panel led by Crawford Beveridge, Petra Biberbach, and former Scottish Property Federation chair, John Hamilton.

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