Planners call for clearer national roadmap for development in Scotland

Stefano Smith
Stefano Smith

The Scottish Government needs to establish national development priorities across the country and map them out clearly in a new National Development Plan (NDP), according to the Royal Town Planning Institute Scotland (RTPI Scotland).

In its response to the Scottish Government consultation paper on the future of the Scottish planning system, the organisation said Scotland needs more specific plans to drive the country forwards and achieve its economic and social targets.

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.

“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.”

A new NDP will set out where new developments, such as housing, should be located, how these will be funded, and what infrastructure and facilities such as schools, public transport, roads and health centres are required.

This new plan would be a single statutory document that brings together and replace two existing documents - the National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy. The plan 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, the Institute says.

The NDP is one of a number of game-changers RTPI Scotland has proposed. Others include 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. RTPI Scotland’s full response to the consultation is here.

Share icon
Share this article: