“We are pleased to see the continued commitment to improving the planning system and the introduction of Planning Bill into the Scottish Parliament today. Scotland’s economy needs a flexible, positive and effective planning system, and whilst much work has been undertaken since 2015, we expect that significant questions will be raised during the progress of the Bill. Much information is also still required on the specifics of implementation of new legal and policy mechanisms, even if the Bill does go through.”
“The challenge of delivering both more, and good quality housing, and the approach to infrastructure provision is far from resolved – it can’t be left to just the planning system to resolve. Also, if there really is to be a step change from that of a regulator, to a positive and active enabler of good quality development and a shift from reacting to proactively supporting investment and development proposals, then there needs to be a significant cultural change and the Bill alone won’t provide that.”
“Local planning authorities need to be adequately resourced in both financial and human terms, and, having graduated with a planning degree, it stems from the grassroots up starting with Scottish universities creating courses that attracts students to continued and adequate professional development and support for the planning profession, to ring-fencing planning application fees for the planning department.”
“A bill committee will now be formed to take evidence and make recommendations and this will provide a real opportunity to participate in the bill’s legislative scrutiny. We would actively encourage the property industry, planners and other key stakeholders to fully engage, share their innovative ideas, views and opinions with any calls for evidence by the Scottish Parliament.”
Sarah Baillie is Partner with international law firm Addleshaw Goddard LLP. She leads the planning team in Scotland and is the only solicitor to be dual qualified as both a Law Society of Scotland Accredited Specialist in Planning Law and a Chartered Town Planner retaining membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute.