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Infrastructure levy proposal in Scots planning bill not ‘advanced enough’

Words: Laura Edgar
Scotland debates the planning bill / iStock-146908761

Homes for Scotland says the Planning (Scotland) Bill could deliver the balance the planning system requires, but warned that any changes should be 'fully' thought through.

Speaking about the bill following submission of written evidence submitted to the Local Government and Communities Committee, Tammy Swift-Adams, director of planning at the trade body for housebuilders in Scotland, warned that any changes should be “fully” thought through.

“For example, an Infrastructure Levy may prove a useful future tool for securing the necessary infrastructure (such as roads and schools) associated with new development in a more transparent way than at present, but the detailed thinking on this is not at an advanced enough stage. It would therefore be more logical to remove the Infrastructure Levy proposals from the bill and set these aside for separate work.”

However, she welcomed the emphasis being placed on better collaboration early in the plan-making stage.

“Accordingly, the evidence reports which planning authorities will be required to present will have to demonstrate genuine engagement between planning authorities, community representatives and housing providers. The introduction of Local Place Plans could also provide an opportunity for communities to show what role they can play in articulating how Scotland’s development needs should be met,” added Swift-Adams.

On the debate about whether third-party rights of appeal should be introduced, she said the move would be a negative one that results in delays to the delivery of homes.

“The focus should remain on finding new opportunities for collaboration rather than conflict.”

The closing date for written submissions was 2 February.

Homes for Scotland's written evidence can be found here (pdf).

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