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Scotland’s chief planner highlights housing land and local place plans

Words: Roger Milne
Housebuilding / iStock-889654612

New statutory requirements relating to land for housing, which will form part of National Planning Framework 4 and, separately, the introduction of place plans in the new-look planning system, are highlighted in an update from Scottish planning minister Kevin Stewart and chief planner John McNairney.

The Scottish Government has written to local and national park authorities on the housing land issue, calling for input from authorities and stakeholders over the next few months after providing housing land figures designed as a “starting point for local considerations”.

In respect of local place plans, the letter reminds planning authorities that consultation on the regulations for these plans is now under way and due to be in place by the end of this year.

To assist in this exercise, the government has just published a report and literature review of community-led planning, which explores how local place plans might be developed and delivered. A final, web-enabled guide is promised alongside the regulations.

The update notes that new regulations on pre-application consultation with local communities are set to come into force on 1 October. The regulations will make some changes to the statutory requirements alongside provisions in the 2019 Planning (Scotland) Act, including the new requirement for a second public event.

The letter also reiterates continued support for the relaxation of some planning controls to help businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak, particularly in respect of planning enforcement.

“We are aware that some authorities have been exploring scope for the temporary use of car parks or other appropriate locations for overnight stops in campervans and motorhomes if that is safe and reasonable, to address some anticipated pressures during the coming season,” comments the letter.

In addition, the update points out that new and extended permitted development rights are due to come into force on 1 April. They relate to digital telecommunications infrastructure, agricultural development, peatland restoration, development related to active travel, and aquaculture.

Also coming into force on that date are the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 provisions and related regulations for the designation of Short-Term Let Control Areas. Supporting guidance is promised.

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