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Scotland needs new towns for homes

Scottish homes

Scotland needs to create up to eight new communities to avoid a potential housing crisis, according to a report published today.

The proposal is one of a host outlined by The Scottish Housing Commission in its report, Building a Better Scotland, aimed at increasing housing land supply, housing growth and creating a strong private rented sector.

Among the 15 recommendations are that the government delivers a 100% increase in effective supply of land for development by 2016, a review to assess the nature of existing planning consents in Scotland, the establishment of a Scottish Land Delivery Agency (SLDA), and enabling the delivery of six to eight major new communities.

The RICS-led commission said: “By promoting the creation of up to eight major new communities, either as new towns; regeneration of existing communities or as expansion of existing plans, we could make major in-roads in addressing Scotland’s acute housing need in the decade that lies ahead.”

RTPI Scotland welcomed the report’s recognition of the importance of planning to deliver new housing. In response for the recommendation for new communities, it said: “We believe that there is a role for new communities in helping to provide more new housing, providing that they are well planned and located to ensure they are sustainable and resilient.

“However they may be only one part of the way forward and other approaches must also be explored including development in existing towns and cities and settlement extensions.”

Craig McLaren, RTPI Scotland Director, said: “The report supports and complements many of the recommendations set out in the RTPI Policy Paper Delivering Large Scale Housing: Unlocking Schemes and Sites to Help Meet the UK's Housing Needs published last year. “In particular, emphasised the need to explore how special delivery processes may assist the delivery of nationally significant housing developments, and an effective Scottish Land Delivery Agency could prove to be a game changer in delivering more houses and ensuring that they are sustainable and well designed”