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Scottish ministers confirm further planning reforms are on the way

Words: Roger Milne
Scottish Parliament

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Scotland has welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement of a review of the country’s planning system.

The review forms part of the government’s upcoming programme, A Stronger Scotland (PDF).

RTPI Scotland insisted this was an opportunity to maximise the potential of the planning system.

The review will identify the scope for making the planning process more efficient and accessible, particularly in ways that will increase delivery of high quality housing developments.

The administration said this initiative would “ensure that planning realises its full potential, unlocking land and sites, supporting more quality housing across all tenures and delivering the infrastructure required to support development”.

This will involve streamlining, simplifying and improving “current systems and removing unnecessary blockages in the decision-making process.”

RTPI Scotland has been leading thinking on how planning can play a bigger role in delivering better and more homes across Scotland. In its recent publication Ten Propositions to Support Planning for Housing, the RTPI highlighted the need to connect planning vision with delivery; to more effectively link development infrastructure and land assembly; and to support planners to identify sustainable places for homes to be built.

Pam Ewen, convenor of RTPI Scotland, said: “We support the government’s ambition to deliver more high quality homes. A properly resourced planning service is vital to make it happen and the review will help the planning system realise its full potential.

“We already have ideas on how this can be done and so look forward to working with the Scottish Government and other organisations to put in place the game-changers required.

“Scotland has the foundations of a good planning system, one which is respected and recognised across the world. Over the last five years significant improvements have been made to focus the system on the right development in the right place and to improve its effectiveness and efficiency.

“However we can, and should, build on this and make it better.”