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Good Planning is the key to delivering successful Enterprise Areas

03 November 2011

The planning system can drive Enterprise Areas (EAs), according to a recently published (27 October) report by RTPI Scotland. Laid out in "Planning and Enterprise Areas" are seven ways that planning can be used to create sustainable economic growth, overcoming the widely acknowledged difficulties EAs face.

David Suttie, RTPI Scotland's Convenor, emphasised that good planning is the key to delivering successful Enterprise Areas: "We all want Enterprise Areas to succeed. Our seven suggestions put good planning at the heart of Enterprise Areas. This can provide investors, developers, businesses and communities with what they want - confidence about what will be developed in an area, more sustainable and lasting benefits and decisions being made transparently and quickly."

We all want Enterprise Areas to succeed. Our seven suggestions put good planning at the heart of Enterprise Areas.

The RTPI in Scotland's seven suggestions are:

  • invest in upfront masterplanning and development frameworks setting out codes and regimes which establish what can and cannot be built in terms of design, layout and phasing.
  • link the certainty provided through the masterplan and design codes with a fast tracked approach to processing planning applications.  
  • link planning of the EAs to resources and innovative financing approaches and incentives.
  • build on Scottish Government's approach to brokering solutions to planning and development issues and put in place procedures and advice to support high quality and speedy development in EAs.
  • use planning to link opportunity and need by ensuring that the benefits from EAs are connected to communities outside of their boundaries. 
  • use strategic and local development plans to identify specific areas for EAs and the links that need to be made to them.
  • in the medium to longer term identify the broad locations of any new EAs in the National Planning Framework so as to link them into future national development priorities.

Enterprise zones or areas have been used before to kick start growth but often bypassed the planning system, and met with limited success, creating relatively few new jobs, being very expensive in the cost-per-job, and were created in areas which limited their chances of succeeding.