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Scottish Planning Review - RTPI response

30 November 2015

RTPI Scotland sets out “game-changers” for a better planning system


A fundamental shift in thinking which recognises the central role planning has in creating successful, well-planned places across Scotland is needed, says RTPI Scotland today in their response to the independent review of the Scottish planning system.

 The organisation has set out the “game-changers” needed to maximise the potential of the planning system, after consulting its members: 

  • The planning system needs to be both delivery and outcome focussed.  There is a need to address the implementation gap that currently exists between process and delivery and in providing predictability and certainty to enable things to happen.
  • Planning needs to be more of a corporate function at the heart of local authorities and Scottish Government. It needs to be able to promote collaboration and influence policy and resource allocation across organisations to maximise benefits for places.  This requires spatial planning to integrate effectively with community planning, and vice versa.
  • The planning system needs to be more proactive. This requires a truly plan-led approach that promotes the primacy of the Development Plan through stakeholder engagement taking place earlier to build consensus and provide clarity on responsibilities for delivery.
  • The planning system needs to be properly resourced to add value.  It must have the resources it needs to deliver (money, staffing, information, intelligence, and systems) and build the skills required. It also needs to be organised to be fit for purpose and efficient.

Pam Ewen, Convenor, RTPI Scotland, said:

 “Scotland has an internationally renowned planning system.  Much of it works well, however there are parts that need to be improved. Planning needs to be at the heart of what local authorities do and to be integrated with transport, health, environment and business to ensure housing, economic growth and social well-being are delivered holistically for people.”

“Our proposals have been developed after extensive engagement with our members across Scotland working in the public, private and voluntary sectors and aim to build on the untapped potential the planning system has in making a difference for people and places.”

Read RTPI Scotland's full response here