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Ministers must consider all factors which shape development in review, RTPI Scotland says

29 June 2017

The ongoing review of the Scottish planning system needs to better consider the issues beyond the planning system which shape development, including access to land and resourcing of the planning service, RTPI Scotland says.

Responding to the Scottish Government’s position statement on the ongoing review of the planning system, released today, RTPI Scotland urged Ministers to link the factors which shape development, such as access to land, with the planning review.

RTPI Scotland welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to introduce measures which will strengthen the plan-led system of development which will give planners better opportunities to see the completed, high quality developments Scotland needs.

Stefano Smith, RTPI Scotland Convenor said:

“Delivering on our shared ambitions for the planning system - to create great places, support wellbeing and investment, tackle inequality and climate change - will depend on changes to the wider context of development. We are pleased the Government is exploring changes to the way Compulsory Purchase and Sale Orders, and land taxation, works.

“But we must also not lose focus on the point soundly made by the position paper that planning remains a critically under-resourced service. The Government has said it will not make further changes to the fees regime until the full costs of changes brought about by the Planning Bill are known.

“Better resourcing the planning system must not be ‘kicked in to the long grass’, we need to deal with this pressing issue. The Planning Bill, along with any accompanying secondary legislation, policy and guidance, is likely to have major resource implications, and these should be foremost in the Government’s thinking as reforms to the system are designed.”

The Scottish Government launched its review into the planning system in Autumn 2015. A Planning Bill is anticipated later in 2017.

RTPI Scotland will formally respond to the position statement and accompanying Strategic Environmental Assessment Report, which are open for consultation until 11 August. Members are encouraged to submit their views to

Read about RTPI Scotland’s involvement with the planning review to date.

Read about cuts to resources in planning departments.