The body representing town planners in Scotland has called on Scottish Government to provide more support for communities and planning authorities to allow local people to shape how their places develop.
In responding to the consultation on draft proposals for the framework of regulations for Local Place Plans, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Scotland says that there is a need for more funding, resources for capacity building and guidance.
RTPI Scotland Convenor Barbara Cummins said: "This is an important moment for the planning system and the future of community engagement. Local Place Plans provide a golden opportunity to support communities to be more engaged in discussions about the future of the places where they live.
"This means that we need to make sure that they have the resources they need to do this, that they can access expertise and that they are able to engage people across their area in the discussion. These resources need to be targeted to communities that need them the most so we don’t exacerbate existing inequalities in Scotland.
"We cautiously welcome the light-touch approach taken by Scottish Government to this legislation, striking the difficult balance between providing a robust framework for development whilst ensuring that the process to produce Local Place Plans is not over-complicated for communities and allows for local flexibility."
In its response, RTPI Scotland has called on Scottish Government to bring greater clarity as to how the new future of community-led plans will be implemented in areas such as resourcing, timing and development planning and management procedures.