Planning & Environment

I attended Planning Aid for Scotland’s community consultation workshop last night led by Chris Whitehead of Facilitating Change (UK) Limited. We had an interesting discussion on the level/quality of PAC which is generally required by planning authorities on major applications. The experience of the group was that while many developers offer more than the statutory minimum when submitting their PAN, planning authorities will rarely require a developer to go beyond the minimum threshold. I wonder if this is an accurate reflection of planning authority practice?

Of course developers aren’t the only ones involved in community consultation, and Chris encouraged the authority planners in the group to set the bar high when consulting on their own development plan documents. Let’s see if the current raft of MIRs and proposed plans rise to that challenge!

We finished with a look at PAS’ SP=EED guide to engagement  which is endorsed by the Scottish Government as a means to driving up quality.

And for those who are not yet “converts” to consultation, Chris had an interesting statistic – the earlier the consultation, the cheaper the cost, and the greater the benefit achieved!

Karen Hamilton
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