Planning & Environment

Delivery of developments is a big issue at the moment. Interesting then that a recent report recommends that testing of development viability/ deliverability become integral to all development planning and masterplanning.

The report – “The potential of development charges in the Scottish planning system”, by GVA and others – is well worth reading.

It concludes there is potential to introduce development charges in Scotland, to enhance the efficient delivery of development through the planning system.

There’s a thumbs up for a focussed levy linked to the infrastructure call that the development proposed will incur (in contrast to an area based blanket charge, like the community infrastructure levy, which stakeholders did not support). This would allow for development to be planned on an area basis at a local level in conjunction with the development plan system which can clarify and justify the level of charge set. Infrastructure would be phased and implemented according to specific requirements with flexibility for viability issues.

There is also support for continuing with the existing model of brokering an agreed contribution, normally using a legal agreement. This model has a continuing role in relation to stand alone solutions outwith an agreed masterplan process, and for locations with lower levels of market demand.

The report sets the ball rolling, but it’s what happens next that will make the difference. The Scottish Government commissioned the report, and their next step is awaited with interest.

Neil Collar