Planning & Environment

According to the Scottish Government’s “Planning Reform – Next Steps”: “Local Review Bodies (LRBs) have settled down well”. Mmmmm … from comments I’ve heard, I’m not sure everyone agrees.

I’m intrigued by the voting at a recent City of Edinburgh LRB. Of 4 cases, 2 were granted planning permission, and 2 were refused.

Nothing exceptional in that, I hear you say. In 3 of the cases, the LRB of 4 councillors was split down the middle and the decision was made on the basis of the convenor’s casting vote, which resulted in 2 grants of planning permission and 1 refusal. The final case was a unanimous refusal.

1 councillor voted to refuse permission for all 4 developments, whereas the others voted to refuse 2 and approve 2.

3 of the councillors had a 50% success rate, ie. they voted for the outcome which was the eventual decision in each case. The convenor had a 100% success, because of the way his casting vote worked in each case.

Although this could be described as a lack of consistency, it could equally be interpreted as the councillors treating each development on its merits. An indication they’ve “settled down well” after all?


Neil Collar