Planning & Environment

The consultation on the NPF3 MIR saw a fair number of responses. Amidst a recent flurry of CPD events on delivering housing in Scotland, I was interested to see what the housing sector thought of the consultation draft. A straw poll of the responses from developers reveals that:

  • not all developers agree with the approach that supply considerations are best dealt with at local level – most want to see more guidance via NPF3, including national and regional housing targets
  • possible sustainable locations for new housing development should be specified
  • any standards / regulations for energy efficiency which impose additional cost burdens on house building should be deferred;
  • NPF3 should identify more key spatial growth / regeneration areas, strategic-scale infrastructure constraints and regional transportation issues which act as a constraint on development and which cannot be realistically funded at a local level
  • the balance of decision-making is skewed heavily in favour of environmental factors and there is a need for more balanced local decision-making, particularly in light of NPF3’s clear objective of sustainable economic growth
  • the supply of housing requires a root and branch review as the current supply of market and affordable housing is not working

The main message seems to be that there’s not enough detail in NPF3 and that it’s not necessarily the case that housing supply issues are best dealt with at local level. At the very least, developers seem to want more detail on spatial strategy and would welcome the introduction of national and regional housing targets to set the context for delivering new housing across Scotland.

RTPI’s policy paper “Delivering Large Scale Housing” makes recommendations on NPF3 (see pp15-19) and makes for an interesting read – Neil blogged on it recently.

Planning & Environment

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Planning & Environment