Planning & Environment

There are 91 proposed amendments to the Planning (Scotland) Bill so far.

In addition to deletions and refinements to the provisions in the Bill, there are a wide range of new proposals.

Purpose of Planning

There is a proposal to include a provision that:

The purpose of the planning system is to manage the development and use of land in the best long-term public interest.

Requirement for planning permission

There are proposals to require planning applications for:

  • private ways for field sports
  • agriculture and forestry
  • holiday/ second homes, including short term holiday lets

Determination of planning applications

There is a proposal to introduce a meaning of “material considerations”. The proposal does not include the meaning – enlightenment will be delayed until Regulations are prepared.

A presumption is proposed in favour of granting planning permission for housing suitable for older people and people with disabilities.

Specific issues to be addressed in the determination of planning applications include provision of toilet facilities and air quality considerations.

Call-in by the Scottish Ministers

The Scottish Ministers have wide powers to call in planning applications for their decision. There is a proposal for Regulations to set out the circumstances in which call-in powers can be exercised.

Appeals

Various amendments propose introduction of a community/ third party right to appeal decisions.

Particular controls

Changes are proposed to existing statutory provisions relating to National Scenic Areas, trees in conservation areas, and tree preservation orders.

A new prohibition is proposed on demolition of locally significant buildings.

A proposal for culturally significant zones would identify, protect and enhance existing cultural uses, and support development of new cultural uses. This would include implementing an agent of change approach. There is a separate proposed amendment to introduce that approach for noise-sensitive development proposals.

Way forward

It will be interesting to see how the Scottish Ministers respond to these proposed amendments.

Neil Collar

Neil Collar

Partner at Brodies LLP
Neil is a partner at Brodies LLP and consistently rated as one of Scotland’s leading planning lawyers. He is well known for both his planning inquiry advocacy and his advisory work. Neil has a particular interest in renewable energy developments.
Neil Collar