Planning & Environment

Planning reform continues to attract lots of interest. There was a very high turnout at our seminars in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh – many thanks again to our expert panel members for their insights.

“How we move on now”

Royal Assent – the Bill becoming the Act – encouraged a discussion about the future – “how we move on now”.

Key points included:

  • Reform is a continuing journey
  • Scottish Government are still preparing their programme – for producing NPF4, reviewing regulations, providing new guidance, and progressing digital planning
  • A high performing planning system is about everybody
  • The importance of collaboration
  • Changing behaviours (a more helpful term than culture change – everyone can, and should, take responsibility for changing their behaviour)
  • It remains a plan-led system, but with fundamental changes to the hierarchy of plans
  • Lots of interest in the timing and scope of the new regional spatial strategies – no answers yet
  • Plans – difficult to identify the critical path and dependencies – unclear which plan comes first – eg. will the new RSSs precede NPF4?
  • 10 year cycle for NPF and LDPs might give less opportunity for participation, scrutiny and intervention
  • Local place plans – lack of formal role for key agencies such as Transport Scotland
  • Not everybody is happy with the Act – how do we address the dissatisfaction of some communities?

 

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