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New report recommends a Scotland-specific approach to commercial demand assessment

20th January 2020

The Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) appointed Ryden to investigate how current and future demand for commercial property development is assessed in Scotland, and to make recommendations for improvements. The report Assessing Demand for Commercial Development  provides a better understanding of Scotland’s future economic and market needs.

Key findings include: 

  • At national and regional levels, planning for employment land use is typically based upon policy and strategy, rather than analysis of economic demand.
  • At a local level, less than half of Scotland’s planning authorities have published employment demand assessments. Local Development Plans (LDPs) using economic analysis to understand future market needs are in the minority.
  • Local planning authorities would welcome access to more economic, employment and development demand forecast data, as well as published guidance on undertaking demand assessments.

The research shows that, while the role of employment land and property in sustainable economic growth is fully reflected in policy and strategy, it is much less embedded in the process of land use planning, particularly in comparison with other major land uses such as housing, retailing and education.

The risk is that general employment locations - such as industrial estates, business parks and town centres - may not properly anticipate and respond to potential future demand. There is an opportunity to develop a standardised approach through the ongoing digitisation of the planning system and related guidance.

Download the full report here

Mark Robertson

Mark is Ryden's Managing Partner. He lead's th firm's Managing Group and delivery of the Business Plan.

With his specailist property market research team he also provides an external consultancy service to clients and internal advice to Ryden. He is the leading research authority on Scotland's property markets and has completed more than three hundred property consultancy projects for public and private sector clients over the past 26 years.

Mark's experience includes property market research, economic and market analysis, options appraisals and funding studies. He is editor of the authoritative Scottish Property Review.

External Tutor, Property Investment Appraisal (MSc), Napier University

Investment Property Forum 

FRICS and contribution to RICS Scotland policy forums

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