The Scottish Government responds to recent review of Planning System

11th July 2016

The Scottish Government responded today (11 July) to the recent review of the Scottish planning system undertaken by an independent panel and detailed within the report: ‘Empowering Planning to Deliver Great Places’.  You can read our summary of the report here.

The Government gave its whole hearted support for the panel’s findings and the six outcomes presented within the review.  It committed to undertaking further work throughout 2016 and set out 10 actions that it will take forward immediately.  These are:

  1. Help local authorities to strengthen their skills and capacity for housing delivery in the short term through a range of measures including financial assistance where appropriate. (Recommendations 13 and 16)
  2. Finalise the draft advice on planning for housing and infrastructure delivery, including a clear definition of effective housing land which will be consistently applied within the current system. (Recommendation 13)
  3. Work with Heads of Planning Scotland to identify how permitted development rights could be extended. (Recommendation 31)
  4. Work with Heads of Planning Scotland and COSLA to explore potential to establish shared services. (Recommendation 41)
  5. Take forward pilot Simplified Planning Zones for housing. (Recommendation 14)
  6. Consult on enhanced fees to ensure that planning authorities are better resourced. (Recommendations 37 and 38)
  7. Work with the high level group on performance to look for alternative methods of improving performance. (Recommendation 39)
  8. Continue our commitment to authorities to not implement the penalty clause until further work on performance improvement has been considered. (Recommendation 39)
  9. Confirm that, in line with the panel’s recommendation, we do not intend to introduce a third party or equal right of appeal. We will instead focus on more effective methods of engaging people, including the use of innovative techniques such as 3D visualisation, at an earlier stage in the planning process. (Recommendation 46)
  10. Work with Heads of Planning Scotland to finalise national guidance on minimum requirements for validation. (Recommendation 29)

Throughout this Summer/Autumn the Government proposes to work with key stakeholders to develop more detailed proposals for all of the other recommendations, exploring the practicalities of their implementation and their interdependencies.

It is proposed that a White Paper will be brought forward for consultation in Autumn/Winter 2016 and a Planning Bill in 2017. 

For more information on this or any other planning issue please contact:


Categories Blog Planning

Marc Giles

Marc is a town planning consultant with nearly 20 years of experience and has a successful track record for delivering high profile development projects.  He has extensive experience in all aspects of land use planning including the commercial, residential, industrial and retail sectors.

Marc advises developers, occupiers, landowners and investors across the private sector as well as public sector clients including the SFT and a number of NHS Boards.

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