A recent Scottish Government consultation – Scottish Planning Policy and Housing: Technical Consultation on Proposed Policy Amendments – which proposes potentially significant changes to Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) has recently taken place.

PAS was pleased to be invited by the Government to host a Zoom round table event for community groups relating to the consultation paper aimed at helping them to respond effectively.

The event aim was hear participants’ views on and answer questions about this complex planning policy matter, as well as wider views on the provision of new homes in Scotland. PAS would like to thank the community group representatives who participated , and the Scottish Government planning officers who attended, helpfully explaining the background to the consultation and responding to questions.

The consultation paper proposes removing barriers which have emerged through current SPP policy to the aim of allowing the planning system “to achieve housing development in a sustainable way […] and actively address lengthy technical debates about the numbers of homes that we will need in the future”. The ultimate aim is to “strengthen] delivery and enable  good quality development on the ground”.

The consultation paper proposes the removal of policy content relating to the “presumption in favour of sustainable development” which they consider may not always lead to the best development in the right place. The Scottish Government considers that the policy content can facilitate the granting of planning permission for new home proposals not allocated in Local Development Plans, based on arguments about them being out of date or allocating insufficient land for new homes. The consultation also aims to achieve an agreed methodology for calculating housing need in any local authority area.

The consultation paper can be viewed at this link. You can read our response to the consultation here.