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Review of the Scottish Planning System

In September 2015, Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights announced that he had appointed an independent panel to undertake a review of the Scottish planning system. The Council had written to the Scottish Government calling for a review of planning in Scotland earlier in the year.

Following over 350 submissions, the call for written evidence has now closed. The independent panel is due to produce its report in Spring 2016. 

Fife Council carried out a survey, ‘Your Place, Your Views’, to enable local people and businesses to engage in the process and voice their views on the future of planning. We would like to thank all those who took part in the survey. The results of the survey show that there is wide-spread support for an overhaul of development planning and future housing delivery.

The feedback has been submitted as part of the Council’s response to the Scottish Government consultation on planning in Scotland. The survey results will also be used by Fife Council to help improve planning processes. 

You can view the report of the ‘Your Place, Your Views' survey results and the survey questionnaire.

A Fife Council officers response was also submitted to the Scottish planning review consultation.

Summary of 'Your Place, Your Views' survey results

The survey, which ran from 10 September to 23 October 2015, attracted over 260 submissions. Published in a new report, key results include:

  • 94% agree that place-making, including community engagement and empowerment, should play a major role in planning
  • 90% support moving away from delivering targets for housing and employment land - preferring instead the right development in the right place
  • 77% support the idea of funding for infrastructure to kick-start development, with the development refunding the expenditure at development completion
  • 81% support incentives for the development of town centres and brownfield sites
  • 75% agree that development plan examination decisions should be made by locally elected representatives and communities.

The survey findings reveal strong support for the role of place-making, with less emphasis on the delivery of targets for housing and employment land, so that towns and villages are well-served with amenities and infrastructure. Respondents are seeking to move away from what is seen as simply meeting targets in favour of promoting the right type and scale of development in the right place.

Respondents back more local democracy for planning decisions and comments suggest that there is potential to develop closer partnerships between Fife Council and community organisations.

Survey respondents also support the idea of incentives made available to assist in the re-development of town centres and brownfield sites in urban areas, and making funds available, repaid at the end of the development, to provide the services communities need to support development.  

Many comments express a perception that the planning system is currently developer-led, with the bias towards development against communities. There are also wide-ranging comments around simplifying the current system.

Comments came from across Fife.  Of those who indicated where they were from: 18 % from North Fife; 72% from South Fife; 8% did not indicate; and 1.5% from outside Fife.

If you require any further information please contact:

Jenni Whittle, Lead Officer (Development Plan), Fife Council
Tel: +44 (0)3451 555 555 Ext: 471680 • Email: fife.devplan@fife.gov.uk
Twitter: @FifeDevPlan • #yourfife
LinkedIn® group: FifeDevPlan
Visit: www.fifedirect.org.uk/fifeplan

 

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