‘Radical’ Scottish Planning Bill is finally passed by Holyrood

The Scotland (Planning) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on June 20, 2019.

Catherine Newton

The process of reforming the Scottish Planning System officially started in 2015 with the promise from Scottish Government of a simpler planning system … writes Planning Consultant Catherine Newton.

It was still being promoted as such when I spoke at the Bell Ingram Insight Day in Spring 2018.

However, after four years, 230 amendments (apparently Holyrood’s most amended piece of legislation to date) and the introduction of 91 additional burdens/duties on planning authorities, it is now thought to be in danger of being even more complex than it was before. The Planning Minister Kevin Stewart remains hopeful that: “The Bill is a radical new way forward for planning in Scotland. It is a vision that empowers communities to have a positive say in shaping their future.”

We now await the raft of secondary legislation and regulations which will be required to implement the Bill.

Time will tell if this does in fact promote a renewed confidence in the planning system and engages landowners and communities to promote sustainable development in simpler way as originally intended.

Published on 12th July 2019