Community engagement in planning


Planning Minister Aileen Campbell will today meet with community and other groups to discuss how to ensure communities are properly engaged in the planning process.

The meeting will focus on how involving local people in planning, especially when a project is controversial, can lead to better decisions and a more efficient planning system.

Ms Campbell will ask people with practical experience of community engagement to talk about which techniques for engaging people have worked in practice, and ways to make sure the system works better.

The meeting, in Edinburgh, will be the first of a series of community engagement events. Ms Campbell will lead similar meetings around the country in the next few months.

Following the meeting, Ms Campbell will meet chief executives of agencies including SEPA, Historic Scotland, Transport Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Architecture and Design Scotland and Scottish Water to feed back the points raised with her at the engagement event, before sharing some of her findings with MSPs at the Cross Party Group on Architecture and the Built Environment.

Planning Minister Aileen Campbell said:

"Planning is at the heart of delivering the Scottish Government's goal of sustainable economic growth.

"But if we want to have an effective planning system, we must also have effective community engagement. Good community engagement can lead to better plans, better decisions and a more efficient planning system.

"I'm delighted to be hosting this meeting, the first of a series, to hear the experiences communities have had of the planning process and to find out what community engagement techniques work in real life.

"I know from experience that not every planning discussion is clear cut. But I want to ensure there is proper dialogue, so that all voices and interests can be part of the debate."

Invitees to the meeting include representatives from Planning Aid for Scotland, Heads of Planning Scotland, the Royal Town Planning Institute and representatives of community groups from across Scotland.