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SNP Manifesto Commitments

Working for Jobs (p11)

We will take forward a series of new improvements to the planning system. The improvements, set out in detail in the Scottish Government's Economic Recovery Plan, will speed up planning decisions, avoid unnecessary delays in new development and act as a boost for the construction industry.

We will continue to press all public authorities to improve planning performances.

In particular we will take forward an approach which involves communities at an earlier stage and engages them more effectively in the design of developments.

We also want to see a wider understanding of the planning system, and a recognition of the important role planners have in the creation of more sustainable communities and in the delivery of higher levels of sustainable economic growth.

Other priorities include helping unlock developments currently stalled due to infrastructure needs, improving the compulsory purchase process … and efficiency benefits through reform of planning consents.

Low Carbon Ambition and Opportunity (p34)

We are providing updated online planning advice for renewable energy technologies. This will set out the way SEPA and SNH will interact more proportionately as consultees in development planning and management. We will continue to work over the next five years to ensure Scotland's planning system encourages sustainable development.

We will work with communities and developers to agree ways of ensuring an enhanced role for local people in agreeing sites for wind turbines when these are to be located within close proximity of the communities themselves.

We have just recently made it easier for owners of public buildings and businesses to generate energy using technologies such as solar panels without requiring planning permission. The initiative will apply for solar thermal panels, solar photo voltaic panels, pipework for ground source heat pumps and water source heat pumps and biomass boilers.

This year we will also complete the Strategic Environmental Assessment process for offshore wind energy in Scottish territorial waters.

Engines of Growth (p36)

Scotland is a highly urbanised nation. Over 80% of our population lives in settlements of over 3,000 people. And so, over the next five years we are determined to deliver a new focus on urban and city growth, including a new and refreshed Scottish Cities Review.

Given the importance of our cities as economic, research and cultural centres, we will introduce a new Cities Agenda, overseen in government by the Deputy First Minister who will also become Scotland's Cities Minister. We want Scotland's cities to flourish and our plan will bring together investment in the economy, culture, transport and infrastructure to support these engines of growth in the Scottish economy.

We will also continue to support the Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative.

Rural Agenda (p39)

We also believe that when a farm business is being passed from one generation to the next it should be easier for the successor to build a home on the farm where required.