Building a zero carbon future

Climate change top of the agenda for new planning system.

Developments that radically help address climate change could no longer need planning permission under draft proposals.

Local renewable energy and electric vehicle charging are examples of projects that could automatically be given the go-ahead.

The proposals are being considered as part of a new action plan to implement a radical shake-up of planning laws.

Also included in the plan are a raft of new measures to empower people, communities and organisations to get involved in planning, as well as proposals to deliver more affordable homes in rural areas.

Planning Minister Kevin Stewart said:

“Planning has a key role to play in addressing climate change and radically reducing our emissions. Removing red tape from some of the highest priority projects can be a big step towards our goal of a net-zero carbon future.

“These proposals mark a new way forward for planning in Scotland. Our health, wellbeing and prosperity can be affected by where we live so it is important we get it right.

“Empowering communities to have a positive say in shaping their future is central to our vision, where people and local authorities across Scotland work closely together for all our benefit.”


The Scottish Government’s programme of work sets out how and when the new legislation implementing the recent Planning Act will come into effect. 

The 2019-20 Programme for Government ‘Protecting Scotland’s Future’ highlights the key role planning has to play in addressing climate change and helping to radically accelerate reduction of emissions, and in ensuring we can sustain and support communities, including support for dynamic rural economies, in resisting the most detrimental impacts of Brexit.


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