Transforming the planning system

Views sought for planning modernisation.

Plans for major changes to the Scottish planning system have been published today.

The Scottish Government has set out 20 proposals for revamping the system, which will support economic growth, delivery of houses and increase community involvement in planning decisions. They form a consultation which will pave the way for a planning bill to be brought forward this year.

The proposals build on recommendations of an independent review carried out by a panel of experts last year. Key changes include zoning more land for housing, promoting self-build and removing the need to apply for planning permission for more types of development. The consultation also seeks views on new rights for communities to produce their own plans for their local area.

Planning Minister Kevin Stewart visited the Pennywell development in Edinburgh, where he launched the consultation. The project will deliver 719 new energy efficient homes for the area with 356 properties for affordable rent and 363 for private sale, and has been a catalyst for wider regeneration through providing infrastructure improvements, local investment, local jobs, training opportunities and community engagement.

He said:

“Planning affects everyone’s lives, from making sure we have the right types of homes to driving forward regeneration.

“We need a strong and efficient system to support these aims and for long-term economic growth. I believe these proposals will mean we are better placed to make high quality development happen sooner and in the right places.

“I firmly believe that Scotland's planners can lead the delivery of great places, empower communities and provide a stable environment for investment through the uncertain times we live in. I would encourage everyone with an interest in planning – developers and businesses, professionals and local authorities, communities and members of the public – to tell us what they think of our proposals for change.”

The consultation, “Places, people and planning” runs until Tuesday 4 April, and can be accessed at 


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