Development management newsletter: February 2017

An update on development management work.

This newsletter provides an update on work underway within the Scottish Government's Planning & Architecture Division for development management interests. It provides a snap-shot in time and is not intended to be exhaustive.

Planning Review

Last month we published a consultation on the future of planning in Scotland. The consultation paper Places, people and planning sets out 20 proposals for change which aim to strengthen the planning system and support sustainable economic growth across the country. The proposals build on the recommendations of the independent review of the planning system. The consultation closes on Tuesday 4 April 2017.

We will be hosting a series of public drop in events in the coming weeks.

For further details contact:

Planning Hazardous Substances

On 23 December 2016, Health and Safety Executive circulated to Heads of Planning a note of their policy change in the prioritisation of advice on hazardous substances consent applications and that they will no longer provide interpretations of the notifications they receive under Control of Major Accident Hazard legislation and pass on to planning authorities.

SG Contact:

New Controls on pay day lending and betting shops

The Town and Country Planning (Miscellaneous Amendment and Transitional Savings) Order 2016 came into effect on 10 February 2017. This follows on from actions agreed at the Scottish Government's 2014 Summit on Pay Day lending and Gambling in Town Centres and Neighbourhoods.

The effect of the Order is that any change of use to pay day lending or betting premises is likely to require a planning application. The Order also amends the GPDO to ensure that a change of use from a Betting Office or from Pay Day Lending to Class 1 or 2 use is permitted development. Transitional arrangements apply to premises where a Betting Office licence has been issued but a change of use has not taken place before 10 February 2017.

Where permission is required, planning authorities will be able to take decisions to grant or refuse planning permission in the usual way taking account of the development plan and other material considerations. Scottish Planning Policy (paragraph 67) includes provision on pay day lending and betting shops and the issues of clustering and over provision.

SG Contact: and

EIA Transposition

The Analysis Report on proposals to transpose the recently amended EIA Directive has now been published. An EIA signposting webpage has been published on the

EIA Legislation relating to Planning, Energy, Marine Licensing, Trunk Roads, Transport and Works Projects, Forestry and Agriculture will soon be laid in the Scottish Parliament to enable it to come into effect on 16 May 2017.

SG Contact:

Fees Consultation

The Scottish Government has committed to consulting on enhanced fees, following the independent review of planning recommendation that fees for major applications should be increased substantially so that the service moves towards full cost recovery.

We are currently seeking views on a new fee maximum of £125,000 for major applications for most categories of development (£62,500 for applications for planning permission in principle). This includes details of a reduced charge per unit or per 0.1 hectare for developments over a certain size to ensure that applicants in Scotland do not pay more than they would in other administrations for any size of proposed development. We are inviting responses to this consultation by 27 February 2017.

We will be considering wider changes to the fee structure, including scope for further discretionary charging taking account of changes to the planning system flowing from the review.

SG Contact:

Fees for Monitoring Surface Coal Mines

The consultation on fees for monitoring surface coal mines was launched on 16 January 2017. This consultation reflects a recommendation within the Scottish Opencast Coal Task Force by its Compliance and Finance sub-group for Ministers to consider and consult on a fees regime.

The Scottish Government is seeking views on the proposal to enable planning authorities to charge operators for undertaking monitoring of surface coal mining permissions, including reviewing planning conditions; legal agreements and financial guarantees for restoration purposes. The consultation is due to close on 09 April 2017.

SG Contact:

Section 75 Improvement Project

Planning and Architecture Division are working with local authorities on an improvement project to test change ideas for decreasing timescales of section 75 planning obligations. We will work with Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire Councils over the coming months and test change ideas locally with a view to disseminating lessons learned more widely.

SG contact:

Relaxation of Planning Controls on Digital Infrastructure

The consultation on the Relaxation of Planning Controls on Digital Infrastructure closed in November 2016. The responses are still being considered and we hope to publish an analysis report of these in the near future.

SG Contact:

Staff Changes

Cara Davidson will take up a new post on 20 February 2017 as Head of Environmental Assessment Branch, a replacement Development Management Branch Head will be announced shortly.



Telephone: 0131 244 7528

Area 2-H (South)
Planning and Architecture Division
The Scottish Government
Victoria Quay

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