Investing in planning - resourcing Scotland's planning system consultation: impact assessments

This consultation on resourcing Scotland’s planning system responds to current resourcing challenges. It builds on ideas generated in a stakeholder workshop held in November 2023, and sets out a series of proposals which aim to improve capacity and build resilience.

Fairer Scotland Duty

Fairer Scotland Duty - Assessment not required declaration

Policy title: Investing in Planning – A Consultation on Resourcing Scotland’s Planning System

Policy lead responsible for taking the decision: Chris Sinclair, Local Government, Housing and Planning, Planning, Architecture and Regeneration, Planning Improvement

Rationale for decision

The Scottish Government is committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure that the planning system is better equipped to deal with current and future challenges.

This consultation sets out a range of options which have the potential to improve the capacity of the Scottish planning system, in particular in planning authorities, in the coming years.

The consultation includes the following new proposals:

  • A central planning hub to support authorities
  • Short term working group to look at proportionality of assessments
  • Taking stock of the use of processing agreements
  • Improved cross council working to better align consents
  • Developing templates for Section 75 agreements
  • Devolving power to authorities to locally set planning fees
  • Introducing an annual inflationary increase in planning fees
  • Increasing discretionary charging including processing agreements, sites not allocated in the development plan and masterplan consent areas
  • Introducing fees for appeals
  • Service charge for submitting applications online
  • Considering the potential to alter the threshold for applications under the Electricity Act
  • Introducing a fee category for hydrogen projects
  • Increased fees for prior notification and approval categories.
  • Consistent approach to fees for shellfish farming.

This consultation responds to current and future challenges, with a view to identifying a set of short and medium term actions that could improve the capacity of the planning system by helping build resilience and by strengthening cross sector collaboration.

The changes that are being proposed are to ensure that the planning system operates effectively and in a way that is compatible with the Scottish Government's wider policy objectives for the planning system.

As these relate to a range of different proposals, including work being undertaken in partnership with others, it is considered that the consultation paper as a whole does not require to be subject to a Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment at this time. However, in taking forward individual proposals further, consideration will be given to if these meet the requirements to carry out a Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment.

I confirm that the decision to not carry out a Fairer Scotland assessment has been authorised by:

Name and job title of Deputy Director (or equivalent): Dr Fiona Simpson, Chief Planner and Director of Planning, Architecture and Regeneration Division

Date authorisation given: 8 February 2024



Back to top