Planning system - mandatory training for elected members: consultation

Mandatory training for elected members was included in the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, alongside a package of measures to improve the performance of the planning system. This consultation is seeking views on how this could be implemented.

5. What should the training cover?

5.1 The content chosen for the training should help to provide the knowledge and skills for elected members to make informed and robust planning decisions. Based on the evidence gathered from the desk based research and stakeholder workshops, there was broad consensus that the content for mandatory training of elected members should focus on the key principles and knowledge of the planning system as a whole, which are applicable to all types of planning applications.

5.2 Local authorities would be encouraged to provide additional training to elected members on local level planning considerations and policies if needed. This would not be part of the mandatory training and would be at local authorities' discretion to allow flexibility for them to choose what to focus on based on the pertinent issues facing their areas and communities.

Question 3: Should the mandatory training be focused on the key principles and knowledge of the planning system?


Please add any comment in support of your answer

5.3 The topics that we believe should be covered in the training are as follows:

Importance of a plan led system

  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Development plan at a national and local level
  • Regional Spatial Strategies and Local Place Plans
  • Planning policy and guidance
  • Wider strategic landscape including the National Performance Framework and UN Strategic Development Goals

Planning application process

  • Types of planning applications and consents and the different considerations and processes
  • Hierarchy of development and differences between national, major and local developments
  • Overview of the process prior to elected members involvement which includes pre-application consultation, pre-application discussions, validation, fees, consultation, engagement, technical assessments and site visits
  • Schemes of delegation

Decision making at committee:

  • Overview of the information likely to be contained in committee reports
  • How to identify planning considerations by understanding what are material considerations and how they should be treated
  • How to consider stakeholder and community views
  • How to take a decision and provide robust reasons for decision
  • Use of conditions to ensure they are exercised in a fair, reasonable and practical way

Role of elected members:

  • Conduct and behaviour
  • Understanding at what stage in the process they can talk to planning officers, applicants and communities

Post decision:

  • Dispensing conditions
  • Legal agreements i.e. planning obligations
  • Appeals process
  • The functions and processes of Local Review Bodies

Question 5: Are there any other topics that you think should be covered in the mandatory training?

Question 4: Do you agree with the list of topics to cover?


Please add any comment in support of your answer



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