Masterplan Consent Areas - draft regulations: consultation

This consultation relates to proposed regulations on the procedures to prepare Masterplan Consent Areas (MCA). It sets out the proposed procedures and includes two sets of regulations: covering the main process for making MCA schemes and relating to environmental impact assessment.


Discretionary Charging

76. We are aware of previous concerns over resources required for planning authorities to set up SPZs (the predecessor to MCAs) and a loss of planning application fees. We are also very mindful of the current pressures on planning authority resources.

77. A consultation on Planning Performance and Fees was undertaken between December 2019 and February 2020. It included two questions relating to MCAs, asking:

  • whether an authority should be able to charge for development within a MCA in order to recoup the costs involved in setting one up. From the responses received:
    • a substantial majority (87%) supported the proposal for planning authorities to be able to recoup the costs involved in setting up a MCA. The principle of recouping costs was supported by all groups.
    • there was a suggestion that the fees should be left to the discretion of the planning authority to reflect their costs at a local level.
  • whether the Scottish Government should set a fee or an upper limit in the regulations. From the responses received:
    • there was 58% support for the setting of a fee or upper limit in regulations.

78. A separate Scottish Government consultation focusing on wider resourcing considerations is running concurrently with this consultation and will include a number of questions covering MCAs and discretionary charging.



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