Planning and Environmental Appeals Division: annual review 2021 to 2022

Planning and Environmental Appeals Division's (DPEA) annual review of its performance for 2021 to 2022.

Ministerial Foreword

Tom Arthur

Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth

I am very pleased to welcome this annual review of the work of the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division. The DPEA plays a crucial role in the fair, evidence-based delivery of Scotland's planning service and it will continue to play a vital part in our reformed planning system to come.

It has been an incredibly busy and important year for everyone involved in planning. We have been engrossed by a fascinating debate about how we plan for future development. In our draft of Scotland's fourth National Planning Framework, we have proposed what I have regularly described as a 'turning point' for our planning system.

In the draft NPF4, we sought to place the Global Climate Emergency and the Nature Crisis at the front of our minds when making decisions about future development and evolving, resilient places. That will be a vital step in Scotland's journey to net zero by 2045. During the year to come, we will have a finalised NPF4 taking its place in our planning system as part of the statutory development plan. I will take a final draft to the Scottish Parliament for approval this coming autumn, and then want to adopt it as early as possible. That will allow us all to plan for the future with confidence.

Alongside NPF4, I also look forward to implementing the new legislation that will guide the preparation of a whole suite of new-style, place-focused local development plans across Scotland. Of course, this is going to bring with it a period of change for the DPEA, including the crucial new role in considering the evidence reports that will set Scotland's planning authorities off in the best way in preparing their new LDPs.

We have had several years of talking about planning reform, through an independent review, the 2019 Planning Act which we are now implementing, progress with a transformational NPF4 and underpinning it all through our digital planning strategy. I am delighted that this year we are moving into the delivery phase. And I am in no doubt that our DPEA reporters will bring their expertise and professionalism to the fore once again in delivering Scotland's new, outcomes-driven planning system.

Tom Arthur

Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth

June 2022



Back to top