In our work programme "Transforming Planning in Practice" we committed to moving quickly following on from the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 to bring forward detailed proposals for substantial changes to the planning fees structure, with the aim of having early clarity around costs and resources and the new fee arrangements in place by mid-2020. This will require careful assessment of the impacts on both planning authorities and applicants, to ensure that there are no unforeseen consequences from the combination of changes.
I want Scotland's planning system to be efficient and effective, facilitated by skilled and experienced planners. This is essential to supporting our ambitions of creating a more successful country with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish through increased wellbeing and sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
Since my appointment as Minister with responsibility for planning I have seen first-hand the improvement in the performance of the system. This has been demonstrated through the Planning Performance Framework Reports submitted voluntarily by authorities each year and through the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning.
I want to support and work with local authorities to make sure that the planning system is valued, resilient and capable of providing the service that local people and planning applicants expect, and delivering on the increasing challenges being placed on it.
Fundamental to this is ensuring that the planning system is appropriately resourced to deliver on those ambitions. Increases to planning fees must be matched by continuing improvements to performance, and this requires an effective reporting regime that ensures the priorities of all users are being delivered.
I am determined to get this right and we need your input to ensure that happens. I hope that you will share this consultation as widely as possible and I encourage everybody who has a view on the performance of the system to respond with their views.
Kevin Stewart MSP
Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning