Planning reform project updates: stakeholder newsletters

Stakeholder newsletters providing updates on the 'streamlining planning assessments' planning reform.

This is the latest planning reform project update newsletter from May 2015. Older newsletters can be downloaded as PDFs.

Streamlining Planning Assessments:

Following the May 2014 stakeholder seminar, the Scottish Government has undertaken to provide regular updates through our online webpage, the Scottish Government e-alert, and via this stakeholder newsletter. You are receiving this email because you have previously expressed an interest in this project, however if you no longer have an interest please let us know.

Phase 1 testing completed

Phase 1 testing in South Lanarkshire and South Ayrshire Councils has now drawn to a close, and the finalised guiding principles have been published. Currently, these are available on our project web pages, and we will be looking at ways to further embed the principles into our suite of planning guidance as opportunities arise. Reflecting on this first phase of the project, Michael McClelland of South Ayrshire Council said "This is the first time the Scottish Government has asked authorities - how do you want to change? Involving South Ayrshire Council provided the opportunity for us to shape change".

Next steps

We are looking for Consultants willing to undertake Phase 2 testing of the reporting template. A key finding from Phase 1 has been that, whilst well received during pre-app discussions, the reporting template has not been utilised when the planning application is submitted. Live testing with consultants will allow us to explore any barriers to take-up and to further test the template's effectiveness in practice.

Process mapping

A series of informative process mapping sessions has taken place with our 'Change Champions' including SNH, SEPA, South Ayrshire Council, and Scottish Water. Our most recent session with Planning Consultants took place on 26 February, with representatives from Mott MacDonald; Environ; Banks Group; WYG; RSK and MVGLA participating on the day, and providing a 'customer' perspective on planning procedures.

The sessions have led to a number of new change ideas which are now being actively progressed by our individual 'Change Champions.' We will provide further updates on individual successes and lessons learned in future newsletters .

What can I do to assist?

Following the process mapping sessions, we are particularly looking for Consultants wishing to

  • develop and test change ideas
  • undertake phase 2 testing of the reporting template In the meantime, we are inviting all our 'Change Champions' to:
  • Disseminate information on the project within your organisations
  • Contact the Scottish Government with any future Change Ideas
  • Contact the Scottish Government to discuss any existing case studies or examples of good practice which you consider contribute to the project aims.
  • We are also looking for opportunities to share ideas for improvement across the 'Change Champions' so that we can learn collectively.

For more information on the project please contact either or

Planning reform project update - May 2015.pdf
Planning reform project update - August 2014.pdf
Planning reform project update - December 2014.pdf


Email: or

Telephone: 0131 244 7528

Area 2-H (South)
Planning and Architecture Division
The Scottish Government
Victoria Quay

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