Planning review position statement: analysis of responses

Analysis of responses to the Scottish Government's Position Statement following the consultation on Places, People and Planning.

3. Participants

Identifying the sectoral responses

Determining the sectors from which the responses came was an important step. The Respondent Information Form required self-identification of participant from individuals and resident groups, to politicians, industry representatives and professional bodies, practising architects, planners, academics, and developers and their advisers. The Respondent Information Form required self-identification of participating individuals and organisations.

The challenge was, therefore, to categorise what type of individual or organisation had responded and their relationship to the planning system and its processes. This was undertaken because both organisations and individuals have different perspectives, according to their specific field of practice and experience of the various parts of the planning system.

It was possible to identify consistently the sectoral position of each respondent, based primarily on the information in the Respondent Information Form, or by
(a) self-declared introductory presentation in the actual submission or
(b) context identified within the submission.

We differentiated between four sectoral groups, each one comprised of sub-groups or individuals with a particular relationship to the planning system, namely:

A. Community and Civil Society

Respondents who are concerned with the system from a non-developer or planner perspective. For instance, civic groups and community councils, individuals, charities and community developers.

B. Authorities, Planners and Policy Makers

Respondents who are concerned with the system from the perspective of operators or shapers of the planning system, its plans and policies. For instance, local authorities (including National Park Authorities and Strategic Development Planning Authorities), national government bodies and key agencies.

C. Business and Economy

Respondents who are concerned with the system from the perspective of its impact and influence on conducting business, but not necessarily regular applicants. These include business bodies like chambers and federations, self-employed, financial institutions, as well as retailers, and some business sectors like energy.

D. Developers, Landowners and Agents

Respondents who are concerned with the system primarily from a development and land value perspective. These included landowners, investors, development surveyors, developers, housing associations and housebuilders.

The following table provides a breakdown of the submissions by Main Group types:

Main Group Sub-groups Number of respondents % from total
A Civil Society A1 Unaffiliated individual 48 39.3
A2 Community Council
A3 Civic Group
A4 Political Groups
A5 Community Developer
B Policy and Planning B1 Related Professional 40 32.8
B2 Local Authority/ SDPA/ National Park
B3 Regional/National/ Government Agency
B4 Transport Authority
C Business C1 Small Business 12 9.8
C2 Large corporation
C3 Business Association/Group
C4 Infrastructure Provider etc
D Development Industry D1 Housing Association 22 18.0
D2 House builder
D3 Construction firm
D4 Developer (other than housing)
D5 Landowner/manager
D6 Consultants and Agents

NB: There were 0 (zero) responses from Construction Firms.

The ratio of respondent types varies from the Places, People and Planning Consultation in the following manner, which illustrates a smaller proportion of civil society responses (though still the largest), with an increase in both policy and planning sector and development industry sector. This was not necessarily unexpected for this stage in the process.

Main Group % response to Places, People and Planning % response to Position Statement
A Civil Society 56.8 39.3
B Policy and Planning 22.7 32.8
C Business 8.9 9.8
D Development Industry 11.5 18.0

Areas of interest

Figure 1: Areas of interest
Figure 1: Areas of interest

The above figure 1 illustrates the areas of interest in the Position Statement. Collating the total number of 'codes' or 'thoughts' under each proposal has generated the chart. This shows that the areas of most interest were:
4. Stronger local development plans (168)
6. Giving people an opportunity to plan their own place (118)
2. Regional partnership working (98)
9. Keeping decisions local – rights of appeal (93)
3. Improving national spatial planning and policy. (88)
1. Aligning community and spatial planning (79)

Areas that generated less interest were:
18. A new approach to improving performance (34)
20. Innovation, designing for the future and the digital transformation of the planning service (35)
15. Innovative infrastructure planning (45)
7. Getting more people involved in planning (46)
16. Developing skills to deliver outcomes (55)
19. Making better use of resources: efficient decision making (56)

In terms of comparison with previous consultations, the proportion of respondents from each category has remained broadly similar, even while the overall numbers have risen and fallen. This suggests a continuum of a core group of respondents.

Figure 2 Number of respondents in comparison with previous consultation
Figure 2 Number of respondents in comparison with previous consultation


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