Scottish Planning Policy and housing: proposed policy amendments - consultation

This consultation paper sets out Scottish Ministers’ proposals to clarify specific parts of the Scottish Planning Policy that relate to planning for housing.


6. The Scottish Ministers want the planning system to support the delivery of good quality homes in the right locations. This is of even greater importance now, as it has become even clearer that the quality of our homes can contribute a great deal to our health and wellbeing, and that housing delivery will play a key role in our future economic recovery. However, to achieve housing development in a sustainable way that works with, rather than against, the needs of communities, we need to overcome current conflict in the system, and actively address the lengthy technical debates we are seeing about the numbers of homes that we will need in the future. This will allow us to focus more on how we can strengthen delivery and enable good quality development on the ground.

7. Taking this into account, and to ensure that our policy is clear and can be more easily and consistently applied in practice, the Scottish Ministers wish to update and clarify specific parts of the SPP to achieve the following policy objectives:

  • Supporting a plan-led approach to decision-making and maintaining the legal status of the development plan as a basis for decisions in all cases.
  • Removing the presumption in favour of development that contributes to sustainable development from the SPP ('the presumption') given that it is considered to have potential for conflict with a plan-led approach and has given rise to significant number of issues it has generated for decision-makers in its application.
  • Providing a clearer basis for decisions on applications for housing on sites that have not been allocated in the local development plan where there is a shortfall in the effective housing land supply.
  • Clarifying what is meant by a 5 year effective housing land supply and in particular preventing sites that are capable of becoming effective being excluded solely on the basis of programming assumptions.

8. This consultation paper sets out proposed policy amendments to achieve these objectives and invites views on them. The relevant policies are set out in paragraphs 28, 29, 30, 32, 33 and 123-125 of the Scottish Planning Policy.



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