We were delighted that Kevin Stewart, the Minister for Local Government and Housing was able to join us to introduce the Government’s consultation paper “Places people and planning” setting out proposals for the review of planning in Scotland and engage positively in the debate with our delegates on the proposals in the paper.  The Minister has set out his aspirations for the new system, highlighted in his guest blog below and we would again encourage you to engage in the consultation.

Guest blog: Places people and planning
By Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing

Planning is important to everyone. That’s why I want to improve planning for Scotland and have published a consultation so I can hear from everyone on our proposals and options for change.  I’ve outlined 20 proposals for revamping the system, which will support economic growth and, the delivery of homes and increase community involvement in making planning decisions.

These proposals aim to improve on the system we already have, and do this in a fair way, and we want to increase the involvement of communities, businesses and developers in the planning system.

We want to balance the needs of stakeholders, whether that’s developers who want to deliver homes or communities who want to see their places improve.  We also want to ensure planning works with and between different tiers of national and local decision making in an effective way.

It is vital that local people make local decisions, but also that we are clear about what we want to achieve for Scotland as a whole.  More effective regional working on plans and infrastructure will have a critical role to play in linking national aspirations with local plans and decisions.

What I also want to see, is that what we put into the planning system – resources, fees, training – matches the outcomes it achieves. I am determined our proposals will remove unnecessary procedures so that planners can focus on their purpose – to achieve better outcomes for the economy, communities and places across the country.

I have already begun to hear views from stakeholders on how the system could be improved and I expect there to be many more conversations in the coming weeks.  I have been impressed by the level of commitment and enthusiasm shown not just by the planning profession, but with all those with an interest in planning and places.  I would strongly encourage you to get involved, join the debate and tell us your views on the proposals for change by 4 April 2017.

‘Places, people and planning – a consultation on the future of the Scottish planning system’, was published in January and can be accessed here.