What is the consultation about?
The Scottish Government’s (planning and architect division) consultation on the future of the Scottish planning system is a response to the independent review of the planning system in May 2016. The 4 overarching themes to improve the process are:
- Making plans for the future
- Building more homes and delivering infrastructure
- People make the system work
- Stronger leadership and smarter resourcing
Within each of the above are proposals to achieve the overall themes. This blog is going to focus on ‘People make the system work’. Within proposal 8 ‘Improving public trust’ is the area where Facilitating Change delivers most of its work. Much of proposal 8 is focused on making improvements in development management, or the planning application process.
We agree that “the effectiveness of current arrangements varies . . . which can lead to conflict, undermine positive outcomes and eventually result in substantial costs and delays”. Here at Facilitating Change our evidence suggests that developers and planning authorities only deliver the minimum levels of engagement, whereas the current legislation states that consultation should be meaningful and proportionate. So the key question remains how do we ensure all consultation is meaningful and proportionate.?
How do we address the issues?
Planning authorities have to power to set the level of community engagement above the statutory minimum but it is rare that this has happened since the Planning Act 2006 was introduced. The consultation paper identifies a couple of ways to address this:
- Training of the development sector
- Local authority and community councils agree the engagement approach to be taken for a major and national planning applications with the cost being picked up by the promoter/developer
What do you think?
What do you think about these measures and will they address the issue? What other action (if any) should be taken to improve trust in the planning application process? Leave your comments below or get in touch (link to contact us page) with us to discuss.
How Facilitating Change have been Involved
Facilitating Change are extremely interested in the outcome of this and the impact it will have. We have been involved by:
- Giving evidence to the independent working group
- Facilitating the two-day workshop which initiated the six working groups and took the recommendations of the independent working group forward
Come back for next month’s blog on our radical idea to address this problem, and give us your feedback.