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Scottish Government Planning Review

Posted on 26 Nov 2015 by Marion

The Programme for Government 2015-2016, announced the Scottish Government's intention to review the planning system.  It stated:

“We will review the operation of the planning system in Scotland, identifying the scope for further reform with a focus on delivering a quicker, more accessible and efficient planning process, in particular increasing delivery of high quality housing developments. Our aims are to:

  • Ensure that planning realises its full potential, unlocking land and sites, supporting more quality housing across all tenures and delivering the infrastructure required to support development.
  • Streamline, simplify and improve current systems and remove unnecessary blockages in the decision-making process.
  • Ensure that communities are more engaged in the process.
  • Continue to meet our statutory and international obligations in protecting and enhancing Scotland’s nature and environment.”

In short, the Review aims to achieve, a quicker, more accessible and efficient planning process in order to build investor and community confidence in the system.

The review is being undertaken by an independent panel, chaired by Crawford Beveridge, and also including Petra Biberbach and John Hamilton. The Panel will provide a strategic perspective and will be open to ‘gamechanging’ views and ideas.


The Panel have set out the timetable for the review process and are expected to report in Spring 2016. Thereafter Scottish Ministers will respond to its recommendations with a programme for further targeted improvements to the planning system.

Key Issues

The review focuses on 6 key issues:

  • Development planning;
  • Housing delivery;
  • Planning for infrastructure;
  • Further improvements to development management;
  • Leadership, resourcing and skills; and
  • Community engagement.

Getting involved

The Panel invited written evidence from all interested parties.  The closing date for written evidence is December 1, 2015.

Further information on submitting written evidence:

  • by December 1, 2015.
  • A completed Respondent Information Form should also be submitted along with your evidence.

The Panel will also be inviting oral evidence from certain stakeholders.  Oral evidence will be by invitation only and the Panel will give careful consideration to which parties to invite.  Invitations will be issued in late November. Given the focused timescale for the review, the panel is unlikely to be able to hear oral evidence from everyone with an interest in planning.  


The Cockburn Association's response