Scottish Government
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Programme for planning

Planning Minister Aileen Campbell yesterday announced a consultation early next year on proposed changes to planning fees.

Planning has a key role to play in delivering the Scottish Government's aim of sustainable economic growth.

The proposed changes to fees envisage a new, proportionate structure ensuring fees reflect the cost of dealing with planning applications. This will be complemented by a continued focus on performance, including the introduction of a new performance assessment framework. The changes will include looking again at the maximum fees and how fees for different categories of development are calculated.

Speaking on World Planning Day at the Royal Town Planning Institute's annual conference in Glasgow, the Minister also highlighted she will be hosting a stakeholder event later in November focused on community engagement.

The event will investigate the best models for community engagement where controversial or unpopular proposals have been put forward. The event will draw on a range of expertise including planners and communities.

Ms Campbell also launched two publications aimed at design and planning professionals, 'Green Infrastructure: design and placemaking' which sets out the key considerations for incorporating green infrastructure into new developments, and 'Rural design: future landscapes', which provides good practice guidance on rural design work.

Ms Campbell said:

"A first class planning service is essential if we are to achieve the Scottish Government's goal of sustainable economic development.

"But for a high performing planning service to exist, it must be properly resourced. That is why I will be consulting on reforms to the planning fee structure which will make sure the amount applicants are charged more accurately reflects the work planners put in.

"We are not proposing a percentage increase across the board. Although there is scope for a more significant rise for those developments requiring more complex assessment, we will also consider whether it is possible to reduce the fee for those applications which are generally straightforward for authorities to process.

"I am also pleased to announce this community engagement event on controversial planning proposals. I am very keen to hear about the practical measures that can be taken to engage with the communities who are affected by controversial development proposals."

'Green Infrastructure: design and placemaking' gives practical tips on incorporating green infrastructure in masterplans. It highlights the advantages of taking an integrated approach to green infrastructure in designs and focuses on masterplanning.

'Rural design: future landscapes' brings together a range of rural design initiatives which have been carried out by the Scottish Government in conjunction with Orkney Islands Council and Comhairlie nan Eilean Siar.

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