Scottish Government
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Proposed planning revamp

Scotland’s planning system will place more emphasis on jobs and economic benefits to help deliver sustainable economic growth, Planning Minister Derek Mackay announced yesterday.

The third National Planning Framework (NPF3) and draft Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) will influence development plans across Scotland and guide future planning decisions on a range of sectors including transport, energy and infrastructure.

These draft proposals are supported by on-going measures to improve the overall performance of the planning system, ensuring smoother delivery and a stronger focus on economic recovery.

The NPF3 proposals set out Ministers’ priorities for where important development should take place, identifying new, large-scale national developments including:

  • Two carbon capture and storage schemes at Peterhead and Grangemouth
  • Prestwick Airport and adjacent Enterprise Area, focusing on the aerospace sector

For the first time Scottish Planning Policy will include references to maps of Scotland’s wild land – drawn up by Scottish Natural Heritage. In addition, Ministers propose extending the separation distance between wind farms and cities, towns and villages.

In relation to wind farms, proposals also include strengthening environmental protection in the 31 per cent of Scotland covered by our wildest and most scenic land, including no wind farms in the 19 per cent of Scotland covered by National Parks and National Scenic Areas.

The Minister visited Dundee’s Waterfront development, one of the UK’s most active regeneration projects, and a proposed national development, to announce the consultation.

Mr Mackay said:

“Scotland needs a planning system that has, at its heart, the overriding principle of delivering sustainable economic growth in order to maximise the country’s attraction to investors and visitors in a global economy.

“We want future planning decisions to give significant weight to the economic benefit of proposed developments, particularly the creation of new jobs.

“The consultation on the National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy will influence development plans across the country for the next thirty years affecting every part of Scotland.

“By providing a clear vision, the proposals will be used to guide future development that will help Scotland achieve its ambitious renewable energy targets and also increase protection for our country’s most environmentally important areas.

“We will support our review of Town Centres by insisting that major new developments which attract people - like workplaces, leisure facilities and shops - are in town centres wherever possible. We want to see development which ensures lively, successful and viable town centres.

“I am keen that planning does more to encourage good design, and the creation of the kind of places we would all like to live in or visit. Our forthcoming policy on Architecture and Place will show what we are doing to achieve this.

“Scotland is enriched by a high quality environment and many special places to live in and visit. These physical assets underpin our economy and our quality of life and that is why we need to ensure developments go in the right place, providing positive benefits for our communities and environment.

“Facilitating much needed new development and investing in modernising our infrastructure, while maintaining and creating high quality, distinctive, sustainable and healthy places is essential in order for Scotland to maximise its attraction to investors and visitors in a global economy.

“And of course it is essential that we see continued and sustained improvement in planning performance, because it is only with an efficient and responsive planning system that we can fully realise these ambitions.

“We want to hear the views of the people of Scotland and will reflect carefully on all responses received. I want this process to be as inclusive as possible so we can come together to agree our priorities.”

Related information:

Consultation documents

The proposed National Developments are:

1. Onshore infrastructure for offshore renewable energy
2. Grid infrastructure enhancements
3. Baseload capacity at existing sites: Longannet and Cockenzie
4. Grangemouth and Peterhead Carbon Capture and Storage
5. National Cycling and Walking Network
6. Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Plan
7. Central Scotland Green Network
8. Dundee Waterfront
9. Ravenscraig
10. Aberdeen Harbour
11. Grangemouth Investment Zone
12. Freight Capacity on the Forth
13. High Speed Rail
14. Airport Enhancements: Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Prestwick

A series of public events will be held around the country in coming months, giving people the chance to have their say on the proposed changes.

It is expected that following consultation, the SPP will be finalised by the end of 2013, with NPF3 being adopted by 2014.


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