Scottish Government
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Planning for Housing

Scotland will see land for housing brought forward more effectively in future following the publication of revised planning policy.

Following a consultation, the new version of Scottish Planning Policy 3 (SPP 3) will enhance the modernisation of the planning system which is currently underway.

Speaking as he visited the Kirkintilloch Initiative in East Dunbartonshire, Planning Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

"The publication of SPP3 reinforces and strengthens the Scottish Government's policy on delivery of new housing. By better integrating the identification of housing requirements and local housing strategies with development plans we will ensure that sufficient land is brought forward to enable provision of new housing of the right kind, of the right numbers, in the right places.

"SPP3 will make it easier for local authorities to make sure that they always have a five-year supply of effective land for housing, and enables them to bring forward more land for housing if it is required, for example, if some of the identified land becomes constrained.

"Crucially, SPP3 also sets out that developers and planning authorities work together to help provide high quality well designed homes in sustainable locations across Scotland that will bring essential benefits to communities."

The house-building industry is central to the Scottish Government ambition to drive up Scotland's rate of sustainable economic growth, and to meet the long-term housing needs of the people of Scotland.

SPP3 will provide a platform for the industry to build upon in the year ahead, and help to ensure the long-term national ambition to increase housing supply in Scotland to 35,000 a year by the middle of next decade is met.

The Scottish Government fully recognises the impact that the current economic climate is having on the development of new housing, and on the housing market in general.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon made clear in a statement to Parliament in June that the Scottish Government is committed to several key measures to help alleviate the current challenges in the housing market. Those include £250 million to help first time buyers, in particular through shared equity schemes, and a £25 million Homeowners Support Fund to assist those in extreme difficulties with their mortgages.

Ministers are also engaged in further discussions with lenders and the house-building sector, including through the Housing Supply Task Force, to ensure that everything possible is done to support the housing market both now and in the future.

The Scottish Government has published local housing strategy guidance and housing need and demand assessment guidance, which will assist in shaping local authorities' housing strategies and identifying the housing requirement. The SPP3 issued today replaces the earlier version published in February 2003; It also replaces the existing Planning Advice note 38 on Housing Land Audits.

While in Kirkintilloch Mr Stevenson visited the Kirkintilloch Initiative,, to see a new marina facility at Southbank. This is a major regeneration package, managed by East Dunbartonshire Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and has delivered a number of health, sporting and cultural facilities for the area.

In a statement to Parliament on housing on 25 June, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing announced the Scottish Government's plans to spend £¼ billion on the Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT) over the next three years to help more people on low to moderate incomes into home ownership, where that is sustainable for them. Ms Sturgeon also announced £25 million for a new Home Owners Support Fund, which will build on the existing Mortgage to Rent scheme to help owners facing repossession. The Support Fund will also help improve advice available to home owners in serious financial difficulties and, where appropriate, allow them to use shared equity options to retain ownership of their property.

Related Links

Scottish Planning Policy SPP 3: Planning for Homes

Housing Strategy Guidance

Housing Need and Demand Assessment Guidance for Local Authorities

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