Home builders bemoan ‘distinct lack of detail’ in planning review proposals

Nicola Barclay

Nicola Barclay

Proposed changes to Scotland’s planning system will be a missed opportunity to make the strategic and radical changes to the delivery model that are required to increase the number of homes across the country, according to Homes for Scotland (HFS).

Submitting its response on behalf of its 200 members to the “Places, People and Planning” position statement, which sets out the package of reform measures the Scottish Government is considering taking forward, the trade body said the proposals fall short of the review’s original objective.

Chief executive Nicola Barclay said: “Given the crucial role the planning system plays in Scotland’s social wellbeing and economic success, the position statement offers a distinct overall lack of detail, particularly in relation to the process for the new Local Development Plan gatecheck and the introduction of an infrastructure levy to address what is becoming the most significant challenge to housing delivery.

“With matters now moving to a Bill at the end of the year, it is our view that a great deal more information is required before the package of legislative and non-legislative reforms can be effectively scrutinised. To that end, HFS and its members remain ready to positively engage and assist in developing a clear, robust and effective set of the proposals that meet the housing needs of our growing population.”

Earlier this week, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) warned that the new Planning Bill proposals do not focus enough on delivering more quality affordable homes, while the Royal Town Planning Institute in Scotland (RTPI Scotland) urged the Scottish Government to look beyond “merely procedural” change to the planning system, and to provide more detail on how proposals are to be taken forward.