Getting planning system right ‘crucial’ to meeting 50,000 affordable homes target
Successful reform of Scotland’s planning system will be crucial if the Scottish Government’s target of delivering 50,000 new affordable homes by the end of the current Scottish Parliament is to be met, CIH Scotland has said.
Submitting its evidence to a Scottish Government consultation on the future of the Scottish planning system, which closed yesterday, CIH Scotland added that the changing needs of an ageing population and other important demographic trends will also need to be addressed.
Commenting on the Scottish Government’s planning consultation, CIH Scotland vice chair, Esther Wilson, said: “As the housing sector works hard to implement the Scottish Government’s target of delivering 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021, it’s clear that the planning system will have a crucial role. At the same time, it’s important that we acknowledge that a combination of complex factors will come into play in delivering the increased supply of housing Scotland needs.
“There is equally a careful balance to be struck between achieving a more efficient and streamlined planning system and ensuring that the local communities most directly affected by planning decisions are properly consulted and involved.
“In the future, we will need our housing to be smarter and more adaptable to be able to meet the changing needs of an ageing population and other important demographic trends. This is something that the process of planning reform will need to address – as well as ensuring best use is being made of our existing housing stock. For instance, we are calling for further investigation to be made of the impact on local housing markets of a rise in short term lets.”
The consultation closed as the latest official planning performance statistics for the last three months of 2016 are also published.
The average decision time for local housing developments, including applications smaller housing developments and household extensions, was slower by more than one day compared to the previous quarter, but quicker than the equivalent quarter three figures in each of the previous four years.
The average decision time for major housing developments, include applications for developments of 50 or more homes, was quicker by more than nine weeks compared to the previous quarter but slower by almost four weeks than the quarter three figure for 2015/16.
CIH Scotland’s full response to the consultation can be found here.