Planners and developers urged to complete Planning Bill survey

Planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore is are urging planners and developers to have their say and complete a survey to help influence the Planning (Scotland) Bill.

Barton Willmore, who recently expanded its operation in Scotland with the opening of an office in the centre of Glasgow, have been monitoring, along with their clients, the Planning (Scotland) Bill at all stages of the process in order to gain an understanding on how changes emerging from the Bill may affect the delivery of development in Scotland.

Colin Lavety, planning director at Barton Willmore, said: “Whilst monitoring the progress of the review, it came to our attention that fundamental changes have occurred through the key stages of the planning review to what is now being proposed through the local government & communities committee Stage 1 Report in May this year. The direction of the review seems to be moving away from some of the key aims - such as enabling housing and infrastructure delivery - and it is disappointing that such fundamental considerations seem now to be less of a focus, in our view.

“To highlight these fundamental changes, we have identified those topics which we consider to be key to the discussion on the Planning Review in our survey, as well as those which now seem subject to less focus as the Bill progresses.

“Whilst we acknowledge that the debate is moving fast (currently, more than 90 proposed amendments to the Bill have now been proposed) and therefore the system may end up being fundamentally different to that reflected in our survey, we feel it is important to analyse how the emerging Bill (at this current time) sits against the stated aims and intentions at the start of the process.”

The survey, sent to professionals working in the property, architecture and planning industry as well as local authorities, tackles a series of issues that relate to the Bill focusing on, for example, the questions of greater community involvement during the drafting process compared to the current system and how the introduction of Local Place Plans will impact on local development.

Barton Willmore aims to use the survey to gather as many opinions as possible in order to use the information to formulate a robust industry response to the Scottish Government, and plan to discuss this further with organisations such as Homes for Scotland and RTPI Scotland.

The survey can be found on Barton Willmore’s website. The deadline for submitting answers is on September 3.

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