PAS welcomes the announcement of a public consultation on the planning system, launched this morning by Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government and Housing.
Says Petra Biberbach, PAS chief executive: “This is a great opportunity for people and communities across Scotland to actively shape and inform the future Planning Bill that will follow on from this consultation.
“We welcome the focus on getting more people involved in the planning system and in shaping their places and communities.
“This consultation and subsequent Planning Bill have the potential to unlock many opportunities for communities across Scotland, through getting people more involved in planning, through some of the proposed changes to the system.
“Importantly, through linking directly with community planning, the Community Empowerment Act and Land Reform Act to help achieve the aims of the planning system, supporting community ownership and community-led ‘local place plans’.”
Added Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government and Housing (in the Ministerial foreword): “The places where we live, work and play can have a major impact on our health, wellbeing, sense of identity and prosperity.
“Planning can nurture our places, our environment and our communities and guide future change so that it benefits everyone […] Planning should not be bureaucratic and dull, but inspiring and influential.”
The consultation document puts public participation at the heart of its four overarching recommendations: We want Scotland’s planning system to empower people to have more influence on the future of their places. To achieve this, we can improve the way we involve people in the planning process.
Four key themes of the consultation:
- Making plans for the future. We want Scotland’s planning system to lead and inspire change by making clear plans for the future. To achieve this, we can simplify and strengthen development planning.
- People make the system work. We want Scotland’s planning system to empower people to have more influence on the future of their places. To achieve this, we can improve the way we involve people in the planning process.
- Building more homes and delivering infrastructure. We want Scotland’s planning system to help deliver more high quality homes and create better places where people can live healthy lives and developers are inspired to invest. To achieve this, planning can actively enable and co-ordinate development.
- Stronger leadership and smarter resourcing. We want to reduce bureaucracy and improve resources so Scotland’s planning system can focus on creating great places. To achieve this, we can remove processes that do not add value, and strengthen leadership, resources and skills.
The consultation is open until April 2017 and PAS encourages as many people as possible to read and respond to it.
It can be access online at
Notes to editors:
PAS is an independent and impartial educational charity operating on social enterprise principles and acting in the interest of the long term public good. The organisation is volunteer-led and delivers its services through a network of over 430 specialist volunteers across Scotland.
PAS engages citizens in thinking about their place and the co-design of public services in their places. Over the past 20 years, PAS has been inspiring and empowering people to become more active citizens in the decisions that affect their communities.
PAS provides a free planning advice and mentoring service, alongside training and public participation events for members of the public, planning professionals, local authorities, elected members, and community groups.
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