Page last updated at 18:45 GMT, Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Planning Reform: The next steps debate

Labour MSP Sarah Boyack said "there is dissatisfaction with the planning system" and a lack of resources meant local authorities were unable to target new issues.

Ms Boyack was closing for the labour party Planning Reform: The next steps debate on 15 January 2013.

She said because of the resources local authorities had, it was "extremely difficult for them to do the kind of radical work the minister aspires for them to do".

Planning Minister Derek Mackay said the debate had contributed "immensely" to the considerations for the planning system in Scotland.

Mr Mackay said the planning fee increase of 20% would contribute some £4-5m to the planning system and those paying fees would expect quality service which he was not sure they were getting at this point in time.

He said the planning system should tie fees to performance and there should be a "properly resourced planning system, one we aspire to".

Alex Johnstone MSP, closing for Conservatives, said that planning was a system that had been under pressure and under funded for too long.

Mr Johnstone said "I think the cracks are beginning to show".

The Scottish Government proposals include refining the examination process for planning applications to speed up the system, a 20% increase in planning fees to help raise revenue and removing the requirement for pre-application consultation when amending a condition associated with a major development.

The key priorities for the next stages of the government's planning modernisation are:-

  • promoting the plan led system
  • driving improved performance
  • simplifying and streamlining processes
  • delivering development

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