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Scottish communities given say in local planning

A new Planning Bill in Scotland will allow communities to have a greater say in local planning and how it affects them.

The Planning Bill hopes to create more collaboration in local planning allowing communities to benefit from changes to their area through having their say. Locals will be able to provide detailed feedback on how new plans will affect housing, employment, public space, business, and facilities.

Local Authorities will be legally required to take local place plans into account when preparing their development plans. The Bill takes a new approach to strategic planning in Scotland introducing a duty on local authorities to work together to produce ‘regional spatial strategies’.

Kevin Stewart, Planning Minister, said: “Scotland’s varied places – our cities, towns, villages, countryside, coast and islands – are an integral part of our national and local identity.”

“This Bill is a radical new way forward for planning in Scotland. It’s a vision that empowers communities to have a positive say in shaping their future.”

“There is now more scope for local planning to influence regional and national plans, and we expect to see more collaboration where people and local authorities across Scotland work closely together for all our benefit.”

“The quality of the places where we live, work and play can have a lasting impact on health, wellbeing and prosperity – that’s why planning, and this Bill, are so important.”

The National Planning Framework, Scotland’s long-term plan for future development, will now be required to be approved by Parliament. Other changes covered by the Bill include new powers for local authorities to introduce control areas where planning permission will always be required if owners want to change the use of their property to short-term lets.

The new strategies aim to create a long term plan for larger developments to help match community requirements laid out by residents. The National Planning Framework for long term development will also now require Parliament approval for proposed projects.

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