Sector - Energy, Fuel & Utilities

Changes to Scottish planning laws are fighting climate change

Scottish laws relating to planning permission are being revolutionised with the implementation of new law which would mean that projects, aimed at radically helping to combat climate change, will be granted automatic approval.

According to a Scottish Government press release, published last week, the new planning laws will be able to fast track the approval of projects such as local renewable energy schemes and electric vehicle charge points.

Adding to this new legislation is the empowerment it will grant to local people, communities, and organisations in the planning process, encouraging the delivery of greater numbers of affordable housing projects in rural areas.

The legislation in question is detailed under the Planning Act which will come into force following a programme of work, named ‘Protecting Scotland’s Future 2019-20’, that places emphasis upon the vital role that planning serves in addressing climate change.

In addition to the importance of reducing carbon emissions, and thus climate change, the recent programme and subsequent legislation are very conscious of the importance of rural economies and reducing detrimental impacts which will be inflicted upon them in a post-Brexit scenario.

The Scottish Planning Minister, Kevin Stewart stated: “Planning has a key role to play in addressing climate change and radically reducing our emissions. Removing red tape from some of the highest priority projects can be a big step towards our goal of a net-zero carbon future.

“These proposals mark a new way forward for planning in Scotland. Our health, wellbeing and prosperity can be affected by where we live so it is important that we get it right.

“Empowering communities to have a positive say in shaping their future is central to our vision, where people and local authorities across Scotland work closely together for all our benefit.”

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