The Planner - The Scottish Government has published its eagerly awaited planning legislation.

Ministers have insisted the Planning (Scotland) Bill will "improve the system of development planning, give people a greater say in the future of their places and support delivery of planned development".

The bill contains a range of provisions that aim to strengthen processes, engagement and participation rights across the planning system and in delivery of the planning service.

The government claimed the proposed new regime would: “Focus planning, and planners, on delivering the development that communities need, rather than focus on continuous writing of plans that lack a clear route to delivery.”

The measures include bolstering the status of the National Planning Framework, removing the requirement to produce strategic development plans and restructures the processes for producing local development plans.

The bill includes a new right for communities to produce their own plans for their places, makes provision for simplified development zones and proposes a raft of changes to development management processes.

Also in the legislation are measures to strengthen enforcement powers, widen the scope of planning fees and a new requirement for members of planning authorities to undertake training. In addition, the bill makes provision for the introduction of an infrastructure levy.

RTPI Scotland has given the legislation a cautious welcome, insisting it should be bolder. Stefano Smith, convenor of RTPI Scotland, said: "The bill, as introduced, has the right direction of travel and will fix some of the issues faced in planning our cities, towns and villages.

“However, we question if it is bold enough to make the step change required for a world leading planning system."

Planning (Scotland) Bill can be found on the Scottish Parliament website.

Source: The Planner

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