The Scottish Planning System – response to Scottish Government’s Consultation on Planning Reform

In January 2017, the Scottish Government published a consultation paper ("Places People and Planning") which provided details of the proposed changes to the planning system in Scotland. This was in response to an independent review of the Scottish planning system in May 2016, Empowering Planning to Deliver Great Places”.

NTBCC submitted comments to the initial independent review in August 2016 (which can be viewed here) as well as responding to these latest Scottish Government (SG) proposals, titled "Places People and Planning" ; this April 2017 NTBCC submission can be viewed here.

Overall, NTBCC were disappointed in the SG response to the Independent review’s recommendations. Planning should and can provide a long-term perspective, tackling important issues such as development delivery, health, inclusion, environmental quality and climate change. But the SG response is too vague; containing too many aspirational proposals and too much “sloganeering” with too few practical detailed actions. The importance of creating “place” is barely touched on. Despite statements about increasing “people” involvement, too many of the suggestions imply drawing control into the centre. We believe that considerably more work is required to redress these issues and we hope that following further consultation, a more meaningful proposal will emerge.

Key NTBCC comments to the latest SG proposal include :

  • Questioning the lack of defined role for Community Councils in “Community Partnerships” (which are aimed at aligning community planning and spatial planning) and further examination of Community Councils’ status within the formal planning process.
  • Concern over the very limited statements covering the role of planning in achieving high quality place making, urban design, landscape and architecture. We believe that the aims should be rewritten to include protection and enhancement of our distinctive places and high quality environment; ensuring that changes are in keeping with and of comparable quality with the established townscape.
  • The real or perceived effectiveness of the Pre-application consultation process and the need to lower the threshold for what constitutes a “major development”.
  • Raising many concerns with the current planning process which undermine public trust e.g. questionable decisions following appeals ; accountability of Councillor’s decisions (no record of individual votes) ; attritional approach to gaining approval by some developers by resubmitting almost identical applications; lack of enforcement (adequate powers exist but local authorities frequently too timid or risk-averse to exercise them) ; concern over the decision-making process where the local authority is also party to the development.
  • Questioning the absence of proposals to extend the right of appeal to objectors in certain cases e.g. when an application has been approved (often on appeal) contrary to the officials’ recommendations and to the council’s own adopted policies ; or where the local authority has a financial or other interest.
  • Support in principle for an infrastructure levy for specific developments but with some caveats.
  • Support for increasing planning fees for larger developments to reflect the added complexity but noting that this needs to provide a more dedicated service.
  • Ensuring that the planning service is properly trained and resourced to deliver good planning.

Thanks to Stephen Hajducki for drafting this response for NTBCC.

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Choose Youth Work – voting open!

(adapted from an email from Loraine Duckworth, Partnership Development Officer)

Young people in Edinburgh are being asked to vote on projects to deliver youth work across the city. During February 2017, Edinburgh Council invited groups to apply for up to £10,000 to spend on youth work activity that will benefit young people between 11-25, either locally based or citywide.

The applications were screened at the beginning of March by a group of young people and Council officers, based on priorities that were decided by young people following a consultation in 2016.

This is the first year of a three year programme, with 60k to allocate this year, rising to over 100k in year 2, and over 500k in year 3.

A total of 16 projects will now face a public vote. It is now up to you to decide which of these projects you would like to see being delivered. If you are aged between 11-21, and live in Edinburgh, you can vote for your three preferred projects.

Voting opens at 12noon on Friday 10 March and closes at 5pm on Monday 27 March 2017.

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Places, people and planning: consultation on the future of the Scottish planning system

The Scottish Government is consulting  on proposals to change the planning system. NTBCC encourages residents with concerns about the current system to read the proposals and tell the government what you think. Responses to this consultation are invited by 4th April 2017. To read the proposals and to make a response go to https://beta.gov.scot/publications/places-people-planning-consultation-future-scottish-planning-system.

NTBCC is also keen to represent your views - so if you wish please also tell us what you think of the government proposals via our contact page: http://www.ntbcc.org.uk/contact. Thank you!

Consultation event for victims & witnesses to crime

(adapted from an email form Loraine Duckworth, Partnership Development Officer)

What: Consultation event for victims & witnesses to crime

When: Monday 16 January 2017, 6pm to 8pm

Where: Fort Community Wing Sports Hall, 25 North Fort Street, EH6 4HF

Edinburgh Council’s Community Safety Services are consulting on the Scottish Government’s new model for community justice which aims to reduce crime, keep communities safe and promote social inclusion and citizenship. People who have been witnesses or victims of crime are invited to go along to the above event.

If you have any questions or could distribute flyers, please contact Suzan.Ross@edinburgh.gov.uk.

Loraine Duckworth | Partnership Development Officer | The City of Edinburgh Council | Place | City Centre Leith Team | 329 High Street | Edinburgh | phone: 0131 529 7403 | Mobile: 07739188437

Edinburgh Wellbeing Public Social Partnership

(adapted from an email from NHS Lothian)

NHS Lothian would like to invite you to  join us  to 'Talk, Share, Plan, Repeat' at one/or more coproduction events to support the development of the Edinburgh Wellbeing Public Social Partnership (PSP).

The Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board (EIJB) agreed to build a PSP to ensure that services are shaped around people and their communities, in line with the principles of the Christie Commission. The Public Social Partnership for Wellbeing Services will build on good practice and established relationships and develop and test innovative approaches to redesign services, improve collaboration across statutory and third sector and maximise resources and assets. For more detail please find briefing attached. The session will provide you with an update and opportunity for open dialogue on all aspects of the PSP going forward. This will be supported by an independent facilitator.

There will be two city wide events, the first to capture the main themes and the second to capture work across the city and to begin to make these links. The locality events will be focused more around understanding the needs of that particular community,  opening up local dialogue, and building relationships for future partnership working. Please find invite and briefing attached.

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Your priorities for local policing

(adapted from Police Scotland's website)

Police Scotland consults with the public every year on what their priorities are for policing in their community. This year the consultation process is widening, becoming more flexible, and moving online to a digital format that will be open all year.

Everyone's views across Scotland will be taken on board at a national and local level. There is no 'one size fits all' approach to local policing and all the needs and wants of individual communities will be considered.

It's a very simple process that should only take a few moments of your time but will shape the way that policing is coordinated across Scotland and in your local community.

Police Scotland will keep you updated on our  quarterly  results. The consultation will be a completely transparent process as it's all about your priorities.

Take the survey here

Click here for a Polish version

Publication of Proposed Strategic Development Plan

(Adapted from an email from SESplan)

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SESplan, the Strategic Development Planning Authority for South East Scotland, has prepared a new Proposed Strategic Development Plan. The Proposed Strategic Development Plan sets out a vision, broad development patterns and levels of growth for the city region over a 20 year period from 2018.

It is intended that the plan will replace the current Strategic Development Plan in 2018 and will inform the next set of Local Development Plans in the future. The Proposed Strategic Development Plan is based on the options in, and responses to, the 2015 Main Issues Report.

The Proposed Strategic Development Plan, the Environmental Report and other supporting documents are available to view on the SESplan website: www.sesplan.gov.uk

The formal period of representations on the Proposed Strategic Development Plan will start on 13 October and run until 5pm on Thursday 24 November 2016. During this period anyone will be able to submit representations using the SESplan Consultation Portal:  Continue reading