Aberdeen City and Shire - Strategic Development Planning Authority

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Woodhill House, Westburn Road
Aberdeen, AB16 5GB
Phone: 01224 664626
Email: team@aberdeencityandshire-sdpa.gov.uk

SDPA submit response to planning review

The Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Planning Authority (SDPA) has submitted a response to the Scottish Government's review of the planning system.

The Scottish Government's 'Programme for Government 2015/16' identified the purpose of the review as "identifying the scope for further reform with a focus on delivering a quicker, more accessible and efficient planning process, in particular increasing delivery of high quality housing developments".

The panel conducting the Independent Review of the Scottish Planning System issued a call for evidence on 20 October 2015 with 59 questions to prompt thinking and discussion under six broad headings:

1 - Development planning;
2 - Housing delivery;
3 - Planning for infrastructure;
4 - Development management;
5 - Leadership, resourcing and skills; and
6 - Community engagement.

The SDPA has now submitted its response following engagement with both partner councils and Scotland's other thee SDPAs as well as the private sector. It was agreed at its meeting of 2 December following discussion among Members.

The response highlights the importance of strategic planning and the good practice in to be found in Aberdeen City and Shire - with a fully up-to-date development plan (SDP and LDP) which takes a very positive approach to growth, with a generous supply of both housing and employment land. In light of the fact that the system can be made to work, the response identifies the need to clearly diagnose the problems before solutions are identified. It is noted that the Scottish housing market is not functioning in a way which meets the varied needs of the population and that the planning system is potentially a less significant factor than is widely assumed in determining the scale of new house building.

The main focus of the response is that the biggest challenge to the delivery of development often surrounds the provision of supporting infrastructure in terms of funding and co-ordination, with more focused public sector intervention in the development process being seen as one potential solution.

Following oral evidence sessions in January, the independent panel is due to report to Scottish Ministers in late March 2016, although it is likely to be after the Scottish Parliament elections in May that any detailed proposals for change would come forward.

3 December 2015 

What should Scottish planning be like in the future