Next steps for planning policy in Scotland

14 September 2017

This seminar will provide a timely opportunity to discuss priorities for Scotland’s planning system as the Scottish Government prepares for the expected introduction of a Planning Bill.

 The agenda includes keynote addresses from John McNairney, Chief Planner, The Scottish Government and Andrew Thin, Chair, Scottish Land Commission.

Delegates will assess the Scottish Government’s proposed changes to Scotland’s planning framework at local, regional and national levels – including the phase-out of Strategic Development Plans – and the likely impact on the strategic planning of major infrastructure projects.

They will also discuss opportunities for future-proofing Scotland’s planning system, drawing on lessons from the rest of the UK to assess approaches for tackling the skills shortage within planning, the potential for technological innovation and realising the resilient and sustainable communities outlined in the Scottish Government’s draft energy strategy.

 Further sessions consider proposed changes to the planning system aimed at addressing barriers to the delivery of housing in Scotland, and how this may impact on the provision of other vital infrastructure such as telecommunications.

The agenda looks at the possible role of Simplified Planning Zones for housing, changes to funding mechanisms for the planning system such as the rise in planning fees and the proposed infrastructure levy, as well as how proposals such as extending permitted development rights may encourage the infrastructure first approach put forward by the Scottish Government.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • Community engagement, regional partnerships working and strengthening the National Planning Framework;
  • Developing Scotland’s infrastructure: major projects, housing and moving towards an infrastructure first approach;
  • Implications of land reform on the planning sector; and
  • Future-proofing the planning system: skills, innovation and developing resilient places.

 The draft agenda is copied below my signature, and a regularly updated version is available to download here. The seminar is organised on the basis of strict impartiality by Scotland Policy Conferences. Follow us @ScotlandPolicy for live updates.