Scotland Policy Conferences

Priorities for infrastructure and planning policy - delivering major projects and preparing for the future Planning Bill

Morning, Thursday, 14th September 2017

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DW


This seminar will provide a timely opportunity for delegates to discuss the next steps for planning policy in Scotland, as the Scottish Government publishes its Position Statement on the future of planning in Scotland and prepares for the introduction of a Planning Bill, expected before Parliament in winter 2017.

Delegates will assess the Scottish Government’s proposed changes to Scotland’s planning framework at local, regional and national levels 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.

Guests of Honour

John McNairney

Chief Planner, The Scottish Government

Andrew Thin

Chair, Scottish Land Commission

Guests of Honour

Andrew Thin

Chair, Scottish Land Commission

John McNairney

Chief Planner, The Scottish Government


Monica Lennon MSP

Shadow Minister for Inequalities, Scottish Labour Party


Craig McLaren

Director, RTPI Scotland

Clare Symonds

Chair, Planning Democracy

Ian Aikman

Chief Planning Officer, Scottish Borders Council

Craig Whelton

Partner, Burness Paull

Petra Biberbach

Chief Executive, PAS

Diarmaid Lawlor

Director of Place, Architecture and Design Scotland

Senior speaker confirmed from EE

Gillian Baillie

Planning Director, Jacobs

Senior speaker confirmed from Homes for Scotland