Delegates discussed key issues as the Scottish Government formulates its approach to the development of the National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) following the passage of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019.
Sessions focused on developing a NPF4 that will meet Scotland’s infrastructure priorities into the future - including supporting communities across Scotland, and assessing the implications of the Planning Act - including funding, support and coordination.
The conference was an opportunity to discuss the way forward following passage of the Planning (Scotland) Act, which aims to strengthen the planning system so that it contributes more to economic growth, housing and infrastructure delivery and community empowerment.
Delegates discussed the key elements of the Act, including the introduction of ‘local place plans’ drawn up by community bodies and which have to be taken in to account by local authorities (LAs) when they are taking planning decisions.
Further sessions looked at the likely impact of ‘local place plans’ on LAs and the decision making process, as well as which groups are likely to gain influence from their introduction amidst concerns that the Act will lessen community empowerment and public trust in the planning system because of the removal of the right to appeal.
Further sessions examined the future direction of the National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) and shaping future national strategic planning policy in Scotland.
It took place as discussions commenced on the development of ‘NPF4’ which is expected to be adopted in 2020. With The Scottish Government suggesting that NPF4 will be ‘radically different’ delegates will discuss how it will expand on the current framework and what more it should advocate.
Delegates also looked at how best to support Scotland’s infrastructure plans with the new framework aiming to develop a spatial plan for Scotland until 2050 and the Planning Act making provision for the introduction of an infrastructure levy on land use payable to local authorities. There was discussion on how to successfully introduce the levy following concerns surrounding its complexity for LAs in terms of rollout and the potentially limited funds it will raise following the introduction of a similar system in England.
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