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12/01/2017

Planning System Consultation 'Step In The Right Direction' - SPF

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A consultation on proposals to reform Scotland's planning system is a "step in the right direction", according to the Scottish Property Federation (SPF).

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart recently launched a consultation paper which sets out 20 proposals to revamp the system.

David Melhuish, director of the SPF, said the property industry needs the planning system to "show strong leadership, support appropriate development and welcome new investment in our built environment".

"The launch of the consultation is a welcome step in the direction of giving our planning service a platform for improvement," he said.

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"The property industry is increasingly reliant on global capital and if we are to drive local economic growth, jobs and investment we must have strong public leadership and an efficient and aspirational planning service.

"The recent set of quarterly statistics published by the Scottish Government demonstrated a notable trend of reducing numbers of major planning determinations that continue to take longer to achieve. We need the planning system to show strong leadership, support appropriate development and welcome new investment in our built environment."

In addition, Mr Melhuish said the SPF welcomes and supports a "more aspirational and visionary future role for the planning service".

"The development industry fully supports the aspirations expressed in the consultation paper on co-ordination of investment programmes and working with existing agencies and is keenly interested in seeing the recommendations of the Independent Panel of the need for an Infrastructure Agency and an Infrastructure Fund taken forward," he continued.

"This should offer the opportunity of greatly improved infrastructure delivery that will unlock development while at the same time retaining the viability of development projects."

(LM/CD)

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