Planning (Scotland) Bill Amendments #59 & #60

Published: 26th September 2018

John Muir Trust explanatory note on specific Amendments to The Planning (Scotland) Bill as presented to Parliament 5 December 2017

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Planning Democracy demonstration at Scottish Parliament, September 2018

UPDATE 08/11/18:- the amendments were discussed by the Local Government & Communities Committee on 07/11/18 and voted against, but with strong committee support for further consideration at Stage 3 of the Bill. Official report of proceedings available on the Scottish Parliament's website

Amendment #59: Right to appeal against planning decisions:- Andy Wightman MSP, Scottish Green Party, Lothian; supported by: Monica Lennon MSP, Scottish Labour, Central Scotland

Why this amendment matters This amendment would remove the right of a developer to appeal, if a planning authority refuses the application, and if the application is contrary to the planning authority’s development plan.  This would dissuade developers from bringing forward applications which are contrary to the Development Plan.  Currently the developer may feel there is a good chance such an application would be given approval by the Scottish Minister at Appeal.

“#59 After section 16, insert — <Right to appeal against planning decisions

 Right to appeal against planning decisions

(1) The Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 47 (right to appeal against planning decisions and failure to take such decisions), in subsection (1A)—

(a) the words from “in relation” to the end become paragraph (a),

(b) after that paragraph insert—

”(b) where the notice of the planning authority’s decision on the application for planning permission includes a statement that the authority consider that the application is for a development that is not in accordance with the development plan for the time being applicable to the area to which the application relates.”>

Amendment #60: Community Right to Appeal against certain planning decisions:- Andy Wightman MSP, Scottish Green Party, Lothian

Why this amendment matters At the moment, if a developer is refused planning permission they can appeal that decision.  However, anyone objecting to the application approval has no such right of appeal.  This amendment would introduce balance, fairness and equality to a system which is currently wholly one sided. A system of Equal Rights of Appeal already operates in the Republic of Ireland where - despite the scare stories being put forward by some developers and their representatives in Scotland - it does not slow up the process or hinder economic development.   However, it often results in an improved development being approved. This amendment would create a level playing field for communities and other interested parties.

“#60 After section 16, insert — <Right to appeal against planning decisions

Community right to appeal against certain planning decisions

(1) The Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 47 (right to appeal against planning decisions and failure to take such decisions), after subsection (2) insert—

‘(2A) Where a planning authority—

(a) decide an application for planning permission, and

(b) any of the circumstances listed in subsection (2B) applies,

a person or body listed in subsection (2C) may appeal to the Scottish Ministers against the decision.

(2B) The circumstances are—

(a) the planning authority’s decision to grant the application includes a statement that the authority consider that the application is for a development that is not in accordance with the development plan for the time being applicable to the area to which the application relates,

(b) the decision by the planning authority is in respect of a development on land in which the planning authority has an interest,

(c) the decision by the planning authority is in respect of a development of a description contained in schedule 1 of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/1),

(d) the decision by the planning authority is in respect of an application on which there is an objection by a person, body or authority consulted in accordance with regulation 25 and schedule 5 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/155), and that the grounds for objection have not, in the opinion of the appellant, been addressed.

(2C) The persons or bodies are—

(a) a person who made representations to the planning authority in respect of the application,

(b) a community council representing the area to which the application relates.’.

(3) In section 47A (matters which may be raised in an appeal under section 47(1))—

(a) in subsection (1), for ‘47(1)’ substitute ‘47’,

(b) the title of the section becomes ‘Matters which may be raised in an appeal under section 47’.>

Read the Planning (Scotland) Bill and related documents here

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