Monica Lennon calls on more community rights in the planning system

Monica Lennon MSP has called on the Scottish Government to listen to the public and hand communities more rights in the planning process.

Monica has called on the Government to overhaul its Planning Bill to deliver real change for communities and to drive up the quality of development.

Scottish Labour is putting forward a package of amendments to the Bill. This will include new powers for communities to appeal decisions that contravene development plans, in an attempt to level the playing field with developers, who currently have extensive appeal rights.

Under current legislation, planners are expected to take decisions in accordance with the development plan for the local area, but community tensions arise when applications that contravene the plan are approved by councils or Scottish Ministers, the latter due to an appeal or Ministers ‘calling in’ the application

Cuts to councils has reduced the planning workforce with a quarter since 2009 and experts warn there is a ‘crisis of resourcing.’

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Monica Lennon, said: 

“Planning decisions can have long-lasting impacts on communities, so the system must be properly resourced and have the confidence of the public.

“Scottish Labour will bring forward amendments to the Planning Bill in an attempt to re-balance the planning system so that genuine community participation can thrive.

“Developers need certainty too but they have become accustomed to ‘building on appeal.’

“That’s why we want development plans strengthened, the Scottish Government to commit to ending ‘planning on the cheap’ and for communities to be respected at every stage of the planning process.

“The planning appeals system needs reformed. We are determined that Scotland will get a planning system that works for the many, not the few.”