Monica wins rights for young people in planning

Monica Lennon MSP has secured landmark amendments to the Planning Bill which will give children and young people more say on changes to the communities they live in.

Schools and young people aged under 25 will gain a greater role in the planning process if the Bill is passed later this year.

The proposals will also ensure planning authorities must consider if there are enough play opportunities for children.

Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon secured the changes to the Planning Bill despite SNP Government opposition on Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities committee.

Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Monica Lennon MSP, said:

“This is the Year of Young People and Scottish Labour passionately believes that children and young people should be shaping their own future and that includes decisions about how our communities are developed.

“Decisions taken now about housing, transport, the economy and environment will determine the kind of communities young people will inherit and it’s only right that the voices and aspirations of those young people are at the centre of decision-making.

“We also know that the ability to play is important to the development and wellbeing of children but too often vital play areas and open spaces in our communities are at risk.

“Scottish Labour wants a planning system that always considers the best interests of children and young people and that’s what our proposals will achieve.”

Jack Dudgeon MSYP, Vice Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: 

“We believe that young people should be consulted on decisions that affect them, and that local authorities need to do more to ensure they are actively consulting with young people on issues like planning, in line with Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“We are grateful to Monica Lennon for her efforts to ensure that young people must be consulted in local planning decisions, and especially for the recognition in the amendment of the role that Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament can play in supporting planning authorities to achieve that.”