mediation of space • making of place
No 134 : Apr 2010
Scottishplanner Journal of the RTPI in Scotland
Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning
Cabinet Secretary John Swinney MSP presents the Overall Winner Award to the ScottishPower Renewables team for the Whitelee Windfarm development © picture courtesy Scottish Government
The prize for Overall Winner of the 2009 Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning (SAQP) went to ScottishPower Renewables (UK) Ltd for Whitelee Windfarm. Europe’s largest onshore windfarm covers 55 sq km, includes 140 turbines and generates enough electricity to supply 180,000 homes. The Judges, Joan Burnie, Associate Editor, The Daily Record; Richard Holland, Development Manager, Mansell Construction Services; and Ben Train, Town Planning Manager Scotland for Tesco, were extremely impressed by the scale of the project and the efficient way it progressed through the planning process. In particular, they commended the low level of objections, as a result of the stakeholder engagement; and the innovative solution, which can be applied internationally, developed to address radar issues.
Challenging times The SAQP, now in their 13th year, look to raise the profile of good planning practice by promoting quality development that has been achieved
through effective planning processes. At a time of change in the planning system, it is important to have exemplars that demonstrate the benefits, to all stakeholders, of working positively, proactively and in an enabling manner. The Judges were encouraged by the 26 entries received this year, given the impact that challenging economic circumstances have had on the development sector. They recognised that all of the entries demonstrated the commitment of the stakeholders involved to improving the quality of processes and outcomes. Their report is available at: www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/BuiltEnvironment/planning/NationalPlanning-Policy/awards
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Whitelee Windfarm © picture courtesy SPR/ Neale Smith
The presentations John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, presented the Awards, along with Joan Burnie, Chair of the Judges and Ian Angus Convener of the RTPI in Scotland’s Scottish Executive Committee. Awards were presented to the following projects: Highland Council Open Space in New Residential Development - Interim Supplementary Guidance; Sustainable Design in Argyll and Bute; The Glasgow Urban Model; Renfrew Town Centre Regeneration; Gardyne’s Land, High Street, Dundee; and Neilston Renaissance Town Charter. Commendations were received by the following projects: Banknock and Hagg Special Initiative for Residential-Led Regeneration; Aberdeen City and Shire Structure Plan 2009; and Spiers Locks Masterplan Framework and Engagement Process.
continued on page 4
Rather like spring, the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning bring a touch of optimism and provide a much needed boost to morale across the profession. Many congratulations to the Award winners whose work is celebrated in this edition. It would be good to see even more entries next year. Do you know of examples that could win the 2010 Awards? The application form and guidance are now available at www.scotland.gov.uk/saqp2010 - close of nominations is 16 August 2010. Resources for planning including the staffing of planning departments, resources for delivering development and resources for planning education will remain top priorities throughout 2010. This edition of Scottishplanner focuses on resources for planning and delivering development, looking at the benefits brought by eplanning, the continuing difficulties in funding developments and affordable housing, and the challenges faced in continuing to provide an effective planning service. These are tough times, requiring innovation, adaptation and good partnership-working across all sectors of planning. Elsewhere in this edition contributors share experience of Local Review Bodies, the piloting of revisions to householder permitted development, and the benefits that mediation can bring to the planning system. I hope you find the articles in this edition of interest, and of help in dealing with the challenges that lie ahead. As ever, we are extremely grateful to Biggart Baillie LLP and Halcrow for their sponsorship of the Scottishplanner; and for the support of our advertisers. Veronica Burbridge Editor
Scottishplanner is the Journal of the Royal Town Planning Institute in Scotland, and is distributed free by direct mail to all Members in Scotland. It is also available on the web at www.scotland.rtpi.org.uk
03 Convener’s Comments
Update 04 Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning – Scottish Government …continued from front cover 05 A View from Scottish Water – Leo Petch 06 Planning Reform: Local Review Bodies – David Suttie 07 Planning Reform: Householders’ Freedoms and Neighbour Protection... or Gardening for Planners? – Jim Birrell
Focus on Resources and Delivery 08 Resolving the Infrastructure Funding Crisis? – Martin Gallaher 09 The Future Resourcing of Planning – Sam Anwar 10 Investing in Affordable Housing: a Radical Rethink? – Natalie Sutherland 12 Electric Planning in Orkney - Orkney Islands Council 13 Delivering Effective Pre-Application Advice in Highland – Neil Huggan
Views and News 14 15 16 18 20
Mediation Makes the Difference – John Sturrock Place Shaping: What Really Matters? – Diarmaid Lawlor News and Events Policy Briefing Directory
Editor Veronica Burbridge Production James Henderson Potential articles and photographs are welcome. The Editor reserves the right to amend articles as necessary. Enquiries to: the Editor, Scottishplanner, RTPI in Scotland, 57 Melville St, Edinburgh, EH3 7HL Tel: 0131 226 1959; email: firstname.lastname@example.org The opinions stated are the contributors’ own unless otherwise stated. The RTPI is not responsible for statements made or views expressed in this journal. ISSN 1353-9795 Registered office: Royal Town Planning Institute, 41 Botolph Lane, London EC3R 8DL Scottish Charity No. SC 037841 Registered Charity No. 262865 Scottishplanner is printed on Era Silk recycled paper. Design, production and advertising by Thinktastic Tel 0131 554 2807
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Convener’s Comments We should celebrate more. This message was highlighted at two events I participated in recently… SAQP 2009 Awards In March, I attended the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning (SAQP). Addressing climate change was a strong theme running through the Awards; in line with Scottish Government policy and the RTPI’s own 7 Climate Change Commitments. The Awards also provide us with inspiration in addressing a range of other key issues such as town centre renewal; the conservation of historic environments; and community involvement. Award winners, and many other initiatives across Scotland, are marking a renaissance in our approach to planning, and dovetailing sustainable development, stakeholder involvement and design: while the new-style development plans bring opportunities to mainstream the lessons we are learning… or should that be re-learning?
Connections, resources and exemplars And it isn’t only about development plans. We can make connections between planning and the public interest in environmental, social and economic issues; including climate change and ‘making sustainable settlements’ - although many might not recognise this language. The potential is clear: involvement in development planning can introduce people to issues such as climate change, while environmental concerns can engage people in the planning process. If we are to make the most of these opportunities, all stakeholders will need new skills, new tools and a
better understanding of the links. It is timely, then, that the Energy Saving Trust is working with the RTPI in Scotland to develop guidance on sustainable energy in the built environment – see pages 16-17 of this edition. Another example of an issue for which we need new tools is the making of connections between spatial planning and our food systems. Such links have not been made in the UK as they have, for example, in Germany and North America. There are, of course, good examples of local food initiatives in Scotland, but perhaps we could learn from the green belts in Munich and Toronto, or planners’ contributions to Chicago’s food policy. New approaches may emerge as the Scottish Government takes forward the National Food and Drink Policy; Property Week promotes releasing sites for temporary uses such as farms and community growing; leading developers set an example; and councils (and even television chefs) start initiatives to bring land into food growing. The Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative may help us develop exemplars. The skills of the next generation of planners will be critical to making this type of connection. The quality of students’ work at the Scottish planning schools was highlighted at the SAQP, but it is a tough time to be a planning graduate. RTPI Scotland’s survey of recent graduates, funded by the Planning Exchange Foundation, will give a better understanding of the issues, but action by planning authorities and others, including Planning Aid for Scotland, is already
helping graduates to add value to their CVs whether through employment or volunteering. A local workshop I participated in another event earlier this month, as a facilitator at a training day that introduced Aberdeenshire Community Councils to the new planning system and their role within it. The level of interest in the training across Aberdeenshire, and the enthusiasm for planning among the participants, were obvious; and refreshing for professionals so used to negative headlines about planning. The Community Councils were realistic about what planning can achieve, and recognised their own limitations as representatives of their communities. The training day served as a reminder that when we argue for resources for planning we need to argue for resources for all stakeholders in the system. Celebrating exemplar projects is important for supporting the case for resources, as well as building pride and identifying experiences of good practice to share. We should celebrate also the energy and commitment of all those who contribute to planning. More of us, more often, should celebrate planning and everyone who plays their part.
Ian Angus MRTPI Convener, RTPI in Scotland’s Scottish Executive Committee
Scottishplanner : UPDATE
Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning … continued from page 1
Community Involvement Award winner, Neilston Renaissance Town Charter © picture courtesy The Barrhead News
Development on the Ground Award winner, Renfrewshire Town Centre Regeneration © picture courtesy Renfrewshire Council
Geddes Trust Awards The Sir Patrick Geddes Memorial Trust presented five Awards for students to: Fiona Russell of Crichton University; Sarah Jane Laverick of the Department of Architecture at University of Strathclyde; Murray Hope of the School of the Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University; Anne Raines of the School of Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art; and Emma Rigg of the School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University. A full report on these Awards is accessible via ‘Scottishplanner Extra … on the Web’ – see p17.
Designing Places – masterplanning class This year heralded a new approach to engaging with universities where students from across Scotland were invited to participate in a live masterplanning class with an emphasis on interaction and learning. The event was run over a weekend in conjunction with Mactaggart and Mickel Ltd; Proctor and Matthews Architects; and Waterman Boreham Engineers. The winning team was ‘Fly Green’ and the following members were presented with certificates at the ceremony: Rebecca Oakes of Aberdeen University; Dhira From the top of the column: Development Plans Award winner, Highland Council Open Space in New Residential Development: Interim Supplementary Guidance © picture courtesy Highland Council; Development Plans Award winner, Sustainable Design in Argyll and Bute © picture courtesy Argyll and Bute Council; Development Management Award winner, Glasgow Urban Model (virtual, 3D interactive) © picture courtesy Glasgow City Council; Development on the Ground award winner, Gardyne’s Land - High Street, Dundee © picture courtesy Simpson & Brown Architects.
Kulkarni and Erica Um of Dundee University; Nazan Kocak of Edinburgh College of Art; David Baxter of Glasgow University; and Jennifer Mullen of Heriot-Watt University.
The Cabinet Secretary In his address to the audience, the Cabinet Secretary congratulated the winners, and re-emphasised his belief that an efficient planning service is key to delivering strong and sustainable economic growth. Referring to the progress being made since the publication of Delivering Planning Reform, and to the need to maintain momentum on working better together, he highlighted the importance of leadership across the board by national and local politicians; by heads of service in agencies and authorities; by the development industry; as well as by individuals and communities.
Nominations for 2010 Changes made to the planning system over the course of 2009 and 2010 have provided the impetus for many new planning processes to be established, particularly in development planning and development management. Do you know of examples that could win the 2010 Awards? The application form and guidance are now available at www.scotland.gov.uk/saqp2010 - close of nominations is 16 August 2010. Scottish Government
A View from Scottish Water Glencorse Water Treatment Works under construction
Leo Petch, Scottish Water’s General Manager – Asset Strategy, reflects on the organisation’s current approach to planning reform, partnership-working and long-term planning. Scottish Water’s vision is to be Scotland’s most valued and trusted business - one we can all be proud of. As part of this vision, we have set ourselves a series of targets to help ensure we continue to provide high quality, affordable water while protecting and enhancing the environment. Our involvement in the planning system, and the positive relationships we are building with our stakeholders, will be important in helping achieve our vision and meeting the challenges involved in delivering sustainable economic growth in Scotland.
Edinburgh with a modern water treatment works, delivering improved water quality to residents and enabling economic development in the area for many years to come. This project is being delivered in collaboration with a range of consultees, and illustrates our commitment to delivering high quality investment that meets the needs of all stakeholders. As part of our engagement in development management, we are committed to pre-application discussion with developers and other stakeholders, and would recommend contact is made with us as early in the development process as possible in order to identify and investigate relevant issues.
Long-term planning and vision
Planning reform Through planning reform, Scottish Water is finding that the way planners, key agencies and other public and private sector stakeholders are working together is improving. A culture of openness and engagement is beginning to develop, resulting in an increased willingness to identify solutions, rather than problems, which will unlock development potential. This collaborative, problem-solving approach to enabling new development will deliver the most appropriate solutions at the local level, while also delivering sustainable economic growth across the country. We continue to work closely with planning authorities to prioritise the delivery of strategic infrastructure required to support the delivery of development plan objectives. The award-winning Glencorse Water Treatment Works project currently under construction will provide
mechanism through which Scottish Water and SEPA can enable development in areas where individual treatment works are at or near capacity. Through this ongoing collaborative process, Scottish Water and SEPA have been able to release substantial capacity to enable new development, while still safeguarding environmental quality. Both of these initiatives are designed to increase the value of our engagement in the planning system, by reducing resource use and improving the accuracy of our long-term investment planning activities.
Working with other agencies Scottish Water and Transport Scotland have recently been working together to collect planning data from all planning authorities. Historically each agency has undertaken separate exercises, to collect the same information on future levels and locations of planned development, to inform our respective investment programmes. By working in collaboration with Transport Scotland we hope to reduce the workloads for planning authorities in providing the required information while ensuring both agencies’ investment planning activities are aligned through using the same data. We have also been working closely with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to review and update our Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) procedures which aim to allow both agencies to enable sustainable economic growth. The MoU is a
In order to drive best value in our investment programme, we will produce 25-year plans for the management of our assets and the delivery of new infrastructure. This proactive, long-term planning strategy will support the sustainable delivery of our services, while at the same time achieving the standards set by our regulators. Our ongoing involvement in the planning system will ensure that the development priorities of planning authorities are integral to the formation and delivery of these plans. The Scottish Water vision and planning reform share a similar commitment to delivering a world class service to our customers, responsive to both local needs and national priorities such as climate change. We will continue to contribute towards the delivery of a planning system which meets future challenges and makes best use of the resources available. 03 05
Scottishplanner : UPDATE - PLANNING REFORM
Local Review Bodies David Suttie, Area Planning Manager (for Nithsdale) with Dumfries & Galloway Council, reports on its procedures and experience thus far. Dumfries & Galloway Council (DGC) decided that the Local Review Body (LRB) would comprise three Members and one reserve - from a pool of 12; with the Chair to be elected at the start of each meeting. Due to the geography of the region, there are four Area Committees, and so three LRB Members appointed from each Committee. Our Scheme of Delegation requires that where refusal is being recommended, a report must be sent to Members of the relevant Area Committee, allowing a seven-day call-in period. If delegation is not withdrawn, a refusal is issued and the applicant then has the right to submit a Notice of Review.
Who should be involved? There were numerous questions about how to set up LRB procedures within this framework. Transparency was essential. Due to the Scheme of Delegation, Members of the relevant Area Committee see and agree the Report of Handling, so they could not be involved. Therefore only Members of other Area Committees can take part in a Review. The options of hiring external consultants - too expensive - or sharing officers from adjacent authorities to act as advisers - all had other arrangements - were discounted; so the use of inhouse officers, not involved in the case, was adopted. It is made clear at the start of every meeting that the adviser is there to provide advice to the LRB only; they were not involved in the case and are not there to defend the decision of the Appointed Officer. The role of the Appointed Officer with Notices of Review remains unclear, as there is no statutory provision requiring or denying the right to comment. However, planners always have the opportunity to comment upon and correct any factual errors in the submitted grounds in the appeal process, so it would appear contrary to natural justice to deny a similar 06 www.rtpi.org.uk/rtpi_in_scotland/
It is made clear at the start of every meeting that the adviser is there to provide advice to the LRB only; they were not involved in the case and are not there to defend the decision of the Appointed Officer.
opportunity in relation to LRBs. The solution would appear to be making the Appointed Officer an 'interested party', and this is the approach advocated by DGC.
Practical arrangements and training Various other logistical issues arose and all required answers.Which department would provide the administrative function? When and where would the meetings take place? Who would act as clerk to the LRB? What form would the decision letter take and who would produce and sign it? Training, funded by the Improvement Service, was provided over two days by Dundas & Wilson for all 12 LRB Members and five officers in late 2009. It was very well-received and, interestingly, those who raised the most astute questions had been the most reluctant to attend.
The experience so far To date, five Notices of Review have been considered; four cases involving individual houses, and one the removal of a condition. The first meeting took place in Kirkcudbright on 27 January
2010 to consider two of the cases; the next was on 10 February in Dumfries, also for two cases. The most recent meeting, for a single case, also took place in Dumfries on 10 March. For each case the LRB considered it had sufficient information before it at the first meeting to determine the Review without further procedure, and resolved to uphold the original decision; albeit with a minor variation in one case. The LRB took on average 45 minutes to consider each case, and Members were careful to ensure each was examined fully and that the decision was not a 'rubber stamp' exercise. Many lessons have been learned already and it will continue to be an evolving process. It is clear, however, that LRBs consume a lot of local authority time and resources without providing a direct income. This function was undertaken previously by central government, and the forthcoming review of application fees should take into consideration the cost to local authorities of providing the LRB function. The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Dumfries & Galloway Council.
Householders’ Freedoms and Neighbour Protection… or Gardening for Planners? Jim Birrell, Development Manager with Fife Council and a Heads of Planning Scotland (HOPS) Executive Member, provides a personal reflection on proposed revisions of householder permitted development, and raises concerns of a missed opportunity. The 2005 White Paper Modernising the Planning System unveiled radical thinking to modernise, simplify and promote planning as a driver of sustainable economic growth. Simplification and elimination of unnecessary bureaucracy were key elements, including the reviewing of minor and permitted developments. The current rules on permitted development are outdated, a 1992 vintage, and over-complicated. They consume a disproportionate amount of staff time, at a point when staff capacity and priorities should lie at the other end of the planning spectrum in national, major and large-scale local developments. It is disappointing, five years later and after a whole suite of reforms have been implemented during 2009, that one of the original cornerstones of the reforms remains on the drawing board.
Piloting permitted development There was, therefore, an air of considerable anticipation last December when HOPS, at the invitation of Scottish Government, requested that three local authorities pilot the most recent proposals for
permitted development: Edinburgh, Fife and Stirling Councils volunteered. Proposals and options had been subject to previous consultation, to academic study and ongoing discussions; involving, for example, Heriot-Watt University, Brodies LLP, Scott Wilson Group plc, and the General Permitted Development Order Steering Group. We also have the benefit of experiences in England where permitted development rules have changed and met mixed reactions. Dan Jackman from the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals was ‘seconded’ to carry out the consultation on the pilot exercise, and we were briefed in January on the process and received the draft changes, guidelines and supporting notes for staff. Fife’s experience confirmed that: the guidance was useful and informative, but that there were drafting errors and contradictory statements; 40 applications were reviewed and 53% of these would still require planning permission; and staff are concerned that discussion with neighbours, applicants and customers will take additional time under these proposed revisions. Feedback sessions have been held this year at Victoria Quay, and these confirmed what is required from the local planning authorities’ (LPAs) point of view. HOPS has submitted a letter to the Scottish Government outlining
the key issues and requesting further, continued joint-working to resolve matters. It is essential that we get this part of the modernisation process right, as it was the original incentive promoted to LPAs through the prediction of 30-40% fewer minor applications. Anecdotal estimates now suggest a figure of between 10-20%, which would be disappointing.
A call to action There is still time to reap the benefits from a radical review of this critical area of planning business, and to relegate sheds, greenhouses and decking to the amateur gardener by providing a simple, uncomplicated set of requirements, linked to impacts on public and private amenity. Having recently converted 21 planning policy documents into a single Scottish Planning Policy publication, it cannot be beyond our collective creative abilities to do the same with the archaic and unwieldy bureaucracy surrounding permitted development.
We now need: • a radical streamlining, not tinkering. • the removal of all minor and trivial developments from requiring planning permission. • more reasonable freedoms for householders to develop their house and garden responsibly. • to release planners from highvolume caseloads where added value is limited but time spent is considerable and disproportionate. • to avoid replacing one set of complicated rules with another. • illustrated advice with worked examples that are easily interpreted by planners and customers alike. P.S. Please keep high hedges out of planning control or we will need to ask Alan Titchmarsh to write the next column, ‘Hedges for Householders’. The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Fife Council or Heads of Planning Scotland. 07
Scottishplanner : FOCUS ON RESOURCES AND DELIVERY
Resolving the Infrastructure Funding Crisis? Developing Scotland’s infrastructure is critical, but how to fund this? Martin Gallaher, a Partner at Biggart Baillie with extensive experience in public procurement, examines tax incremental funding. The Scottish Government has outlined its vision for Scotland’s future development by identifying key strategic infrastructure projects in the National Planning Framework (NPF2). Fourteen major projects have been designated as national developments, and while consideration must be given to planning law implications for each, perhaps the more important consideration is how each can be funded given the economic slowdown has had a significant, negative impact on the delivery of major UK public and private infrastructure projects.
A private and public crisis The private sector has most acutely felt the effects of the economic crisis due to the unwillingness of banks to lend in the current market. This has significantly curtailed the delivery of new private sector development and prevented potential spin-off public projects. The downturn has also affected the extent to which the private sector can help fund public projects by agreeing planning gain and developer contributions with local authorities through section 75 agreements. Local authorities also look set to face difficulties in funding largescale infrastructure projects as a result of the increasing national debt and subsequent budget cuts. Investment in infrastructure is, however, vital to ensure continued economic growth and development, and the need for public investment in new infrastructure has never been greater. With conventional sources of funding becoming less available, and the PPP/PFI model having fallen out of favour politically, government must look at alternative ways of generating funding. Issuing public bonds to local authorities, through the Scottish Futures Trust, is a 08 www.rtpi.org.uk/rtpi_in_scotland/
potential option, but this has yet to materialise due to fiscal constraints on the Scottish Government.
Tax incremental funding One potential alternative that is becoming increasingly viable for both central and local government is the US tax concept known as tax incremental funding (TIF). Essentially, TIF captures tax revenues resulting from investment in enabling infrastructure within a particular area. The tax receipts, which would not have come about but for the infrastructure investment, are then used to meet repayments on the original investment. The major attraction of this financing tool is that the benefits of regeneration projects are reinvested without increasing taxes or diverting public spending away from other projects. The City of Edinburgh Council looks set to pilot the first TIF project in Scotland to develop Edinburgh’s Waterfront, and is set to prepare a detailed business case for the project, endorsed by the Scottish Futures Trust. The private sector has also shown support for TIF, with the British Property Federation identifying its “potential to be a powerful tool for achieving regeneration”.
Not the complete answer While on the face of it TIF may appear to be the solution to the current public sector funding crisis, it will not be the answer in all cases. It may not be a suitable means of financing certain types of infrastructure projects, including many of NPF2’s national developments which are simply too large to be funded through it; although discrete elements of them could be. Further, due to the
The major attraction of this financing tool is that the benefits of regeneration projects are reinvested without increasing taxes or diverting public spending away from other projects.
strategic nature of such developments, it may also not be possible actively to identify the tax increment attributable to each. Whilst there is no quick fix to the current funding deficit facing local authorities, TIF offers an innovative solution to some of the problems faced by the UK’s construction and regeneration industry; particularly in relation to commercial developments for which authorities will receive significant increases in business rates. By putting the necessary legislation in place to allow TIF schemes to progress, confidence in both the public and private sectors is likely to improve. The availability of an innovative funding instrument to help realise schemes across the country will also go some way to achieving the Scottish Futures Trust’s original vision of issuing public bonds to deliver such infrastructure.
The Future Resourcing of Planning Work to date has focused on the broad themes of being ‘proportionate’ and ‘effective’
using the principles that the fees should be relevant, appropriate, fair, evidencebased, and aid service improvements.
© picture courstesy of Scottish Government
Sam Anwar, Team Leader in the Planning Legislation and Performance Branch of the Scottish Government’s Directorate for the Built Environment, reports on Scottish Government work to address the effective resourcing of planning services in difficult economic times. The current economic climate has brought the resourcing of planning into sharp focus for all involved with the system, whether in public or private sectors. The effective resourcing of planning authorities is key to ensuring planning contributes to economic recovery and sustainable economic growth which is the key objective of the Scottish Government. This was recently highlighted in the March 2010 update of the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan. To support this the Scottish Government has recently increased planning fees by 10% (effective from 1st April), to address some of the immediate issues facing planning authorities and to ensure that authorities are resourced to deliver performance improvements which will contribute to economic recovery.
A strategic approach With this background the Scottish Government has also been examining
the wider resourcing of planning beyond the current fee increase. This is a strategic piece of work that is looking at resourcing in its wider context, and is supported by COSLA and partners in the development industry. Work to date has focused on the broad themes of being ‘proportionate’ and ‘effective’. By looking at these two issues, it is our aim to consider new options for the fee structure reflecting the needs and pressures on the planning service and system to deliver in an increasingly challenging resource environment.
Future consultation The first output of this work is the preparation and publication of a consultation paper on how the planning fee mechanism might be amended. At the heart of the consultation will be consideration of alternative fee models. We will be seeking views on potential new models that have been developed
The consultation will be seeking views, and evidence, on the development of any new fee structure. Options include taking into account regional, sectoral and development scale variations, as well as looking at alternatives like the building standards model which is based on the value of the development. In addition we will be seeking views on options to encourage a more effective planning system. Potential options include staged payments, discounts and rebates in certain circumstances – which have tended to produce polarised views in initial discussions. Such options could be developed independently, or together as a package. We have already had initial discussions with planning authorities, the development industry, COSLA and statutory agencies. Independentlyfacilitated workshops for both local authority representatives and the development industry have also taken place. These discussions, as well as earlier research into fees and resources, have helped to inform and refine our development work on this topic.
We need to consider all options We are keen that the consultation exercise provides an opportunity to put all options on the table for discussion – and also to provokes some debate and thinking round alternatives. During the formal consultation period, after we publish the paper, we will continue discussions with the relevant sectors and bodies. We are hoping to publish the consultation paper in May. I hope that you will provide your own thoughts and views on the consultation at that time. 09
Scottishplanner : FOCUS ON RESOURCES AND DELIVERY
Investing in Affordable Housing – A Radical Rethink? With housing providers under pressure, Natalie Sutherland, Policy & Practice Officer with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland, explores some of the new options for generating much needed funding.
Since the onset of the recession, the housing market has stalled, mortgage availability has been limited and the cost of private finance has increased. With the Scottish Government stating there will be severe constraints on public expenditure and less money in this year’s Affordable Housing Investment Programme, the time is right for a radical rethink about how we invest in new affordable housing.
Pressures on providers Demand for affordable housing in Scotland is high, due in particular to demographic and social changes as well as a commitment to meeting the 2012 homelessness target. However, due to the economic climate, demand is expected to increase, putting yet more pressure on Scotland’s housing providers. Further, Scottish Government has recently introduced ambitious carbon emissions targets in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 to be met by 2020, as well as housing quality standards which the social sector is required to meet by 2015. The cost of delivering these legislative requirements will be huge, particularly given the current public spending diet.
© images courtesy of CIH Scotland
One of the most controversial approaches is the Grampian Housing Association model of developing homes without subsidy.
In recent months, there has also been a significant decrease in the levels of Housing Association Grant (HAG) Subsidy Target Benchmark from £75,000 to £68,500 per unit of affordable housing. In addition, the Scottish Government has awarded Councils funding to build new council homes based on the assumption that they will not require more than £25,000 subsidy per unit, and this potentially has huge implications for Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) in demonstrating the continued cost-effectiveness of developments. It is also fair to assume that subsidy is unlikely to increase to previous levels. The housing and finance sectors need to find alternative ways to invest in new homes.
provide finance for the physical and social infrastructure required to enable development to take place, as well as finance for new-build and mortgages for first time buyers. Going beyond this, local authorities could also set up their own banks to administer the funds as Essex County Council is currently proposing.
Going beyond this, local authorities could also set up their own banks to administer the funds as Essex County Council is currently proposing.
Seeking innovation In the recent CIH Scotland discussion paper Investing in Affordable Housing – A Radical Rethink?, contributors from across the UK outlined alternative and innovative ways in which investment could be secured for new affordable supply. One of the most controversial approaches is the Grampian Housing Association model of developing homes without subsidy. This is being achieved through cross-subsidising a range of mid-market rent and shared ownership options. Grampian argues the key to unlocking the development potential of RSLs is partnership. They say: ‘a Council with a strong affordable housing policy can work with RSLs to deliver affordable housing without subsidy’. This is done by including good levels of surplus value in return for agreement on protecting affordability in perpetuity or recycling planning gain, as well as nominations and targeting. This same partnership can be used between RSLs or between a landowner or developer and an RSL; one bringing the land, the other expertise and risk management.
However, development without subsidy is not the answer for all RSLs, nor will it be effective for all sites or areas. In a remote or island market, the cost of construction is likely to rule it out unless there is free land. Some RSLs will not have the financial capacity to take on such projects, although they may still benefit from a partnership with an RSL that does.
Bringing in private finance A key issue for all future development is that measures to ease problems in the banking sector have not fed through to relieve the shortage of funding for housing. Savers remain keen to invest in residential property, and products are being developed to enable them to do this, but not in a way which increases housing supply or improves housing quality. However, there is scope for public sector bodies to develop new options for bringing private finance into the development. The mechanisms and policy tools are there, they just need to be applied in new ways. For example, the creation of Local Housing Bonds could
In Scotland, East Lothian Council has agreed to lend East Lothian Housing Association (ELHA) all of its private finance for the immediate future to build affordable housing on its behalf. At present the scheme is awaiting ministerial approval, but it is proposed that the Council will offer ELHA a significant loan facility. The Association will decide when and how much to call off from that facility, which will initiate the creation of an individual funding agreement. However, this means that the loan can only be used for projects that have been through a full process of agreement between the Scottish Government, the Council’s Housing Division and ELHA. Irrespective of the Ministers’ decision, this is an important demonstration that the housing sector can innovate when faced with difficult circumstances and that real public benefit can come from collaboration.
To find out more The examples in this article show how innovative approaches to funding affordable development are being tried and tested across the UK – although there is still a long way to go. For more information, see Investing in Affordable Housing – A Radical Rethink? - the next instalment is due in July - or contact Natalie.Sutherland@cih.org 11
Scottishplanner : FOCUS ON RESOURCES AND DELIVERY
Electric Planning in Orkney With over 50% of planning applications being submitted online in Orkney between October and December last year, above the national average and well ahead of similar authority areas in the Highlands and Islands, Orkney Islands Council has been reflecting on success so far. “We had dedicated officers to promote the introduction of eplanning and test the systems with agents before they went live,” says planner Roddy Mackay, Orkney Islands Council’s Assistant Director of Environmental Standards. “The agents really took to submitting applications online which helped to spread the word.” “We have found the process to be straightforward and easy to use,” says Stephen Omand, one of the local agents participating in the trial. He adds: “There have clearly been benefits in not having to produce as many paper plans as we used to.” Shane Scott, from architects Pentarq, confirms the advantages: “We have found the process to be convenient, efficient and well-managed.”
Rapidly-rising numbers Orkney has the smallest population of all the Scottish Authorities at about 20,000, but the number of online planning searches has been relatively high. From April to June 2009, the number of hits was 6,131; from July to September, 24,034; and from October to December, it had risen to 39,755. Early concerns that greater online access would increase the number of representations and contacts with planning officers, overloading the service, have not been realised. Mike Drever, Chairman of Orkney’s Planning Committee, says the benefits are clear: “Online access has been appreciated by people living throughout Orkney, particularly those in the remoter islands who no longer have to travel to Kirkwall to see plans.”
© image courtesy of Charles Strang
Orkney has the smallest population of all the Scottish Authorities … but the number of online planning searches has been relatively high. From April to June 2009, the number of hits was 6,131… (by) October to December, it had risen to 39,755.
maintenance, upgrades and licenses will fall to individual authorities. Orkney’s Planning Manager for Development Management, Alastair Banks, says: “From our experience, an eplanning service can only be delivered effectively with an eplanning technician working full-time to ensure applications are redacted of sensitive information, and are indexed quickly and properly for ease of use.” Staffing does not come cheap, and a strong case had to be made to Orkney Council for extra resources in a period of financial constraint. The general success of eplanning in Orkney undoubtedly helped make such a case, and the Council has just made its eplanning technician post permanent.
Challenges and resources Planning officers are no longer given paper plans and files, and this has had its challenges, including trying to compare and measure plans electronically. However, officers have embraced the challenges in recognition of the overall benefits. There have been the inevitable technical glitches which, along with the Scottish Government helpdesk, Orkney’s IT staff have been committed to solve. However the vulnerability of electronic systems means that in Orkney a paper back-up of essential elements of a planning file is being maintained. Like many other authorities, Orkney has implemented its eplanning as part of a Scottish Government-led initiative which came with financial support. However, costs of future 12 www.rtpi.org.uk/rtpi_in_scotland/
An ongoing commitment Overall, the story in Orkney has been positive. Not only are applicants, agents and the public pleased with eplanning, but most consultations, roughly 80%, are now e-consultations, and this has improved turnaround time. “We expect to see many more improvements.” concludes Roddy MacKay. “I don’t think it is any coincidence that our progress so far has been achieved within a structure where the eplanning technician works in the same room alongside a planning technician, clerical/admin and planning officers. This has helped encourage mutual understanding of, and commitment to, our successful delivery of eplanning.”
Delivering Effective Pre-Application Advice in Highland Neil Huggan is a member of the RTPI Development Planning Network, a Graduate Planner (Policy) with the Highland Council and active with the RTPI Highlands & Islands Chapter. Here, he reports on the Council’s new, successful approach to facilitating an efficient preapplication process. The Planning Etc. (Scotland) Act 2006 has placed a greater emphasis on effective pre-application discussion between local authorities and developers. Adding to the mix in 2008 was the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers, which in its first Annual Report called for planning to make a more positive contribution to sustainable economic growth through a culture change in which planners become facilitators rather than regulators. In the light of such guidance, the Highland Council’s Planning and Development Service identified that its pre-application advice service could become more effective, efficient and comprehensive by taking a more proactive and co-ordinating role. The result was the launch of a new PreApplication Advice Service (PAAS) for Major Developments in January 2009. This is a joint initiative between the Highland Council and its partner agencies which include Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Transport Scotland and the NHS.
Working with developers and partners The PAAS process is coordinated by staff within the Highland Council’s Development Plans Team. The process is initiated by a developer requesting a pre-application advice meeting and then submitting a minimum level of information on the proposal. PAAS meetings are held every 4 weeks; with dates scheduled well in advance so developers can build this into their programme for delivery. This approach also gives developers a level of certainty on the timescales within which they can expect to receive a response from the Council; allowing proposals to be developed in a costeffective and time-efficient manner. PAAS meetings are chaired by an officer from the Planning and Development Service and attended by representatives from a range of council services: Development Planning, Development Management, Access, Forestry, Archaeology, Housing, Waste Management, Roads and Transportation, Education, and Contaminated Land; as well as those from SNH, SEPA, Highlands and Islands
This approach also gives developers a level of certainty on the timescales within which they can expect to receive a response from the Council; allowing proposals to be developed in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner.
Transport Partnership (HITRANS), NHS, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Transport Scotland. Each developer has 30 minutes to describe the key elements of their proposal, and there is then up to an hour allocated for discussion of the proposal. Following each PAAS meeting, there is a three-week period for attendees to form their response to the proposal. Individual partner responses are collated into a single Pre-Application Advice Pack which forms the Council’s corporate view on the proposal, and this is issued to the developer within 4 weeks of the meeting.
Learning and evaluation To date the PAAS programme has dealt with over 30 major developments including the proposed new Campus for the University of the Highlands & Islands and the masterplan for a mixed-use extension to Evanton village (Culcairn Farm). Feedback from developers has been actively sought and the average ratings to date have been very positive: speed of response – 4.2 out of 5; usefulness of the information provided – 4 out of 5; ease of use of the information provided – 4 out of 5. The early success of PAAS has been recognised through the awarding of the Highland Council’s 2009 Quality Award for Contribution to the Local Economy. To ensure that the initiative continues to operate successfully, PAAS is subject to regular review and fine-tuning through feedback from both developers and partners.
The proposed new Inverness Campus for the University of the Highlands & Islands. Credit: Image by 7N Architects
The RTPI Development Planning Network supports the sharing of good practice - to join email email@example.com.
Scottishplanner : VIEWS AND NEWS
Mediation Makes the Difference John Sturrock, Chief Executive of the Core Solutions Group and co-author of the Guide to the Use of Mediation in Planning, explores the role of mediation in tackling unproductive conflict within planning. Plans for a 17-storey hotel at Haymarket provoked strong reactions, re-opening the debate about planning for major projects in Edinburgh. In Aberdeen there is controversy over the proposed development of Union Terrace Gardens. The Beauly-Denny power line has called into question the whole process by which these decisions are made in Scotland. Hardly a week goes by without some criticism of the planning process in Scotland: a senior planning figure commented recently, “We can’t go on the way we are.” The expenditure of time, effort and money in dealing with major applications, and the associated stress, risk, antagonism and damage to reputations, represent a real challenge, especially in times of economic constraint. Barriers created by fear, unyielding language, entrenched views, posturing, apparent power imbalances and lack of trust are costly.
Working toward common ground What can be done? Should not the planning system be concerned, wherever possible, with finding common ground, and encouraging proper understanding of diverse points of view on economic regeneration, sustainability, financial risk and community well-being? If so, we need to find ways to identify underlying issues, hopes and fears; address competing interests; enable people to be heard and understood; open up discussion of wider, imaginative options; and rebuild trust. This would reduce the
The expenditure of time, effort and money in dealing with major applications, and the associated stress, risk, antagonism and damage to reputations, represent a real challenge, especially in times of economic constraint.
cost and time taken to deal with serious issues in communities; especially when concerns about environmental impacts are mounting and brisk decisions required. Often it may just be about key players really listening to each other at a stage early enough to modify or enhance a specific proposal.
Mediation in action One option is to use mediation. The Scottish Government commissioned a Guide to the Use of Mediation in the Planning System in Scotland, launched by the Cabinet Secretary John Swinney in March 2009, which is supported by many bodies including Planning Aid for Scotland and the CBI. The Guide illustrates how an independent mediator, with no stake in the outcome and no decision-making function, can help identify the real issues early on, find ways to understand what is really motivating people, rebuild working relationships as people find a way through the options, and at least narrow down areas of contention and defuse differences. Because the process is not binding, unless parties involved wish to reach agreement - and even then the statutory process remains as a check - there is freedom to explore new
ways of looking at applications and development plans. Much of a mediator’s work is done in private, giving people confidence that they can speak frankly without defensiveness or fear of recrimination. A skillful mediator will help individuals and groups to reframe arguments; see the other side or sides of the story; and understand the many different perspectives within a complex set of proposals.
Across planning and development A mediator will help people to work through their differences in a respectful and rigorous way, often leading to better-quality decisionmaking and to more effective economic and environmental performance. Fundamentally, the mediation process enables people to engage more constructively and imaginatively, whether prior to an application, in the aftermath of a public inquiry or a refused application, or in consideration of strategy generally. Mediation is tried and tested in many fields, with a successful track record in Scotland in major infrastructure and other public projects. There are good examples of it working well in planning and development elsewhere. Which takes us back to Haymarket, Aberdeen, renewable energy and suchlike; early engagement, skilfully handled, could have helped to find constructive ways forward. While mediation is certainly not a panacea, the alternatives are often less palatable. Ultimately, adding mediation to the toolkit in planning is about leadership and finding the courage and initiative to do things differently. The Scottish Government is piloting the use of mediation within planning see Scottishplanner December 2009 (p.17) – and Scottishplanner will follow its progress. View the Guide at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/ 2009/03/10154116/0
Place Shaping: What Really Matters?
© Image courtesy of Urban Initiatives
bring together people who invest in the “storyPlaces of a place; the spaces they use, the services they access and the opportunities they exploit. ” The Academy of Urbanism Awards recently showcased places and developments from across Europe that were voted successful. Two things seemed to underpin the success of these places, an authentic story and honest leadership. An authentic story is something that everybody can relate to; it has resonance; we can believe in it. In other words, it is not motherhood and apple pie. Powerful place stories generate confidence and a desire to make things happen. Place leaders can access and champion the story for the betterment of citizens; using their powers to unlock blockages.Without this we are left with process, and a hope that more efficiency in the process can deliver the kind of places we think we want and need. Process without vision, meaningful vision, will fail to deliver better development because there is little to measure success against.Vision without leadership will fail because there is no clarity as to who does what and when; and no one who says, when surrounded by the doubtful, that the way to go is this
way. This is not a land use issue, but an issue of urban governance.
A placeshaping agenda I once sat in a lecture by Professor Stuart Gulliver reflecting on the way we deliver places. The address was to planners and masterplanners, and his key point was
that we pull small levers. When we are in the midst of making the plan or designing the masterplan, we can easily forget that these processes are but small elements of a much bigger picture. Too often we fail to recognize this and perhaps over-invest hope in our own processes. Places are like Russian dolls; each element has a relationship to other elements. A land use plan or masterplan cannot solve all problems. These instruments, valuable as they are, work at a particular scale and have a particular focus. Places bring together people who invest in the story of a place; the spaces they use, the services they access and the opportunities they exploit. The decisions we take, particularly in the public sector, shape the context for all these influences on people’s lives - our lives. This agenda of placeshaping means that planning for place must link community planning, spatial planning, delivery and place management.
Growing value Better whole-place planning should be like creating a business plan for place. Such instruments should make it easy to see how and why public sector budgets and assets can be linked to achieve economies of benefit. Instruments that make clear what is better quality - in terms of the spaces we create, the services we provide and the opportunities we enable - make it easier for people to develop a sense of belonging in a place, and invest their own time and future there. Delivering better development which enables better places should be seen as part of a process of growing value, rather than as development through growth for the sake of growth. This concept of growing value, and the long-term nature of place value, should determine what goes where and why in terms of development. The mechanisms and processes to deliver that should follow. Planning is key to making this happen.
© Image courtesy of Charles Strang
Scottishplanner : VIEWS AND NEWS
News and events RTPI News RTPI campaign against government cuts to planning education continues: The RTPI has welcomed the announcement from the SFC postponing any changes to the funding allocation for universities in Scotland. This followed a vigorous RTPI campaign against the proposed cuts. We will continue to campaign for effective funding of planning education in meetings with the SFC. For the latest update, view via RTPI in Scotland home-page at: www.scotland.rtpi.org.uk
Other News and Events Commonwealth Association of Planners: view the latest news and newsletter via www.commonwealth-planners.org/ Planning Aid for Scotland Update
Other sessions/debates of particular interest to planners UKwide include: ‘Planning nationally, delivering locally’; ‘Shaping economic recovery’; and ‘Is planning the problem or the answer?’ chaired by Kevin Murray. For the full programme view: www.theplanningconvention.co.uk
Our work would not be possible without the vital contribution of our volunteers: Brodies LLP recently hosted a PAS seminar on Planning Appeals exclusively for volunteers; we’ve held a volunteer induction in Glasgow at the offices of Drivers Jonas; and GVA Grimley in Edinburgh was the venue for a volunteer event on the new Development Management system. Over the next year, our programme includes a ‘Planning for People’ event in Crieff in April; more roadshows and further volunteer opportunities; and the launch of our new website! As the newest PAS staff member, I certainly see it as an exciting and challenging time, so follow the PAS programme as it continues to develop over the next few months and beyond, by viewing: www.planningaidscotland.org.uk.
RTPI Planning Convention, 28-30 June, in London Kate Webster, RTPI Marketing Officer, reports that the 2010 programme is 90% confirmed and includes: Main plenary session: Shaping the United Kingdom’s Future: a ‘Question Time-style’ session with a panel of four - Jim Mackinnon, Chief Planner with the Scottish Government; Steve Quartermain from Communities and Local Government; Edwin Poots from the Northern Irish Executive; and Rosemary Thomas from the Welsh Assembly Government.
audiences from communities and the private and public sectors.
Duncan Thorp, recently appointed Marketing and Communications Officer at Planning Aid for Scotland (PAS), reports Our calendar has been even busier this year as we step up the number of training, volunteer and information events throughout the country. The innovative roadshows, taking place in Tesco and Asda stores around Scotland, have seen us taking ‘planning to the people’ recently in Elgin and Ayr - with Galashiels and Aberdeen also on the schedule. The popular Community Council training has been hosted in West Dunbartonshire, Alford in Aberdeenshire, and Balloch in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. We’ve also held a series of themed breakfast meetings on planning reform with invited
The Energy Saving Trust recently commissioned a survey of planners in Scotland which found that more than half are not confident in their ability to address sustainability issues in the built environment. A new resource aims to meet this gap in the market: Sustainable Energy in the Built Environment: Best Practice for Scottish Planners has been produced by the Trust in conjunction with the Royal Town Planning Institute and Changeworks. It aims
Forthcoming RTPI Events in Scotland For further information on the listings below, go to www.scotland.rtpi.org.uk and view in the left-hand column: ‘Scottish Chapters’ (for Chapter events); and ‘RTPI in Scotland National Events and Network’ (for National events).
How can European Spatial Planners Assess Territorial Cohesion
tbc: Highlands & Islands Chapter: Question Time – Planning Reform: the Verdict so far
21: Epson UK, RTPI and European Council of Spatial Planners (ECTP-CEU):
16 www.rtpi.org.uk/rtpi_in_scotland/ 8
tbc: Central Scotland Chapter: New Settlement Proposals - Stirling tbc: Grampian Chapter: Designing for Carbon Reduction
June 16: East of Scotland Chapter: Wind Farm Visit - Greenknowes/ Drumderg tbc: Central Scotland Chapter: Visit to Biofuel Plant in Fife tbc: Grampian Chapter: Flooding and Flood Prevention tbc: Highlands & Islands Chapter: Marine Renewables – the New Frontier
to provide inspiration through case studies, and it signposts other resources for policy and decision-making that can support sustainable energy use and production at a domestic level. Mike Thornton, Energy Saving Trust Scotland’s Director, said: “The new Scottish Planning Policy emphasises the importance of taking climate change into account throughout the planning system and ensuring that the decisions taken contribute to greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. However, our recent research showed that more than a third of planners do not feel that they have access to sufficient information on topics such as energy efficiency, micro-renewables and district heating. Our new planner-support pack will be a useful guide, especially for public sector planners looking to facilitate low carbon development.” The pack covers a wide range of topics, including energy efficient design and refurbishment, microgeneration, district heating and sustainable transport. There are illustrative case studies that include the planning policies and decision-making processes involved: for example, solar panels installed on listed buildings; a local authority promoting onsite energy generation; and a house designed to cope with the impacts of climate change. The pack can be downloaded via www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scottishpla nners and the Trust provides a free enquiry service and presentations on sustainable energy and planning for local authorities.
‘Scottishplanner Extra’… on the web The following articles and reports are available via the RTPI in Scotland Group web-pages – for RTPI Members only. To register and/or access, view: www.scotland.rtpi.org.uk (click on the green box, top-left) or www.rtpi.org.uk/groups/rtpi_in_ scotland/. Articles • Sir Patrick Geddes Memorial Trust Awards Scheme 2009-10 Mike Affolter gives a full report • Members News and Policy Pages (Word Doc)
Scottish Government News The Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative (SSCI) Charrette Series was launched at The Point Hotel in Edinburgh on 1 March. Almost one hundred people attended including representatives from professional groups, local authorities, government agencies, NGOs and the SSCI project teams. There were speeches from Nicola Sturgeon MSP; Chief Planner Jim Mackinnon; Andres Duany, principal of DPZ and facilitator of the SSCI Charrette Series; and representatives from the project teams at Ladyfield, Lochgelly and Grandhome. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We wish to see a culture of new development emerge that respects, protects and enhances the unique natural and built heritage of our country - and that contributes to a more sustainable future. We wish to see this kind of sustainable development as the norm, not the exception. What we want from these three proposals is to one day show the difference that real vision and commitment can make to the places that we create.” After the opening event, the design team travelled to Dumfries to begin their work at the Ladyfield Charrette with a site tour led by the Crichton Trust. Four days of public engagement followed, with members of the community and the design team focusing at public meetings on issues such as transport, housing and sustainable communities. The issues raised were then considered by the design team and four masterplans produced and presented to the Crichton Trust for further development. Following the success of the Dumfries Charrette, the design team travelled to Lochgelly in Fife to spend five days developing masterplans for the town; and then to Grandhome, Aberdeen for the final Charrette. An event to conclude the Series was held on 25 March at the Surgeons’ Hall in Edinburgh. Over 250 people from across Scotland attended to review and discuss the different masterplans produced demonstrating that this month of masterplanning has raised the profile of quality design in Scotland.
Scottish Government Update The latest update to the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan was published in March. Identifying planning as a key driver to economic recovery, it highlights the breadth of work under way to ensure planning continues fully to support sustainable economic growth. It included a commitment to hold a planning and economic recovery summit in May, bringing together all stakeholders to set out the long term agenda for planning and to assist in aligning collective efforts to accelerate recovery. The update highlights the challenges involved in aligning public and private sector activity to bring a development to fruition. Scottish Government is investigating, with a range of public and private sector partners, whether a “brokerage service” could aid this by facilitating cross-sector work, sharing knowledge and good practice, and assisting in easing the blockages impeding development. After taking into account the views of industry and planning authorities, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth agreed a 10% increase in planning application fees from 1 April. This will assist planning authorities to be appropriately resourced to contribute to economic recovery. Delivering Planning Reform, summit events in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Dundee in March brought together a wide range of planning stakeholders with the aim of maintaining momentum on the reform agenda. They took stock of achievements and identified new commitments for implementation in 2010/11. New Government documents include Circular 2/2010: Domestic Microgeneration which introduced changes to Permitted Development rights, and Planning Advice Notes 1/2010: Strategic Environmental Assessment and 2/2010: Affordable Housing. Readers will note that the way PANs are numbered has changed. Further information is available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/ built-environment/planning.
PUBLICATIONS SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS
Scottish Planning Policy A statement of the Scottish Government's policy on nationally important land use planning matters. (04/02/10)
Designing Streets: a Policy Statement for Scotland Designing Streets is the first policy statement in Scotland for street design and marks a change towards placemaking and away from a system focused upon the dominance of motor vehicles. It sits alongside Designing Places (2001), which sets out government aspirations for design and the role of the planning system in delivering these. (22/03/10)
Planning Circular 1/2010: Planning Agreements Guidance on the processes for determining the need for, and negotiation of, Planning Agreements. (04/02/10)
Planning Circular 2/2010: The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Domestic Microgeneration) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2010 (08/03/10)
Planning Circular 3/2010: The Town and Country Planning (Limit of Annual Value) (Scotland) Order 2010 (07/04/10)
Planning Advice Note 1/2010 Strategic Environmental Assessment of Development Plans (19/03/10) Provides advice on how the requirements of the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 can be met within the development planning process.
Making the Most of Scotland's Seas: Turning Our Marine Vision into Reality Sets out a framework for actions to achieve clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse marine and coastal environments (01/04/10) Marine Scotland: Report on Social and Economic Objectives for a Scottish Marine Plan (31/03/10)
Crime & Justice: Research Findings No.18/2010: Consultation on High Hedges: An Analysis of Responses (26/03/10) The Radioactive Contaminated Land (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2009: Statutory Guidance (26/03/10)
Councillors Code of Conduct Consultation Responses Proposes a revised version of the Code. (24/03/10) Further Scottish Leasing Round (Saltire Prize Projects) Executive Summary of the Scoping Study (23/03/10)
Tenant Participation - making a difference! Issue 11 March 2010 Newsletter Issue.
Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning: Report of the Judges (11/03/10)
Delivering Planning Reform for Aquaculture Sets out what Scottish Government, its agencies, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the aquaculture industry will do together to refine the existing planning system. (09/03/10)
Delivering Planning Reform for Aquaculture: Report to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth and the Minister for Environment by the Aquaculture Planning Taskforce (09/03/10)
A Vision for Scottish Agriculture Sets out guiding principles to optimise the productive use of Scotland's natural resources. (08/03/10)
Futureskills Scotland: The skills content of jobs in Scotland and the rest of the UK: Summary Report The research uses data from the 2006 Work Skills in Britain Survey. The skills where workers reported significant differences between jobs in Scotland and the rest of the UK were computing skills, number
CONSULTATIONS Current consultations to which the Institute may wish to respond are listed below. They can also be viewed on the Scottish Government website at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/ Consultations/Current. To assist the Institute in preparing representative responses, Members are invited to contribute their views by post or email - see contact details on p2, or on the RTPI website - ideally no less than 14 days prior to the end of the consultation period. The Instituteâ€™s Scottish responses can be found at http://www.rtpi.org.uk/item/760/ 23/5/3.
CONSULTATIONS FROM THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT AND OTHER PUBLIC BODIES
Extending Permitted Development Rights For Domestic Micro-Wind Turbines and Air-Source Heat Pumps Wide ranging proposals for the extension of permitted development rights to MicroWind Turbines and Air-Source Heat Pumps. These proposals are based on the research
for the Scottish Government, published in December 2009. (30/04/10)
SEPA guidance for developers of run-of river hydropower schemes This SEPA consultation seeks views on guidance for developers of hydropower schemes. This describes how SEPA intends to achieve Scottish Ministers' policy objectives with respect to striking the right balance between protection of the water environment and renewable energy generation. (30/04/10) Consolidation of Waste Management Licensing Regulations and associated amendments The exercise incorporates proposals for the transposition of the revised Waste Framework Directive and amendments relating to waste carriers legislation. (21/05/10) Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park: Consultation on draft Order to Modify Designation Order A statutory consultation on a draft Order to modify the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Designation Order. (31/05/10) Cairngorms National Park: Consultation
on draft Order to Modify Designation Order A statutory consultation on a draft Order to modify the Cairngorms National Park Designation Order. (31/05/10)
Low Carbon Economy discussion paper This discussion paper sets out the Scottish Government's plans to move towards a low carbon economy in Scotland, as part of the Government's overarching Economic Strategy. It identifies key dimensions of transition strategy, describes the approach to develop the strategy, and seeks to engage key stakeholders in the strategy process. (22/06/10)
Long Leases (Scotland) Bill - consultation and draft Bill This consultation is on a draft Bill to convert very long leases (leases over 175 years and with over 100 years left to run) into ownership. (30/06/10)
CONSULTATION FROM THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT
The Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee Inquiry into the relationship between transport and land use planning policies The Committee will consider: the nature and extent of the current relationship between transport and land use planning policies; the scope for further
skills and literacy skills. For these skills, Scottish workers reported lower use or importance in the workplace than workers in the rest of the UK. (05/03/10) The Scottish Economic Recovery Plan: Accelerating Recovery Further update to the ERP. (03/03/10)
Implementing the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003: Assessing Scotland's water environment - use of environmental standards, condition limits and classification schemes: Policy Statement (02/03/10) What We Do: Scottish Government Housing and Regeneration Directorate (02/03/10)
CAMERAS: A Co-ordinated Agenda for Marine, Environment and Rural Affairs Science Booklet (25/02/10)
Focus Groups to Test Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Guidance Research Findings Test of a simple guide to Strategic Environmental Assessment (23/02/10) National Park Proposals: Consultation Report and Responses A report on proposed modifications to the original National Park Designation Orders. It also contains the consultation responses. (22/02/10)
integration of these policies; and the benefits that further integration might deliver in terms of sustainable economic growth and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. (7/05/2010).
Consultation on Planning Obligation and Good Neighbour Agreement Regulations 2010 Consultation on regulations required to implement provisions of the Planning etc (Scotland) 2006 Act. (Spring 2010)
Dounreay Waste Substitution Proposals in this consultation document are to allow two forms of waste substitution: the substitution of one type of cemented waste with another, and the substitution of vitrified waste in place of cemented wastes. (Spring 2010) Draft Development Plan for Offshore Wind Energy Developments in Scottish Territorial Waters and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Environmental Report. (Spring 2010)
Details of Scottish Government publications and consultations are reproduced courtesy of Crown Copyright.
Analysis of responses to the consultation on the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill RF 11/2010 Reports and interprets stakeholder views on potential reform to areas of the bill. (16/02/10)
SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT PUBLICATIONS Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe). research briefings
SB 10-23 UK Budget 2010 This year’s UK budget took place just six weeks ahead of the expected date of the UK General Election and in the context of the 2009 PreBudget Report commitment to halving the budget deficit over the next four years. For Scotland, the changes announced result in an increase of £76m to the Departmental Expenditure Limit for 2010-11. This briefing notes some of the effects of the UK Budget on Scotland’s public finances for 2010-11, the final year of the current Spending Review period.
SB 10-20 Scottish Parliamentary Commissions and Commissioners etc. Bill Over the last 10 years the Scottish Parliament has set up six offices concerned with regulating and maintaining the standards of public service. The Scottish Parliamentary Commissions and Commissioners etc. Bill will establish a new standards body, the Commission for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland, and will also look at the governance of the offices.
SB 10-19 Housing (Scotland) Bill The Housing (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament on 13 January 2010. The Bill would establish the Scottish Housing Regulator and make provisions about the performance and regulation of social landlords. It would amend the legislation on the right to buy, private sector housing and homelessness. It would also give Ministers powers to make provisions about unauthorised tenants. This briefing provides background information on the regulation of social landlords, right to buy, private sector housing legislation, unauthorised tenancies and homelessness, before outlining the main proposals in the Bill.
SB 10-18 Single Outcome Agreements 2009-10 This paper provides an overview of the 2nd round of Single Outcome Agreements. The Single Outcome Agreements for 2009-10 were signed off by the Scottish Government and Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) in June 2009. SB 10-17 The Forth Replacement Crossing First Principles The Forth Replacement Crossing project is expected to be the biggest single investment by the Scottish Government since devolution, with an outturn cost in 2016 estimated to be in the range £1.72 billion to £2.34 billion (median cost estimate - £2.044 billion).This briefing looks at the rationale
behind the decision to build a Forth Replacement Crossing and the options appraisal undertaken to decide which type of crossing to should go forward. SB 10-16 Mapping the Recession This briefing maps the latest data for a selection of indicators from which trends within the Scottish economy can be identified.
SB 10-14 The Forth Replacement Crossing Analysis of Costs This briefing takes a closer look at the two largest cost elements of the project, accounting for over 50% of the median cost estimate: Bridge £748 million and Construction inflation £529 million.
© Image courtesy of Charles Strang
CLIMATE CHANGE CORNER If space permits, each set of policy pages from the Scottishplanner will have a small corner devoted to Climate Change matters, giving additional emphasis to those consultations and publications addressing issues of Climate Change mitigation and adaptation, and sharing both problems and solutions. What key references and sources do you use? Tell us about them so we can share them with other practising planners! Go on, you know you want to!
Consideration of Climatic Factors within Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Guidance. (19/03/10)
Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005: Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Renewables Action Plan (RAP): Post Adoption Statement (19/03/10)
Carbon Capture and Storage - A Roadmap for Scotland How Scotland can be at the forefront of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology (18/03/10)
Carbon Account for Transport No. 2: 2010 Edition Presents Scottish transport policies and projects that are expected to have a significant impact on carbon, whether positive or negative. It is to be used to monitor and review progress towards achievement of the 'reduced emissions' strategic outcome for transport in accordance with the targets in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act. (12/03/10)
Expert workshop to establish the current state of knowledge of and future evidence needs for the extent and condition of carbon stocks in Scottish peatlands Summary of the workshop findings. (19/02/10)
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