Revamp for Scottish planning system

Proposals to overhaul Scotland's planning system will help to deliver more jobs and sustainable economic growth, the Scottish Government has said.

The changes by the third National Planning Framework and draft Scottish Planning Policy will influence planning decisions across a range of sectors including transport, energy and infrastructure over the next 30 years.

The draft proposals aim to improve the performance of the planning system to improve delivery and focus on economic recovery, it said. It will also work towards meeting Scotland's ambitious renewable energy targets.

Key features of the proposals include:

  • Development of town centres to attract a greater number of visitors
  • Protection of designated wildlife areas from wind farm proposals, and the moving wind turbines away from residential areas
  • Developing Prestwick Airport and the adjacent enterprise zone as an aerospace centre
  • The building of two new carbon capture and storage schemes in Peterhead and Grangemouth
  • Consideration for onshore infrastructure for offshore renewable energy.

Planning minister Derek Mackay said: "Scotland needs a planning system that has, at its heart, the overriding principle of delivering sustainable economic growth in order to maximise the country's attraction to investors and visitors in a global economy."

He added: "By providing a clear vision, the proposals will be used to guide future development that will help Scotland achieve its ambitious renewable energy targets and also increase protection for our country's most environmentally important areas."

The Scottish Government now want to hear views from the Scottish general public about the draft plans.