Burness Paull’s Edinburgh seminar on 8th June

Jun 13, 2016


Catherine Wood, Strategic Planning Director spoke at Burness Paull’s Edinburgh seminar on 8th June, entitled ‘Game Plan’. The seminar examined the recently published (31st May) independent panel review’s report entitled ‘Empowering planning to deliver great places’.

Catherine spoke alongside John Hamilton, CEO of Winchburgh Developments Limited who is also one of the 3 independent panellists, together with Councillor Ian Perry convenor of the planning committee at City of Edinburgh Council and Tammy Adams, head of planning with Homes for Scotland.

There was a lively debate which included diverse views as to whether or not the planning system needs a radical rethink or not as well as the pros and cons of the 48 panel recommendations and where the report will go from here with the new planning minister now in place. Councillor Perry was in favour of a radical rethink to the planning system and suggested the introduction of growth corridors for Edinburgh, LDPs taking a longer term vision (20 years), taking away housing numbers and letting the market dictate growth and permitting communities the same rights as developers in challenging decisions.

Catherine took a different approach believing there is no need for a radical rethink, the tools are in place for the planning profession to make sound planning decisions, confidence will not be achieved in investment terms with any radical reform.  She accepted there are ways of improving the system and that many of Gladman’s recommendations to the panel have been taken on board in the issued report. She identified a number of recommendations and supporting text which Gladman will be watching to see how they are taken forward. These include the abolition of SDPS, evidence requirement for justifying decision making, supplementary guidance reduction requirement for local authorities, neighbourhood and community planning and the over-riding fact people don’t like change, in particular when it is proposed close to them.

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