Fife Council calls for changes to planning system

Councillor Lesley Laird wants individuals, community organisations and businesses to contribute to the 'Your Place, Your Views' survey.
Councillor Lesley Laird wants individuals, community organisations and businesses to contribute to the 'Your Place, Your Views' survey.

Fife Council is calling for reforms to the Scottish planning system to help boost the local economy.

A number of concerns about the planning system have been raised by communities across Fife, and developers also have frustrations with the current system.

The council has written to the Scottish Government calling for a review of Scottish Planning Law, and has welcomed the government’s announcement that it will conduct a consultation to improve development planning.

However, although a panel has been set up to look at this, the launch date for the consultation has yet to be announced.

In the meantime, Fife Council wants to hear from its own communities and has launched its ‘Your Place, Your Views’ online survey at www.fifedirect.org.uk/yourplace.

It’s an opportunity for local people, communities and businesses to have their say on the future of development planning.

The feedback will then be shared as part of the council’s response to the Scottish Government consultation, and used to help improve Fife’s own planning processes.

Councillor Lesley Laird, depute leader and spokesperson for economy and planning, said: “If there is one issue that is certain to get communities fired up it is planning, and quite rightly so.

“Planning is a devolved issue and that’s why I have been calling on the Scottish Government to listen to and address the growing concerns of communities.

“I believe that we are missing huge opportunities to take a more strategic approach to planning, embracing economic development and wider regeneration.

“The planning system is used to make decisions about the development and use of land in our villages, towns and countryside.

“Our survey aims to gain feedback from local people to help us better understand people’s views and help shape our input on the future direction of planning.

“An overhaul of Scotland’s planning system offers opportunities to review town centre regeneration, the redevelopment of brownfield sites and put local democracy back at the heart of the planning process.”

Cllr Laird added: “The lack of delivery in the housing market is a major issue throughout Scotland. But to change this, there is a need to alter the way housing land supply is defined and measured.

“Regenerating brownfield sites and the development of vacant town centre buildings are potential pragmatic measures to meet current and future housing needs.

“Planning needs to support and better encourage these approaches to better meet the needs of local communities.”

To take part in Fife Council’s ‘Your Place, Your Views’ survey click here