Domed roof of the conference venue

Six reasons to come to our conference

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We think there are lots of reasons to come to our first major conference in Edinburgh this Saturday 21st April but here’s a selection of six, all related to our workshops designed to help you:

  • Work together with us for a fairer more inclusive planning system
  • Learn from the DPEA’s Chief Reporter how to make the best of your case at planning appeals
  • Share ideas for effective engagement and a fit for purpose planning system
  • Get exactly the information you need with advice from the Scottish Information Commission
  • Find out how cases at Scottish courts are getting cheaper and easier, and what’s next in the campaign for access to justice.
  • Discover just who is the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman and what planning issues he can investigate

As well as these six workshops to choose from, three case study presentations and our ideas for creating a fair and inclusive planning system we have dedicated time for networking, meeting others and discussing whatever planning issues matter to you.

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There’s more details on our workshops and who’s is running them below.

1. What can Planning Do for Us?
If you would like to learn more about effective engagement, share ideas about a fit for purpose planning system and think about how we can do things better come along and participate in our workshop.
Consultant planners and mediators Suzanne McIntosh and Karol Swanson

2. Planning Appeals and Inquiries: How to Make the Best of Your Case
This workshop will highlight the key elements of the recent reforms to the planning appeals system and the role of the reporter; explain what factors reporters take into account in deciding what procedure will be adopted; give some tips on drafting representations and attending hearings or inquiry sessions; describe the DPEA website and the online publication of appeals. It will also give an overview of specialist casework to which the formal PLI procedure still applies such as Electricity Act cases. Department for Planning and Environmental Appeals – Lindsey Nicol

3. All about Freedom of Information
This workshop if for you if you want to know how to make Freedom of Information requests, what organisations your can make requests to, see how other community organisations have used freedom of information, and learn some tips for getting exactly the information you want to see. Scottish Information Commission – Susan Hutchison

4. Access to Justice in Scotland
Learn more about the campaign to make it simpler, quicker and cheaper for people to take legal action in planning cases and to protect the environment. If you think a planning decision has been unfair, or is potentially damaging to your environment, there are currently a lot of barriers to challenging the decision in court. But there is a UN convention that requires that ordinary people have the opportunity to take environmental cases to court without too high a cost. This seminar explores the campaign for Access to Environmental Justice, calling for the implementation of the ‘Aarhus Convention’. Environmental Law Centre and Friends of the Earth Scotland – Frances McCartney and Davina Shiell

5. Campaigning for Planning Democracy
If you are interested in making things better for the future, this workshop looks at ways we might work together to lobby for a better planning system and introduces ideas to network and help other communities facing the same issues. Planning Democracy – Iain Thom and Andy Inch

6. An Introduction to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO)
An opportunity to learn more about the role of the SPSO: when and how they consider complaints; planning issues that they can and cannot consider and answers to your questions. SPSO – George Hunter and Carol Neill

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