We were asked as a key stakeholder what our priorities are for the Local Government Housing and Planning Committee’s future work. This is one of 16 committees that work in the Scottish Parliament to hold the Government to account. They do this in a variety of ways including holding inquiries and examining bills.
According to the Parliamentary website the remit of this committee covers local government, the third sector and social economy, housing and housing strategy and building standards. It will also be the committee that scrutinises the National Planning Framework.
We have written this response to their request. In it we asked the committee to support public led planning in NPF4, which means looking at ways that local authorities can deliver development that is needed, rather than relying on the private sector as much as we do to deliver housing. We asked them to:
question policies that require local authorities to deliver a 5 year housing land supply. We disagree with this policy which we have found puts pressure on local authorities to allow speculative developments, not in development plans to be granted planning permission.
ensure strong policies on environment and biodiversity and to make sure that national developments fulfill climate and biodiversity criteria.
fund Local Place Plans and to relook at community rights of appeal with regard to applications that do not accord with adopted Local Place Plans
resource planning departments adequately
set up a transition team to help institutionalise transition to a well-being economy
set up an enquiry into how a human right to a healthy environment (which is a proposed part of the new Human Rights Bill, might be delivered in planning.