Scottish Government eyes streamlining country’s planning processes

(Image credit: Achinthamb, Shutterstock)

THE Scottish Government has launched a new consultation in a bid to ‘streamline’ the country’s planning process.

Holyrood said the new consultation proposes changes that would help boost the economy and aid the country in meeting its net zero ambitions.

Proposals include relaxing the need to seek planning permission for electric vehicle charging infrastructure in car parks or filling stations, and allowing a wider variety of changes of use for premises in city, town, and local centres to promote more ‘rapid’ adaptation to changing circumstances.

Further to this, is proposals for permitting conversion of buildings to small workspaces to support local innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as restaurants being able to utilise outdoor seating without a planning application.

As part of its Permitted Development Rights review, the Scottish Government is consulting on measures that would save applicants the time and expense of applying for planning permission for some types of development.

Planning minister, Tom Arthur, said, “The pandemic has highlighted that use of outdoor spaces can help bolster our hospitality industry and make city, town and local centres feel more welcoming and vibrant. I encourage local businesses and communities to submit their views on these proposals to relax planning requirements.

“Extending permitted development rights to make changes in use easier will help to deliver our entrepreneurship ambitions by creating enterprising communities, as set out in the national strategy for economic transformation.

“Proposals to support the extension of the charging network reflect the significant growth in electric vehicle ownership forecasted for the coming years and the vital role of electric vehicle owners in helping Scotland reach net zero by 2045.”