Scottish Property Federation welcomes latest planning report as a strong basis for improving Scotland’s planning system

10 Jan 2017

Policy area: Development

The industry body believes Places, people and planning: a consultation on the future of planning in Scotland by Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government and Housing, will provide a strong basis for improving Scotland’s planning system.


The consultation paper sets out twenty proposals for change, aiming to strengthen the planning system while supporting sustainable economic growth throughout the country.


David Melhuish, director of The Scottish Property Federation, believes the report is a step in the right direction for planning services.


He said:


“The launch of the consultation is a welcome step in the direction of giving our planning service a platform for improvement.  The property industry is increasingly reliant on global capital and if we are to drive local economic growth, jobs and investment we must have strong public leadership and an efficient and aspirational planning service.


“The recent set of quarterly statistics published by the Scottish Government demonstrated a notable trend of reducing numbers of major planning determinations that continue to take longer to achieve.  We need the planning system to show strong leadership, support appropriate development and welcome new investment in our built environment.


“The property industry has already said it would be prepared to pay higher fees for a better service.  We would like to see a greater understanding by the public sector however, of the upfront costs the private sector already pays towards delivering the planning service and the risk involved. 


“We agree with the independent review that the service is currently too bogged down in process and procedure and welcome and support a more aspirational and visionary future role for the planning service.”


“The development industry fully supports the aspirations expressed in the consultation paper on co-ordination of investment programmes and working with existing agencies and is keenly interested in seeing the recommendations of the Independent Panel of the need for an Infrastructure Agency and an Infrastructure Fund taken forward.  This should offer the opportunity of greatly improved infrastructure delivery that will unlock development while at the same time retaining the viability of development projects.”


“Infrastructure delivery is a key challenge under the current system and it will be a test of success for the proposals in the consultation paper.”



About Scottish Property Federation

As a membership organisation the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) is the voice of Scotland’s real estate industry.  Established in 2007, SPF represents 185 organisations operating in Scotland.   We include among our members: property investors including major institutional funds, developers, landlords of commercial and residential property, and professional property consultants and advisers.  The SPF works closely with those who advise and decide on public policy in Scotland to ensure that they are aware of the consequences of their decisions for the property industry and wider economy.  

As part of the British Property Federation we also benefit from close links with the leading UK property companies and investors in the UK as well as the BPF's contacts with Westminster.

For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @ScotPropFed