With the population growing and the wealth gap widening every day, Scotland needs a reformed planning system to promote truly affordable housing.
The planning system is stacked against local communities.
The Scottish Government currently has the power to ‘overturn’ planning decisions by Edinburgh’s directly elected councillors. We’ve seen this power in action when in 2012, the government granted permission to develop on Canonmills’ Bridge, despite local objection.
The Scottish Lib Dems’ Housing Spokesperson Caron Lindsay said “Local communities quite rightly feel that the current system is stacked against them – the key is changing it for the better so that we get better decisions in the first place resulting in the number of appeals being significantly reduced."
"It is essential that the Scottish Government ensure communities have a genuine voice in the planning appeals system and that power is restored to the hands of local communities, elected members, councils and planning authorities. For example, central government officials shouldn't be allowed to overturn decisions that have been reasonably made by local planning committees."
The Liberal Democrats are working in parliament.
The Scottish Parliament Lib Dem group have submitted multiple amendments to the Planning (Scotland) Bill currently going through Holyrood which they feel would give local communities a greater say in local developments. This includes a successful amendment that forces developers to consider derelict brownfield sites in North East Edinburgh before expanding onto our green belt. You can see these amendments at
But how will this help increase high-quality social housing?
Communities across Leith, Broughton, Bonnington and Abbeyhill have made it clear we need more high-quality housing that promotes social good. Amending the planning bill would mean Councils across Scotland would be able to act on those concerns, and encourage social-rent developments where needed.