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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Meeting of the Parliament 14 May 2019

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Global Climate Emergency, Sheep Farming, The Place Principle, Committee Announcement, Decision Time, Home-Start Glenrothes 21st Anniversary


Committee Announcement

The next item of business is a committee announcement. I call Graham Simpson, the convener of the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee.


Thank you, Presiding Officer, for the chance to make a short statement on behalf of the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee. The committee hides in the shadows somewhat, but we look at every piece of legislation, so we thought that we would shout about our work on the Planning (Scotland) Bill—specifically our report on the bill following stage 2.

There has been huge interest in the bill among members from across the chamber: 24 members from all parties lodged amendments at stage 2. Something remarkable happened at stage 2: Alex Cole-Hamilton got an amendment passed.

Some of the amendments revised delegated powers that were already in the bill and some added entirely new ones. There are more than 40 new and revised powers in the bill. We had no recommendations to make on many of them, but we welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to lodge a number of amendments at stage 3 to seek to rectify some of the committee’s concerns.

The committee’s report sets out various matters on which, we think, the Government should consider lodging amendments at stage 3. A new section has added a provision under which the use of a property for short-term holiday lets will require planning permission. The definition of the phrase “providing short-term holiday lets” is currently covered only in guidance, so the committee has called for that definition to be included in the bill, or to be specified by regulations that would be subject to affirmative procedure.

I lodged a fair number of amendments, one of which was to allow for what is known as land-value capture in newly created masterplan consent areas. I praise the committee lawyer who nervously had to tell me that there might be one or two issues with that, with which the committee agreed unanimously.

New section 14E(2) of the bill says that

“before determining an application for planning permission where the development involves any land on which there is a music venue, the planning authority must consult the Music Venues Trust”.

The committee has asked the Scottish Government to check with the trust that it is okay with that.

I thank the committee members for their work, and I thank the committee clerks and lawyers. Members who lodged amendments at stage 2 will have received a copy of the report. However, I urge all members to read the report as we head towards stage 3, which will be in mid-June. I commend the report to the Parliament.