Question reference: S6W-16087
- Asked by: Foysol Choudhury, MSP for Lothian, Scottish Labour
- Date lodged: 22 March 2023
Current status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 6 April 2023
To ask the Scottish Government what routes it has made available for local residents to appeal planning application decisions made by its reporters, in cases where they cannot afford the legal fees and are not entitled to legal aid.
Once planning permission has been granted for a development, whether by the relevant planning authority or, as the case may be, on appeal to the Scottish Ministers, there is no further opportunity for third parties to challenge the decision under planning legislation.
The Scottish planning system is plan-led, with a focus on involving all interests as early and effectively as possible. There are multiple opportunities for local communities to get involved during both the plan-making and planning application stages of the planning and development process.
Furthermore, our ongoing planning reform programme has sought to further strengthen engagement and participation, including the introduction of Local Place Plans and improvements to statutory Pre-Application Consultation (PAC). These reforms have been geared towards front-loading community participation in planning rather than providing opportunity for conflict towards the end.
It is open to any person to seek judicial review of any decision through the Scottish Courts. It is also open to that person, if they are not entitled to legal aid, to seek a protected expenses order from the Courts. The purpose of such an order is to redress the potential imbalance of financial resources between parties in relation to funding litigation by limiting the liability to the applicant in paying costs if their case is unsuccessful.