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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-09523
Asked by: Sarah Boyack, Lothian, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 30 June 2022


To ask the Scottish Government what consideration has been given to any environmental impact of hill tracks constructed on peatland under permitted development rights, in light of Policy 33 in the draft fourth National Planning Framework.

Current status: Answered by Tom Arthur on 12 July 2022


The current permitted development rights for agricultural and forestry private ways (sometimes referred to as hill tracks) are subject to a prior notification and approval process, through which the planning authority can require changes to the design, manner of construction and route of a proposed private way to minimise potentially harmful impacts, including on peatland. It is for the relevant planning authority to consider each prior notification application on its individual merits.

It is open to the planning authority to refuse prior approval if they consider such impacts cannot be satisfactorily mitigated. Furthermore, if the proposed development would require an environmental impact assessment, the permitted development rights do not apply.

The Scottish Government is currently carrying out a review of permitted development rights in Scotland. We have committed to consider the permitted development rights for private ways as part of the review programme and we will consult on proposals for change in due course.