Skip to main content

Language: English / GĂ idhlig


Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-09524
Asked by: Sarah Boyack, Lothian, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 30 June 2022


To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether the introduction in 2014 of the prior notification process for hill tracks constructed for agriculture or forestry succeeded in preventing harmful environmental impacts.

Current status: Answered by Tom Arthur on 12 July 2022


The prior notification and approval process introduced in 2014 enables planning authorities to consider the impacts of agricultural and forestry private ways (sometimes referred to as hill tracks) on the environment and local amenity. Through this process, the planning authority can require changes to the design, manner of construction and route of a proposed private way to minimise potentially harmful impacts. 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.