The links between the third National Planning Framework (NPF) and other key national policies such as community regeneration need to be clearer according to a report issued today by the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee.
In welcoming the NPF and the wide-ranging consultation which had taken place, the Committee highlighted the need to clearly set out how the planning system could help and support a wide range of other key policies such as preventative spending.
The Committee’s report also recommends that successor planning frameworks should involve the Scottish Parliament at an earlier stage in order to help shape the criteria and type of national developments needed for Scotland in the years to come.
In addition the report highlights the failure of most local authorities to ensure they have an up to date local development plan in place, as required by law. This impedes the delivery of a nationally coherent planning system.
Committee Convener, Kevin Stewart MSP said:
“We are encouraged the time was taken by the Scottish Government to engage in a wide ranging consultation with ordinary members of the public up and down the country in a real and meaningful way leading to the production of a timely draft National Planning Framework. However the efficacy of the planning system is undermined by a number of local authorities who are in breach of their statutory duties to have local development plans in place.
“Our Committee feels that the effectiveness of the National Planning Framework could be enhanced by involving the Scottish Parliament at the initial stages, especially in determining the criteria for the types of national developments Scotland requires. In addition we are looking for full integration of community and land use planning. Local authorities, the Improvement Service and the National Community Planning Group will be key in ensuring that this does indeed take place.”
The draft third National Planning Framework (NPF) was laid in Parliament on 14 January.
Four Committees scrutinised the NPF for issues within their portfolios. In addition to the Local Government and Regeneration Committee, the others were Economy, Environment and Tourism, Infrastructure and Capital Investment and Rural Affairs and Climate Change Committee.