SNP back big developers over communities on planning reform

The SNP has voted against proposals to give communities the right to appeal planning decisions.

Scottish Labour amendments to the Planning Bill attempted to ‘level the playing field’ and make the planning system fairer.

If passed, a new community right of appeal would have been introduced along with restrictions on developer appeals.

Scottish Labour argue this would improve public confidence in the planning system and address concerns that ‘lip service’ is paid to communities.

But the SNP MSPs on the Local Government and Communities Committee yesterday (Wednesday) voted against the proposals to reform the planning appeal system, choosing instead to side with developers.

Lesley Laird MP said: “This is deeply disappointing decision. The committee had a vital opportunity to level the playing field by giving communities equal rights of appeal and they’ve wasted it.

“Just look at Aberdour. There’s a prime example of a community being locked in perpetual battle with developers and – despite the Scottish Reporters’ decision on Campion Homes this week – the end is still nowhere in sight for them. Developers just dig in and keep coming back for more.

“Scottish Labour had listened to communities and believe in upholding democracy which is why we brought forward this amendment. We haven’t given up and we will continue to work with communities to bring back these proposals at the next stage of the Bill.

“Let’s hope the SNP listen next time.”