The places where we live, work and play matter hugely to our health, wellbeing and identity. The planning system plays a crucial part in determining how we get about, whether we breathe clean air, if we can access the services we need, how our green spaces thrive and how sociable our communities are.
But all too often the planning system puts developers’ profits before communities’ needs leading to unsustainable developments, exacerbating inequalities and damaging our environment. Confidence in the planning system is at an all-time low, with a recent survey finding that most people feel they have no influence in planning decisions that impact on their day-to-day lives and environment.
Key to fixing the planning system is meaningful community engagement and equal rights of appeal to help level the playing field between communities and developers. However, the Scottish Government’s proposed new planning legislation doesn’t go nearly far enough, and even risks making matters worse.
Write to your MSPs now to call for their support to strengthen the Planning Bill and make sure it delivers a system that puts communities and the environment first.