MSP Alex Rowley has called on the Scottish Government to address failings to ‘plan for people’ in the building of major housing developments such as Duloch and West Dunfermline.
Responding to the Scottish Government’s review of a planning consultation, Mr Rowley, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, called for more transparency around financial arrangements and profits being made from new developments and for a greater input on the impact they have on public services such as schools, medical centres and youth facilities.
“Councils are under pressure to make more and more land available for new houses whilst housing developers are less and less willing to make a contribution to the infrastructure required to sit alongside a new housing development,” Mr Rowley said.
“It is not sustainable to keep building houses and ignoring the demand placed on schools, medical centres and so on. Either the government need to make the resources available or they have to force the developers to make more of a contribution, either way the system must be able to accommodate the needs of communities for education, health and social wellbeing.
“Development planning is always made to be complex and complicated, it does not have to be and it should not be. More transparency sitting alongside a recognition that you must plan for people should be at the heart of any new policy and that is what I have argued for this review.”
The public had the opportunity to comment on major changes proposed to the planning system but the consultation is now closed and the Scottish Government are expected to put forward a draft Planning Bill in the coming months.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Our consultation paper, Places, People and Planning set out a broad package of proposals for change, building on the recommendations of an independent review panel. This includes looking at issues around increased community involvement, infrastructure provision and development viability.
“The consultation has just closed and we have been delighted with the level of engagement from right across Scotland, from people who are passionate about making our planning system work for everyone.”