PE01518: Meaningful Public Consultation within the Scottish Planning System

Housing Planning

Petitioner: George M Chalmers


Date Lodged: 30 April 2014

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to clearly define, for the sake of good order within the planning system, the criterion which allows developers to ignore or avoid the Town and Country Planning (Hierarchy of Developments) (Scotland) Regulations 2009, with particular regard to Major Development applications.

Petition History:


17 June 2014: The Committee took evidence from George Chalmers. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, Heads of Planning Scotland, Royal Town Planning Institute Scotland, Planning Aid for Scotland, Alison McInnes MSP and Nanette Milne MSP. Link to Official Report 17 June 2014 (589KB pdf)

28 October 2014: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 28 October 2014

13 January 2015: The Committee agreed to close the petition, under Rule 15.7, on the basis that the Scottish Government has responded to the petition and stated that it does not intend to take additional actions on the points made by the petitioner. Link to Official Report 13 January 2015 

Written Submissions:

Is this Scottish Planning Regulation fit for purpose? Not if Aberdeenshire Council’s statement that “the developer could have submitted 18 separate applications for 18 homes if they had so wished” is a legitimate option?

Should applications be considered in isolation? I would suggest not.

The simple solution is for planning authorities to be given the power to consider multiple applications for the same site as one development.

The ambiguous statements by the Scottish Minister for Local Government and Planning “nature of the development” and “it is for the applicant to decide what size of development they wish to apply for” require clarification by the Scottish Government.

What constitutes a “development”?

It looks like that the ink was hardly dry on the Hierarchy of Developments Regulations 2009 before planners and government officials had devised and agreed this scheme to avoid it? It would be interesting to know the substance of the conversation between Scottish Government officials and Aberdeenshire Council planners which gave this scheme the green light?

Marion Chalmers

19:03 on 16 Apr 2014

Planning regulations as they stand favour the developers not those opposing the applications. Then again what would you expect, "Big Business" runs the governments both at Westminster and Holyrood and can exert pressure on local councils. Donald Trump is a prime example of this


22:24 on 15 Apr 2014

It is indicative of how communities are not consulted with regards to planning applications. The planning laws seem to be on the applicants side, rather than the opposition or the community. Councillors try to hide behind red tape and officials but at the end of the day they still have the power to refuse and allow it to be appealed. After all councillors are there to represent the people who elected them but that is all forgotten when an election is over and a candidate returned, after all it's a job, since councillors are now paid as opposed to what it used to be be.

J Sco

16:37 on 02 Apr 2014

This loophole in planning application should be closed to prevent open exploitation by developers which purely for commercial gain.

Brian Mennie

11:47 on 22 Mar 2014

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