The Scottish Government has published the independent Planning Review Report Empowering Planning to Deliver Great Places. The section which deals most directly with the community empowerment agenda is Chapter 8. pp35-39 It argues that “The evidence shows that the planning system is not yet effective in engaging, let alone empowering, communities”. It recommends:
43. There should be a continuing commitment to early engagement in planning, but practice needs to improve significantly.
44. Communities should be empowered to bring forward their own local place plans, and these should form part of the development plan. [“…this may emerge from community planning as locality plans, or could be driven by land reform or charrettes. … Communities should also go beyond plan preparation and be supported to actively enable their delivery….”]
45. Community councils should be given a statutory right to be consulted on the development plan. [“This right should bring with it a responsibility to demonstrate that the wider community, including young people, have been involved. …”]
46. We are not persuaded that third party rights of appeal should be introduced. […” We believe that using time and resources to focus on improved early engagement would provide much greater benefits”].
47. A working group should be established to identify barriers to greater involvement in planning, taking account of measures contained in the Community Empowerment Act and the Land Reform Act. [“… during this review we saw little evidence that disabled people, young people, minority ethnic groups, or disadvantaged communities are being effectively and routinely involved in the planning system…”].
48. A new statutory right for young people to be consulted on the development plan should be introduced.