Plans for major changes to the Scottish planning system have been published.
The Scottish Government has set out proposals for revamping the system, which it says, “will support economic growth, delivery of houses and increase community involvement in planning decisions”.
The proposals build on recommendations of an independent review carried out by a panel of experts last year and will pave the way for a planning bill to be brought forward this year.
Changes include zoning more land for housing, promoting self-build and removing the need to apply for planning permission for more types of development. The consultation also seeks views on new rights for communities to produce their own plans for their local area.
The 54-page consultation document ‘Places, people and planning‘ contains 20 proposals, the last of which is: ‘Innovation, designing for the future and the digital transformation of the planning service’.
It says: “There are many benefits to be gained from digitally enabling transformation of our public services.
“We have already achieved much through the success of our eDevelopment programme over the past decade. It has led to the use of online applications and redesigning business practices around the user needs.
“However, in planning we are only now coming into line with the minimum capability of current and developing technology, and have yet to realise the full potential of the fast-moving information age.”