Planning and Architecture Division's 2017-18 Business Plan sets out our key business priorities and how we will work to support the Scottish Government's 2017-18 Programme for Government and deliver our vision for a world class planning system to support inclusive economic growth and create great places for people and communities.
This In Year Review is designed to take stock of how we have progressed delivery of that plan up to November 2017 and to highlight the key achievements, milestones and priorities for the remainder of the reporting year. It also includes information about corporate performance:
In delivering Scottish Ministers' statutory responsibilities and policies we have:
- Led in transposing the requirements of the cross-cutting EU Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) through a dedicated delivery team jointly resourced by 8 separate SG partners on a fixed term basis. The team successfully laid nine sets of legislation in the Scottish Parliament which came into effect by the EU transposition deadline of 16 May 2017. As part of the transposition the EIA Planning Guidance was updated.
- Approved two strategic Development Plans; Clydeplan for the Glasgow City Region and Tayplan for the Dundee City Region. We also enabled the following local development plans to be adopted by Planning authorities: South Ayrshire Local Development Plan, Orkney Local Development Plan, Fife Local Development Plan, Midlothian Local Development Plan and Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan. We have also continued to provide input to a consistently high volume of development plan casework.
- Provided advice to colleagues across the Scottish Government on the implementation in practice of the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005.
- Undertaken statutory Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) across a range of policy areas including for Air Departure Tax, the Planning Bill, and the Climate Change Bill.
- Delivered decisions on planning/historic environment casework by processing 13 notified applications of which 62% were taken within 28 days and 77% within 2 months by end September 2017.
- Delivered decisions on planning/historic environment applications and appeals by processing 12 cases, of which 25% were decided within 2 months and 58% within 3 months, on receipt of report from DPEA by end September 2017.
- Delivered legislative updates to the eDevelopment.scot service for both Planning and Building Standards.
- Provided regulatory advice to meeting 2030 Aquaculture Vision.
To manage delivery of the 2017 Programme for Government commitments for Planning reform to unlock opportunities for development and housing supply, support inclusive growth and infrastructure investment we:
- Are restructuring planning fees to help planning authorities make better use of resources. As a first step, in May 2017 we introduced regulations to increase the maximum planning application fee across the majority of development types.
- Are making targeted changes to development management procedures including:
- exploring opportunities to increase permitted development rights (PDR), where appropriate. We have extended PDR for Digital infrastructure and are embarking on a sustainability appraisal on further extensions to PDR in this and other areas such as agricultural development, micro-renewables and town centre uses.
- Published the Analysis of Responses to the Planning Review Consultation in June 2017.
- Published the Planning Bill Position Statement and consulted on the position statement and environmental report.
- Published Analysis of Responses to the Position Statement of responses to the Position Statement and Environmental Report.
- Produced a Working Paper which set out how we envisage the proposed changes to the planning system would work in practice.
- Reconvened the working groups to discuss how planning bill provisions could operate in practice.
- Secured cabinet clearance of the Planning Bill policy paper.
- Delivered the Planning Bill and Accompanying Documents to the Scottish Parliament for pre-introduction checks.
- Published a suite of research to inform proposals for reform including:
- Collaborated with Housing colleagues to develop options for a new approach to planning for housing and calculating housing figures to inform the new development planning process.
- Taken part in internal joint-working on interdependencies of reviews involving regional scale working to improve alignment across Government.
- Began a 6 month secondment to test and pilot proposed new ways of working to improve the future development plan system.
- Offered elected member training grants to each of the 34 Planning authorities. 26 authorities accepted.
- Engaged with Local Authorities and other stakeholders in the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) process to understand barriers to effective utilisation and what improvements to advice and support can be made in the short term.
- Launched a Challenge Fund in September to support the increased delivery of self and custom build homes, to diversify the ways in which we deliver new homes.
- Convened a Digital Task Force as set out in Places, People and Planning – Position Statement and commenced the Discovery phase.
- Are investigating potential opportunities to make planning work better through the use of digital technology through the establishment of the Digital Task Force. The Taskforce brings together technology innovators, Planning professionals and users of the service, and those that can influence change.
- The Taskforce first met in August to agree the remit, and again on 24th October. It is expected to next meet in the new year.
- Early activities have focused on the Discovery phase – this has involved identifying and exploring current opportunities, projects, current and emerging technology that could form part of a digital future of planning and learning from conversations with a wide spectrum of users about their experiences and challenges in the current planning service.
- By the end of the Discovery phase we will have a prioritised set of opportunities for the Taskforce to take forward and carry out a 'deep dive' into during the Inform phase.
- Have initiated the digital discovery phase and working with local authority partners in exploring the possibilities for expansion of the eDevelopment.scot service; including expansion into a full case work system and road construction consents.
- Published the following updates on proposed changes on 29 September:
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 1
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 2
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 3
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 4
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 5
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 6
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 7
- Places, People and Planning: update on proposal 8
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 9
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 10
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 11
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 12
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 13
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 14
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 15
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 16
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 17
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 18
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 19
- Places, people and planning: update on proposal 20
To help deliver the wider implementation of the Programme for Government commitments by providing Planning and other specialist support we have:
- contributed Planning and related policy support to Ministers' response to Brexit
- completed the mapping pilot to support the delivery of at least 50,000 affordable new homes
- provided planning policy support to
To manage delivery of other Ministerial commitments:
- following the development of the Place Standard assessment tool :
- The Place Standard implementation group published a Year 1 evaluation report in May 2017. This estimated that the Place Standard had at reached over 11,000 individuals in Scotland, with application being reported across 22 local authorities
- Were awarded with the RTPI Award for Planning Excellence in the 'Planning for Wellbeing' category.
- Delivered the Place Alliance Event in June and published the Edinburgh Locality Plan pilot.
- Delivered a Place Standard master-class in September 2017 to the World Health Organisation WHO Healthy Cities Network during their visit to Edinburgh. The tool was also used at a City Link festival in Copenhagen in September.
- launched a Green Infrastructure map in September 2017
- launched the Making Places community-led design fund in September
- overseen delivery of training for planning authorities on minerals extraction
- co-ordinated actions arising from the 2017 Agriculture and Planning Summit
- Overseen continued growth in the use of the eDevelopment.scot service – the service continues to be extremely popular across the country, with over 30,000 registered users of the service and some 161,000 submissions made through the ePlanning and eBuildingStandards portals since their respective launches in 2016. Approximately 80% of planning permission applications and around two-thirds of building warrant applications were submitted via the portals in Q4 2016/17.
- organised and presented on NPF3 at the Arctic Circle Assembly, Reykjavik, and hosted study visits involving delegations from Hong Kong and Iceland
- Provided regulatory advice in relation to the programme of research and consultation on unconventional oil and gas (UOG). We have also written to Planning Authorities to confirm that the Planning Direction of 2015 remains in force which means that we will use our planning powers to ensure that UOG applications are considered in line with our position of not supporting UOG
- Supported the RIAS Andrew Doolan Awards Ceremony in November to highlight the world class quality of new design in Scotland
- Hosted the 2017 Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning (SAQP) in November to celebrate the achievements of the Planning system, linking partnership in place
- Hosted the November meeting of Heads of Planning Scotland in November to update on progress of Planning reform including what Planning can do to support Housing delivery and inclusive economic growth
- As part of the Scotland + Venice partnership, we appointed a curatorial team to develop and deliver a project to represent Scotland at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale.
- Worked with Transport Scotland to establish a stakeholder working group to develop guidance on Inclusive Design
We have also published the following guidance and advice notes:
- Planning delivery advice: build to rent
- Proposed electricity generation developments: peat landslide hazard best practice guide
Corporate Performance (as at end October)
- FOI – 13/14 responses were issued on time, including two internal reviews (92%). The late response was due to an administrative oversight.
- PQs – 22/24 responses were issued on time (92%). One of these late responses was outwith the control of our officials
- MACCs – 358/382 responses were issued on time (94%). Fifteen of the late responses were outwith the control of our officials
- Payment Performance 136/136 were issued on time (100%)
Key priorities for the remainder of 2017-18 are:
- Introduce a Planning Bill by the end of 2017 and support progress through the Parliament
- Manage external consultants' progress with the sustainability appraisal into potential extensions to permitted development rights
- Publish PAD Planning Performance Framework for 2016/17 to provide a toolkit of indicators to assess and help improve performance
- Initiate the development of Scotland's Fourth National Planning Framework by publishing the NPF3 monitoring report and establishing a new collaborative approach to NPF4
- Undertake international engagement including the Arctic Circle Forum in Edinburgh (November) and a study visit to Denmark focusing on district heating.
- Complete SPZ pilots and report how the new systems can be applied in practice
- Commission research to explore the relationship between planning and the food environment.
- Sharing of lead practice in development planning.
- Provide feedback to authorities on their Planning Performance Frameworks
- Commission research on monitoring outcomes by end 2017 to help improve performance.
- Finalise updated guidance on compulsory purchase for acquiring authorities to improve understanding of the powers available to them and the processes involved.
- Promote the sharing of best practice and experience among acquiring authorities and wider CPO professionals, including hosting a conference to bring practitioners together in December and publishing a series of case studies.
- Publish a register of all CPO cases considered by Scottish Ministers to promote awareness of where and how compulsory purchase has been used to deliver projects in the public interest
- Identify a programme to support skills development in collaboration with other key stakeholders
- Deliver a suite of further improvements to the eDevelopment.scot service by end of 2017/18 (Developments C – Idox changes, D – General portal changes and E – additional portal updates)
- Completing research into possible expansion of the eDevelopment.scot service including development of a national case handling transformation system; setting out a business case; obtaining Local Authority buy-in; and presenting the findings to the Senior Management Group
- Completion of the Discovery phase by the Digital Taskforce and commencement of the Inform phase by the end of 2017-18; working towards the development of a Digital Strategy for Planning later in 2018
- Host the Student Design Competition in March 2018 underlining our commitment to the Year of Young People.