Who we are and what we do
Planning and Architecture Division (PAD) currently work across the portfolios of Communities, Social Security and Equalities (reporting principally to the Minister for Local Government and Housing), and Culture, Tourism and External Affairs. PAD provides core funding to the Non Departmental Public Body, Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS), and the charity PAS who work with communities across Scotland to support engagement in the planning system. We work across the Scottish Government and with a wide range of partners and stakeholders.
Scotland needs a world class planning system to support inclusive economic growth and create great places for people and communities. We are currently leading a major programme of reform to make planning more innovative and creative, leading change and delivering good quality development contributing to the National Outcomes through achieving the four key planning outcomes:
- A successful sustainable place – supporting economic growth, regeneration and the creation of well-designed places.
- A low carbon place - reducing our carbon emissions and adapting to climate change.
- A natural resilient place – helping to protect and enhance our natural cultural assets and facilitating their sustainable use.
- A connected place – supporting better transport and digital connectivity.
These underpin the Strategic Objectives to help make Scotland Wealthier and Fairer, Smarter, Healthier, Safer and Stronger, and Greener and are central to the aspirations and commitments set out in our three key policy statements:
- Scotland's Third National Planning Framework
- Scottish Planning Policy
- Creating Places
Fom April 2018 to March 2019, we will focus on delivering a significant programme of Planning Reform including the Planning (Scotland) Bill, developing a new National Planning Framework (NPF) and Scottish Planning Policy (SPP), transforming Digital Planning services and reforming Compulsory Purchase Orders while continuing to lead the delivery of Scottish Ministers' statutory responsibilities and policies for the operation of the Planning system and development and use of land.
Our key business priorities
We will lead the delivery of the following Scottish Ministers' statutory responsibilities and policies by:
- Achieving the four key planning outcomes for the operation of the Planning system and development and use of land through implementing Scotland's NPF and SPP.
- Delivering efficient and effective decisions on Planning & Historic Environment casework within statutory deadlines and targets.
- Supporting Ministerial consideration of Local Development Plans and Strategic Development Plans across Scotland.
- Undertaking cost-effective in-house Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to gauge the likely impact on the environment of qualifying government plans, programmes and strategies.
- Continuing to progress legislation to address operational deficiencies in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), SEA, Extractive Waste, and Hazardous Substances legislation as well as feeding into the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Framework considerations in preparation for Brexit.
- Sponsorship and governance of A&DS, which aims to promote the benefit and value of good architecture and well-designed places.
We will manage the delivery of the 2018 Programme for Government commitments for Planning Reform to support inclusive growth and investment by:
- Continuing to progress the programme of Planning reform to build on, strengthen, and enhance the performance of the planning system, including progressing the Planning (Scotland) Bill through Parliament and thereafter progressing a subsequent programme of secondary legislation and improved guidance and advice with four key outcomes by:
- Establishing a stronger, more collaborative, and delivery-focused system of development plans.
- Improving the delivery and quality of development.
- Empowering people to play an active role in shaping the future of their places and broadening the range of people who are involved in Planning.
- Increasing resources for the planning system, linked to improvements in service delivery and a stronger approach to performance management.
- Following legislation, launching early engagement on Scotland's Fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4), incorporating SPP and bringing together our policies and strategies to form a long-term spatial plan for Scotland. Our aim is to achieve this through a programme of co-production with a particular focus on regional scale collaboration on development and infrastructure priorities.
- Publishing the Digital Strategy for Planning in November 2018, which will set out how we intend to deliver our vision of a world leading digital planning service in Scotland. It will identify key projects, partners, costs and benefits of digitally transforming the planning system. Following publication we will move into the Implementation phase of work to deliver key transformative projects.
- Pursuing and encouraging the use of new powers to restrict the overprovision of betting shops and payday lenders on high streets to avoid their negative impact on the wellbeing of communities.
- Exploring how planning can support active and healthier lifestyles to help people live longer and healthier lives through research, potential regulatory measures and good practice.
- Delivering our programme of reform of Compulsory Purchase Orders to regenerate communities by bringing vacant and derelict land into use and delivering essential infrastructure.
- Diversifying how we can deliver homes, expanding the options available and providing more flexibility for homeowners and the construction industry including offering financial support and advice to help expand the self and custom-build homes sector.
- Supporting local authorities to explore different uses of Simplified Planning Zones in a range of settings to support more effective delivery through zoning of land and frontloading of consents.
- Exploring the potential environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with extending Permitted Development Rights and consulting on the prioritisation and development of legislative proposals.
- Taking forward a programme of work on infrastructure delivery, including participation in the Infrastructure Investment Board and making connections across government on infrastructure investment, and by convening an Infrastructure Delivery Group involving external delivery partners.
We will contribute to the implementation of wider Programme for Government commitments by providing Planning and other specialist support to help:
- Support the continued delivery of at least 50,000 affordable new homes over the lifetime of this Parliament, informed by the More Homes approach and Strategic Housing Investment Plans.
- Improve the life experience and life chances of our children and young people to help them take advantage of tomorrow's opportunities. This includes directly supporting the Year of Young People through events such as the Venice Biennale, the Young Placemakers programme, extending Bridging the Gap and other initiatives designed to include young people in the development of policy on planning and place.
- Map major developments and growth areas across Scotland.
- Build future-proofed, high quality digital public services, exploring opportunities through working across boundaries to deliver services customers want to engage with, including working with the Digital Task Force to develop a Digital Planning service which is centred on users, delivering an innovative, ambitious and collaborative model which complements other digital agendas, achieves value for money and helps deliver planning reform priorities and benefits.
- Ensure the review of NPF helps to deliver Scotland's Climate Change Plan and Climate Change Bill by reducing emissions in line with short-term and long-term targets, as well as supporting the development of Scotland's Energy Strategy and the delivery of Scotland's Energy Efficiency Programme.
- Inform evidence-based decisions about unconventional extraction of oil and gas.
- Support the transport sector, including the review of the National Transport Strategy and through the aligned preparation of NPF4 and Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) and continue to work with transport sector to ensure that transport plays its full part in creating a sustainable economy.
- Support Scotland's aquaculture industry deliver growth targets by 2030 while protecting our marine environment, such as providing specialist input to the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group and Alternative Consenting Regime working groups.
- Enhance Scotland's reputation on the world stage through promoting Scotland as a leader in planning, architecture, and the design of great places, including effective collaboration with our partners, showcasing what we do, and participation in events such as the Vienna Architecture Biennale and the Arctic Forum.
We will manage the delivery of the following Ministerial commitments:
- More effective engagement between the Farming and Planning sectors to support 'a working countryside' and highlight the need to promote the benefits of rural housing.
- Continuing to work with transport, enterprise and other policy areas to co-ordinate strategic planning with wider policy and governance arrangements through the inter-dependencies group.
- Taking stock of the impact of Creating Places to maximise the opportunities design can play in delivering better health, environmental targets, inward investment, and raising Scotland's international profile across the globe.
- Implementing the Place Standard and other community-led design projects and design events, including grants for charrettes to help develop places which are designed in collaboration and meet everyone's needs. This includes reviewing the impact of the Place Standard and its contribution to wider Programme for Government priorities including commitments to:
- deliver services fit for the future
- deliver better public health
- ensure Scotland is the best place in the world to be cared for and be healthy
- empowering our communities
- Continuing our programme of improvement to unlock development through Chief Planner brokerage, 'Activating Sites' initiative, co-ordinating the Infrastructure Delivery Group and progressing infrastructure delivery work streams in collaboration with Scottish Futures Trust.
- Promoting excellence in Planning and Design by hosting and contributing to events and awards such as the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning, the RIAS Doolan Award & Client Award, and the Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards.
- Continuing to offer high quality and innovative front-line digital public services through provision of the eDevelopment portal. Providing a central shared service for ePlanning and eBuilding Standards across Scotland, with a Support Desk, improvement programme and transition plan to align with digital transformation priorities as set out in the Digital Strategy.
- Investigate, through a Civtech challenge, how we can use technology to engage those who are currently not engaged in the planning system including young people, and those from a broader range of socio-economic demographics.
- Sponsorship and governance of the charity PAS, who provide a unique planning advisory and support service for communities and less heard groups across Scotland to support participation in Planning and place-making.
- Supporting the Ministerial working group on Gypsy / Travellers.
- Continuing to develop lead practice and advise on new approaches to development planning through pilots and sharing of good practice.
- Achieving Freedom of Information and Environmental Information targets to support our reputation as an open and accessible government for Scotland.
We will review our Business Plan priorities throughout the year, monitoring progress via our Work Plan, including conducting an in year review and reporting progress in an in year review and annual report.
Staffing and resourcing
The Division has a combination of professional, technical, and generalist staff with a current FTE of 67 and is organised into four teams:
- Architecture and Place are responsible for sponsorship of Architecture & Design Scotland, Place-making, Planning input on Housing delivery, community engagement including grant provision to PAS and modernising the use of Compulsory Orders.
- Digital Planning are responsible for the operation of the existing online Digital Planning shared service, supporting the Digital Task Force established to provide strategic-level direction on how best to create a world class digital planning service, and delivering an ambitious programme of service expansion.
- Planning Performance are responsible for delivering the Planning Bill, wider Planning legislation and development management, Ministerial casework, a brokerage role for some key developments, and improving the performance of the planning system.
- Spatial Planning and Environment are responsible for Scotland's National Planning Framework and the Scottish Planning Policy, Development Planning, environment and natural resources, and technical support for environmental assessment.
These teams are supported by a Business Team who provide business management and wider administrative services across the Division.
The 2018-19 Budget Bill allocated £4,755, 000 to Planning Development, including Total Operating Costs (TOC) for staff and other running costs. An additional £500,000 of Capital funding has been allocated to support the expansion of Digital Planning services.
In addition, the Division also sponsor the NDPB Architecture and Design Scotland who promote the benefit and value of good architecture and well-designed places. £1,390,000 has been allocated to meet their core costs.
Our 2018-19 Workforce Plan is mainly funded through TOC, although some staff costs in our Digital Planning Team are charged to our capital budget for those posts engaged in IT development work.
How we work
We will continue to act as an exemplar of Scottish Government's SG2020 Vision through:
- Openness –being clear about our role and our expectations, accessible and engaged, and valuing diversity.
- Capability – demonstrating leadership and competence, providing a first class service to Ministers and communities and being accountable for what we do.
- Responsive – being ambitious, focusing on priorities, working flexibly and innovatively, and creating the conditions to maximise the impact of our work.
We are committed to building the capacity of our people to create an environment and foster a culture which helps make our workplace a place where our people want to be. We will promote fairness, wellbeing, and help our people to thrive and succeed in alignment with the People Strategy.
While we will continue to work flexibly and creatively across the Scottish Government to support collaboration and sharing of resources across business areas, our people and resources will be focused on our key business priorities. Any work undertaken outside these key priorities will be cleared in advance by the Chief Planner to ensure that we continue to provide high quality but proportionate support for wider Scottish Government priorities.