CHANGES TO THE SYSTEM FOR NOTIFICATION TO SCOTTISH MINISTERS
8. One of the broad principles underpinning the modernised planning system is that the constraints and requirements that planning imposes should be necessary and proportionate.
9. Historically, planning applications have routinely been notified to Scottish Ministers where one or more specified triggers have been met. Most of those triggers have been matters such as decisions to grant consent being made which are out of accord with development plan and/or national planning policy, or where objections had been lodged by certain government departments or agencies. In practice though, this has led to a high number of applications, many of a very minor nature, being notified to Scottish Ministers even though there was no realistic prospect of Ministers intervening by calling the applications in. Consistently, around 90% of planning applications notified to Scottish Ministers have not subsequently been called in. This has not been an efficient way to operate, adding to the workload of local authorities as well as the Scottish Government, and also adding substantially to applicants' timescales for a decision on their planning applications.
10. For this reason, the Scottish Government is now introducing a more proportionate system for national involvement in planning cases, which retains an appropriate level of national scrutiny in circumstances where the Scottish Government should rightly be involved, but removes from the notification process the vast majority of applications which raise no issues of national interest. This will allow planning authorities to issue their planning decisions without unnecessary delay.