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26/06/13 14:58

Consultation puts Edinburgh’s economic growth at forefront

Planning Minister meets business sector to discuss planning system

Proposed changes to Scotland’s planning system will put a greater emphasis on economic benefits, Planning Minister Derek Mackay will tell key members of Scotland’s business community in Edinburgh this week.

Mr Mackay will meet with some of Edinburgh’s business leaders during a planning stakeholder event tonight and a breakfast planning seminar tomorrow.

During the events the Planning Minister will discuss the Scottish Government’s public consultation on Scotland’s third National Planning Framework (NPF3) and a revised Scottish Planning Policy.

Mr Mackay will outline how proposed changes to the planning system will place a greater weight on economic inputs. This includes the creation of new jobs as well as recognising and responding to economic conditions.

Attendees will include representatives from AES Wind, D A Thomson Associates, EE, Archial Architects, European Forest Resources Group, Eurowind Ltd, Infinis, Scottish Renewables, and Vattenfall.

Planning Minister Derek Mackay said:

“The Scottish Government is focussed on sustainable economic growth, and as Planning Minister I am intent on delivering a planning system for Edinburgh that is enabling this objective.

“This is about the culture and practice of planning on the ground. An explicit emphasis on economic impact in planning deliberations is both necessary and timely. I believe we are making good progress.

“During the consultation process I have been meeting with local authorities, developers, environmental groups and members of the public. By meeting with key players from Edinburgh’s business community I will gain further feedback on the consultation which will assist in our drive to push forward sustainable economic growth.

“By providing a clear vision, the proposals will be used to guide future development that will help Scotland achieve its ambitious climate change targets, ensure we have resilient national infrastructure and also increase protection for our country’s most environmentally important areas.”

David Bell, Head of Planning for Jones Lang LaSalle in Scotland said,

“Jones Lang LaSalle is delighted to be participating in the breakfast seminar on 27 June and welcomes the Government’s commitment to ensuring that economic considerations are given more weight in planning determinations.

“I consider this will make an important contribution to attaining more sustainable economic growth. It is important that the planning system gives the right level of attention to economic benefits, whilst still ensuring that environmental safeguards are in place.

“This is a real opportunity to amend national planning policy to secure these objectives”.

Richard Slipper, Director – Planning Development and Regeneration at GVA:

“The Scottish Government has shown the planning and development sector an open door for dialogue. Events, such as the one arranged by MHP Communications, provide the opportunity for business to engage directly with the Minister and have questions answered on these important reforms of Scotland’s planning system.

“Businesses and the wider community need a planning system that can deliver growth and development in a fair and efficient way for everyone affected. This type of event provides a valuable insight and the opportunity to share experience and ideas.”

The third National Planning Framework (NPF3) and draft Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) will influence development plans across Scotland and guide future planning decisions on a range of sectors including transport, energy and infrastructure.

These draft proposals are supported by on-going measures to improve the overall performance of the planning system, ensuring smoother delivery and a stronger focus on economic recovery.

Plans for Edinburgh and the Lothians include recognising the Firth of Forth as a key economic asset, as well as continuing strong demand for growth in the Edinburgh area.

Notes to editors

The consultation is on-going until July 23, consultation documents are available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/planning/NPF3-SPP-Review