MacKay Hannah

Scotland's New Planning Act: The Act, it's Consequences and Next Steps Explained

Tue 3rd Sep 2019

, Royal Scots Club

SUPPORTERS All Supporters

OVERVIEW View Conference Agenda

The Scottish Government's new Planning Act for Scotland aimed to ..."change planning's operation and its reputation from that of a regulator to a positive and active enabler of good quality development...". This conference explains whether it has been successful, the content and implications of the new Act and what you need to know about how the Act will affect planning and development in Scotland.

The Planning Act is expected to complete its Parliamentary process to become law in the first half of 2019 and this conference is timed to reflect upon the substance and implications of the new Act. It will examine the content of the new planning laws, explaining how they will change the planning process and system, and will outline the implications of those changes for planners, developers, communities and the wider economy.

Specifically the intention of the new legislation is to:

  • Focus on delivery of development
  • Strengthen community involvement in devleopment decisions
  • Enable strategic planning to drive infrastructure cevelopment, especially housing
  • Simplify planning so that accountability and trust in decision -making is heightened

Will the Act deliver on these objectives? With over 230 changes to the draft Bill before it reached Stage 3 of Parliamentary consideration, its final shape is still far from certain. The consequences of the Bill once it becomes an Act will already be wide reaching for planners with a substantial number of new burdens placed upon the planning system. Without additional funding to support new duties how will the planning system cope with its new obligations?

This conference will assess how the new Planning Act impacts on the planning system and will detail its consequences for all parties to the planning process.

Benefits of Attending

  • Hear from experts in the field about the intended aims of the new Act and examine how it shapes up in trying to achieve those
  • Examine how the system - incorporating a National Planning Framework, Local Development Plans and the right to develop community plans - stands up to the aim of delivering a faster, smarter, more inclusive and fairer planning process and planning outcomes 
  • Get to grips with the implications for developers
  • Assess the prospects for NPF4, its relationship to local planning and which major strategic projects should be included
  • Discuss what the impact of the new approach to the planning application process will mean for all those involved in that process
  • Understand more about how it is intended to resource the planning system and its performance
  • Learn about the development of a fees structure intended to properly reflect the cost of the planning process and hear what's next for infrastructure levies
  • Find out what's not in the Act but will impact upon how the new planning system functions - both in the wider Planning Review and in terms of issues remaining to be clarified beyond the Act
  • An opportunity to learn from the experts and network with peers, getting to know and meet new people working in planning

Who Should Attend

This conference will be relevant for anyone involved in the planning process as applicants, regulators, community interest groups, promoters of economic development & growth, and participants in the strategic planning, development & placemaking processes.

This includes planners, planning committee members, developers, housebuilders, community representatives, lawyers with planning specialisms, architects & designers, planning advisors, planning academics and - more generally - all public sector bodies with planning interests and responsibilities, private companies with engagement in the planning system, strategic bodies with an interest in spatial planning (such as transport bodies and companies), third & community sector organisations, and agencies and departments supporting economic development and inclusive growth.


John McNairney

Chief Planner, Scottish Government

Petra Biberbach

Chief Executive, PAS

Craig McLaren

National Director, Royal Town Planning Institute Scotland

Stefano Smith FRTPI

Director, Stefano Smith Planning

Donald Anderson

Director, Playfair Scotland

Irene Beautyman

Planning for Place Programme Manager, Improvement Service

Euan Hutchison

Natural Power

Cllr Neil Gardiner

Convener - Planning Committee, City of Edinburgh Council

Christina Cox

Planning and Building Standards Manager, Stirling Council

Karen Hamilton

Partner, Brodies LLP

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Add to Outlook

The conference had a wide range of speakers covering different aspects of likely new planning legislative procedures. I took something from all the speakers. It was a very interesting conference - both beneficial and informative. All speakers spoke well and contributed to a whole range of matters from different perspectives with their specific fields of expertise. My main interests were presented and debated well.

Charles Johnston, Scottish Borders Council,
Delegate at Planning in Scotland Conference 2017