Please send me SCA's fortnightly briefing:

< Back to '4th October 2017' briefing

October 4, 2017

No place for communities

Last month saw the launch of The Scottish Alliance for People and Places. SAPP offers an intriguing insight into the mind-set that seems to be prevalent across Scotland’s planning system. Intriguing because while one of the stated aims of SAPP is to have a planning system that ‘empowers and inspires communities’ as well as ‘engaging with communities’, there’s a conspicuous absence of any community representation within its membership. Indeed, it’s not immediately obvious from their website whether anyone else is able to join. So I asked, and this was the not-very-encouraging response.



Thank for your enquiry about the Scottish Alliance for People and Places. SAPP brings together a wide range of organisations from across the planning and placemaking sector in Scotland to articulate a united and compelling vision for a more inclusive, respected, holistic and innovative system of planning.

Many of SAPP’s members are deeply integrated into Scotland’s communities, and we want local people to be involved in the planning system. We want communities to be active participants in the decisions which affect them, rather than being passive recipients of planning decisions.

We are looking to develop a new way of planning and to have a system that is based on constructive, front loaded discussion and on agreement of a shared vision and route map to achieve that vision.

This needs us to move away from engagement being about objecting and people saying what they don’t like about something to giving people the opportunity to set out what they want for their place, and focusing on giving people the right to plan.

This is not about tinkering around the edges and introducing new duties but about turning the system around so that it becomes a new way of public renewal and democratic engagement.

We welcome any members who can sign up to these principles and support them as the bill moves through Parliament.

With best wishes

Scottish Alliance for People and Places