April 27, 2021
A raw nerve
A government Minister, responding at an online hustings to a question about the inequity of the planning system, explained that the reason the third party right of appeal was excluded from the new Planning Act was because the volume house builders and housing associations were against it. Which makes you wonder who’s in charge. At a recent event organised by Planning Democracy on the appeals procedure, with virtually no publicity, 210 people signed up. This is an area of public policy that touches a raw nerve with communities. This blog from PD’s Clare Symonds captures some of that angst.
With the elections coming up there is an opportunity to ask political candidates some difficult questions. We know that housing will be a key election issue, there are already a number of hustings on the topic. To be honest I don’t envy the politicians who will be in the firing line. Housing is without a doubt a difficult topic, we at PD are still getting our heads around it. What is clear is that the problem of housing frequently creates conflict, not just between developers, planners and communities, but even within communities. It can be highly divisive.
A key question to those budding politicians is: Who is benefitting and who is losing out from the way Scotland is trying to address its housing problem?
Is the current system, so heavily reliant on the market and large scale private developers, the best way to provide the housing we need? We don’t think it is. And we are worried that it ignores the roots of conflicts and abandons those who lose out in the process.