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Government needs to integrate strategic transport and land use planning

Published 02 December 2015 by Colin Howden

Transform Scotland have responded to the Scottish Government’s review of the planning system. In our response we call for greater integration between land use planning and transport planning.

Colin Howden, director of Transform Scotland, said:

“It is impossible to expect good integration between development planning for the cities with transport planning for these same areas unless and until there is better integration between these functions, both in terms of geographical coverage and in terms of the powers that they hold. However, the current system of transport planning provides only limited linkage with strategic land use planning.

“We would welcome the consideration of the merits of a move to city-region transport planning authorities, covering the same geographical areas as the Strategic Development Planning Authorities, and perhaps even involving a merger with the SDPAs.”

Transform Scotland have also called for improved monitoring of planning decisions against Scottish Government policies. Colin Howden said:

“While the Scottish Government has many fine policies in place, we see little being done to monitor whether decisions taken by planning authorities are in line with the policies set out in these documents. In particular, we would highlight the continued consenting by planning authorities of new car-dependent housing and vehicle-centric street designs.

“The failure to adequately monitor whether planning authorities’ decisions meets the principles set out in these policy documents brings the planning system further into disrepute. We consider that there is little point in the Scottish Government setting out well-meaning policy principles in guidance documents if these are then flagrantly ignored by planning authorities.”

Transform Scotland’s response is available for download.