‘Give people power over planning’ – The Scotsman

A SCOTTISH think-tank has called for powers over planning and housing to be devolved to local communities.

Reform Scotland said over-centralisation of these issues had failed to meet the needs and wishes of local people, and had pushed up house prices.

The “disincentive” for councils having to finance additional services such as new roads and schools for developments was also cited as a problem.

The report, Planning Power, said that under “the current system of financing local government, councils found they did not gain sufficient financial benefit from allowing new development to make it worth their while.”

A lack of accountability of developers to local residents “only encourages ‘nimbyism’ – the not-in-my-back-ayard attitude” according to the paper.

Scotland’s community councils should be handed more powers over planning and housing, the authors said. 

The report said: “This greater financial autonomy would be particularly beneficial to the planning system. Instead of costing money, it would mean that new developments would bring extra revenue to local authorities outweighing the cost of providing additional public services.”