Equal rights of appeal in the planning system

The Planning Democracy campaign group has made a petition to the Scottish Parliament on equal rights of appeal in the planning system.

The petition by Clare Symonds on behalf of Planning Democracy calls on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to review the current rights of appeal within planning and other consenting processes which give deemed planning consent, considering the benefits of widening the scope of appeal, and providing an equal right of appeal

They argue that the need for this petition comes from a strong feeling of injustice from people in Scotland who have been affected by the decision to grant planning permission but who have had no right of appeal against the decision. In addition, they state that this sense of injustice is compounded by the fact that an easy and accessible route of appeal is available to developers where there is a decision to refuse planning permission.

Planning Democracy believes this imbalance represents a fundamental injustice in the Scottish planning system which should be resolved.

Reasons are put forward for the differences that Equal Rights of Appeal would make are. Three differences given are:

  • Create a more level playing field for all stakeholders
  • Provide an alternative to Judicial Review
  • Ensure that all proposed development is made in the public interest

Responses are put forward to common arguments made against Equal Rights of Appeal, these arguments being:

  • Some people argue that appeal rights will create delay and extra costs for developers
  • Another concern is that anyone and everyone will object.

They argue that, overall, objections to Equal Rights of Appeal are typically not arguments against the principle but rather how it might work in practice and it is important to develop qualifying criteria. 

Date: 03/09/2014 Date of publication

Author: Planning Democracy, Scottish Parliament Public Petitions Committee

DCP link: This item updates DCP section 5.3

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