Planning Procedures and COVID-19: Scottish Chief Planner letter

A letter has been issued by Chief Planner on planning procedures and COVID 19.

With regard to pre-application consultation with communities the letter confirms that regulations require pre-application consultation on major and national developments to include at least one public event, which currently cannot take place as a public gathering.  The letter confirms that the Scottish Government intend to bring forward regulations which will, for this emergency period, suspend this requirement. The letter stresses that this provision does not reduce the Government’s commitment to early engagement in relation to major development proposals. It does reflect the reality that face-to-face contact must be avoided for now and for a temporary period going forward.  The Sottish Government will expect prospective applicants to replace this requirement for a physical, face-to-face public event with an alternative, online version so that local people can still be engaged and have an opportunity to have an influence on proposals that affect them.  In consultation with stakeholders, guidance on expectations and good practice for online engagement will be produced, which may be supplemented through conversations between applicants and planning authorities about appropriate steps. This is a temporary change as the Scottish Government have committed within the planning reform programme to enhance community engagement in planning; including improvements to the pre-application process, such as the introduction of a mandatory second public event.  That commitment remains and they will continue to make progress on this for future implementation.

Author: Scottish Government

Date: 3/4/2020 Date of publication

This item updates DCP section 5.1

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