Proposals issued on development fines

A consultation has been launched on proposals that will see developers who flout planning rules face fixed fines of up to £5,000.

The intention is to give local authorities more effective ways of dealing with planning breaches while avoiding lengthy and expensive legal action.

Last week, the Scottish Government released details that were trailed in the planning bill but will require secondary legislation.

"Enforcement has a fundamental role in an effective planning system," maintained infrastructure minister Stewart Stevenson.

"Councils are concerned that prosecution is a lengthy and expensive process, with no guarantee of achieving the desired outcome. Fixed penalty notices will offer a tool to deal with those who persistently flout the law."

Under the proposals, developers who fail to comply with an enforcement notice could be served with a £1,000 fixed penalty.

For each breach of a subsequent enforcement notice the fixed penalty notice would be increased by £500, up to a maximum of £5,000.

Those who fail to comply with a breach of condition notice will face a £100 fixed penalty notice. This will rise by £50 for subsequent breaches, up to a maximum level of £300.

Scottish Civic Trust director Terry Levinthal remarked: "If there is a more direct mechanism to ensure compliance, that is good news."

- Planning Enforcement Regulations 2007: Consultation Paper is available at

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