Cllr MacLaren supports community appeals to planning applications

“Sometimes it feels like the planning system is biased against local communities so having third party (community) rights to appeal planning decisions would help”, said Councillor Kenny MacLaren (SNP – Paisley Northwest), commenting on a decision by the Communities, Housing and Planning board to write to the Scottish Government to request it reviews its position on the community right to appeal planning applications.

The council board responsible for Planning was asked to note that the new Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 received Royal Assent on 25th July 2019. This means new planning legislation will be coming into place. However, missing from the legislation is the right for communities to appeal planning decisions. Currently only developers have this right. The council backed an amendment which requests the Scottish Government look at this issue again and find a way to allow communities to have the same rights as developers, this could be easily achieved through supplementary legislation.

Councillor Kenny MacLaren added:

“It’s important that Planning Boards make the right decisions and that includes allowing the communities most affected by planning applications to have the right to appeal decisions which they think will detrimentally impact on their local area.

“A number of SNP MSPs, including former Renfrewshire SNP councillor Sandra White, have been at the forefront of this issue.

“Too much focus in planning is on the timescales and how quickly decisions are made, I would rather we took our time and made the right decisions for our communities – and providing communities with a right of appeal could help improve our decision making.”

The amendment approved by a majority of councillors on the Planning Board stated: “ [council] Writes to the Cabinet Secretary for Planning and requests that the Scottish Government reviews its position on the Community Right to Appeal, if need be by enacting supplementary legislation to that effect to give communities the same rights as developers”