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PLANNING REFORM A CONSULTATION. Michael Kampff Coordinator Fife Construction Forum. Agenda. Workshop introduction A Proposal for Change & Partnership Discussion on ways to partnership and better working Close of workshop. Town Planning A Proposal for Change & Partnership. Alan Seath

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Michael Kampff


Fife Construction Forum

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  • Workshop introduction

  • A Proposal for Change & Partnership

  • Discussion on ways to partnership and better working

  • Close of workshop

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Town PlanningA Proposal for Change&Partnership

Alan Seath

Fife Construction Forum

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The Purpose

  • Review of the work of the Fife Construction Forum (FCF)

  • Review of the intentions of Government

  • Review (short) of planning history

  • Review of “Delivering Planning Reform”

  • Review and discussion of the issues

  • Review and discussion of the “next steps”

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“The Downturn”

  • Slowdown yet to hit the bottom

  • More than 50 % of Companies expect a drop in turnover in 2009 (source Lloyds TSB)

  • Unemployment expected at an average rate of 1600 per day through 2009

  • Average house price falls by 20%, and

  • Customer confidence remains low

  • Number of planning applications fall by 30% year on year

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“The Downturn”A Reason to be Optimistic

  • “With Scotland also found to be the most optimistic area of the UK with over half of consumers expecting house prices to stay the same or slightly rise over the next six months, these figures demonstrate the underlying strength of sentiment within our local housing market.”

    Jonathan Fair Chief Executive, Homes for Scotland

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The Downturn

  • “For many people, 2009 will be an enormous challenge, with the full impact of the economic downturn starting to bite…The economic storm clouds are gathering. But I know we will weather the storm – and emerge even stronger, and well placed to prosper.”

    First Ministers New Year Message 30th December 2008

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The Future Government Intentions

“To focus the government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth............has become even more important as the problems in the wider global economy pose major challenges for Scotland.”

Scottish Government Delivering Planning Reform (Oct 2008)

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The Future

  • Legislation on its own cannot deliver the improvements

  • Need to significantly increase co-operation and speed up the pace of reform

  • Changes taken forward while retaining the fundamental purpose of the planning system to secure change that is consistent with the long term public and community interest

    Scottish Government Delivering Planning Reform (Oct. 2008)

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  • The Scottish Construction Centre (SCC) was appointed by Scottish Enterprise in 2007 to take forward ways of improving the performance of the construction industry in Scotland as part of the Government's objective of sustainable economic growth.

  • There were a number of strategic issues which needed to be addressed. One of these strategic issues is the planning system.

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  • Dilemma for the Construction Industry in the face of the Economic Downturn

  • A concerted effort to bring about a coordinated approach

  • SCF, SCC and Local Construction Forums working together to raise profile and position the Industry

  • Political networking

  • Locally in Fife a Sub-Group formed (advised by First Minister)

  • Workshops and the objectives

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  • SCC have commissioned the Fife Construction Forum (FCF) to run a series of consultation workshops which:

    - acknowledgement Scottish Government initiatives

    - identify poor & best practice

    - promote a better understanding of the Construction Industry

    - promote partnership working

    - promote cross party working at a local level

  • The output of the workshops will be a report summarising the Construction Industry's consideration of the issues of importance to them.

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  • A initial mixed reaction with suspicion and mistrust about our motives

  • The Minister For Enterprise, Tourism and Energy, Jim Mather stated in a letter to the FCF:“It is encouraging to hear about positive initiatives in the construction industry throughout the difficult economic period.”

    “We are pleased to learn that the Scottish Construction Forum (SCF) and Scottish Construction Centre (SCC) are working very closely with the FCF……. the SCF and SCC work closely together to unite what can be a fragmented industry and so I fully welcome your collaborative approach………..”

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“ We note and welcome your intention to respond to ‘Delivering Planning Reform’ via your new partnership arrangements in Fife.”

“The FCF initiative holds the promise of making this activity real at a local level, and we look forward to receiving the Forum’s comments.”

“we look forward to further input from the FCF in the future.”

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Sir Patrick Geddes(1854 – 1932)

  • “By creating we think, by living we learn.”

    Sir Patrick Geddes

  • “ECONOMY. Not extravagant



    TRADE and increased

    facilities of business. NOT the

    interruption of trade.”

    The Making of British Colonies Robert

    Homes (1997)

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Sir Patrick Geddes

  • “Geddes’ early approach to town and regional planning was based on a holistic and dynamic appreciation of the whole environment and particularly the connections between, work, place folk.”

    Intellectual activism and modern land use planning – Neil Grieve, Deborah Peel and Greg Lloyd

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Lewis Mumford (1895 – 1990)

  • “recognised the crisis facing urban culture, distrusting of the growing finance industry, political structures, fearful that a community culture was not being fostered by those institutions.”

    The Culture of Cities (1938)

  • “Urban planning should emphasize an organic relationship between people and their living spaces.”

    The City In History (1961)

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Planning Advisory Group Future DevelopmentPlans (1965)

  • Probably the most comprehensive…..revision of a tradition of planning technique in the UK.

  • A model aimed at simplifying procedures and to speed up the processes of town planning preparation and approval.

  • Failed to provide principles for use in fast changing urban areas because it did not significantly hasten procedures (Nuffield Report 1986)

  • It did not give satisfactory guidance to investment programming (McKee 1981)

  • Specific techniques were proposed to exploit spatial planning’s power to guide investment while avoiding the clumsiness of traditional master planning – emphasis on speed and responsiveness (UNCHS 1994)

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Town Planning & The Country

  • “By the 1980’s, politicians began to view planning as unnecessary regulation and a damaging constraint on the market and residents complained that planning processes were undemocratic.”

    Perspective Paper 5 Planning and Community Regeneration – Royal Town Planning Institute

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Town Planning & The Country

  • Accused planners of locking jobs away in filing cabinets on a Friday night (1990’s)

  • Delay having an impact on economic growth and stability

    Michael Heseltine MP

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Town Planning & The Country

  • “the comparative disadvantage which the planning system puts this country at must stop”

    First Ministers Speech at the

    4th Business in the Parliament Conference

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The Summit

  • Simpler and more transparent processes

  • Focus on matters of national interest

  • Annual reports on performance

  • Greater certainty through updated Development Plans

  • Quicker decision making on high quality applications

  • Set out what each politicalparty will do and how they will work together

  • Eplanning

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  • SNH

  • SEPA

  • Scottish Water

  • Architecture & Design Scotland

  • Historic Scotland

  • Transport Scotland

  • Homes for Scotland

  • Scottish Property Federation

  • Scottish Society for Directors of Planning

  • Royal Town Planning Institute

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  • "The last few months have seen a concerted effort by COSLA, SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers), Heads of Planning, Scottish Government and the statutory consultees to the planning process such as SEPA, SNH and Transport Scotland and representatives of the private sector around how best to reform the planning system.”

    Councillor Alison Hay - COSLA

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“It is particularly encouraging that government nationally and locally, and the national agencies, have signed up with developers to a business-like plan for change in processes and culture in Scotland.”

David Thorburn – Chairman CBI

“It is imperative that the development industry and public sector work together in genuine partnership to speed up planning reform.

Dan MacDonald – Chairman SPF

Planning Reform

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Planning Reform

  • “a sustainable, dynamic and growing economy means a better quality of life for all. Planning reform needs to help, not hinder, the economy - especially in the current climate. While the Planning Act has reformed the law, legislation alone will not deliver the fundamental culture change we need.”

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Planning Reform

  • "In Government we will be less prescriptive…and will let local circumstances drive local decisions and innovation.”

  • "Better joint working to free up resources will ensure local priorities are addressed….the right partnerships in place and a smarter approach…will provide….quicker decisions.”

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Planning Reform

  • "We do not want development anywhere or at any price. What we do want to see is planning valued for its positive, promotional and enabling role much more than it is resented for its regulatory one.”

    John Swinney MSP

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Planning Reform: Planning Policy

Planning Policy series into three parts:

“clarify the expectations of the system and the service”

  • aspirations and core principles (issued)

  • expectations for the key elements of the planning system (issued); and

  • a clear statement of Scottish Government planning policy relating to development and natural and built heritage (Jan - March 2009).

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Planning Reform:Agenda

It’s not just about the process, it is about the product

  • 8 sets of Regulations before Parliament

  • More regulation needed [development planning (March), development management (Aug.) trees, planning obligations…..)

  • 500 pages of SPP reduced to 40-50 pages

  • PAN’S to be addressed

  • Scale back guidance

  • Notification Direction to be changed

  • Complaints handling

  • Non statutory view on major planning applications

  • Development economics

  • Model planning agreements

  • Neighbour notification

  • Permission in principle (no outline)

  • Appeal 3 months

  • Detailed consent 3 years

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Planning Reform: Skills

“We have to decide whether we can leave vacancies unfilled and…..whether any staff cuts are necessary….it is important that we do not lose knowledge and skills so we are able to react when the upturn comes.”

Scottish Society of Directors of Planning Vice-Chairman Brian Frater

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Planning Reform: Skills

  • “Consultants should keep their nerve, look after their clients and expect opportunities to come forward in the second and third quarters next year.”

    Rick Finc, Convenor of the Scottish

    Planning Consultants Forum

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Planning Reform:The Issues

  • “Flight of skills”

  • Lack of skills, knowledge and abilities

  • A shift of requirement – greater knowledge needed at a time when radical reform is taking place

  • An understanding of business required

  • A need for mentoring and support

  • Strengthening and review of the Governments fiscal policies as they relate to the public sector and investment to focus on:

    - Retaining staff

    - Attracting staff

    - Growing the market

    - Implementing the new planning system

    - Create a strong foundation for sustainable economic growth

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Planning Reform:Strong Leadership

“True leaders are characterised by countless descriptions such as determination, sincerity, concern, drive, empathy, trust, hard work, passion, courage, wisdom etc. Leaders inspire and motivate others using these qualities. These qualities are central to who a leader is and often become central to those who follow and what they become.”

Leadership in Action CMOE Consultants

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Planning Reform: Strong Leadership

what is required is more fundamental.

public sector will work together in a different way

and work more effectively with the development


take responsibility for making sure that all organisations and staff are

aligned to that common aim will give the direction and support

necessary to deliver it in practice.

the private sector also needs to play its part by engaging meaningfully

but we need to be given a chance

Scottish Government Delivering Planning Reform (Oct. 2008)

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Planning Reform: A View Expressed

  • Commissioning

  • Permissions

  • Development – the end product of the process

    There appears to be no incentive to allow development. The intention is obvious, as it has been in previous decades, and the strategic partnerships have been formed with all players saying what we, as a customer, believe should happen. The reality is that there is the ability to delay or stop development by invoking the precautionary principle. The fear of making mistakes is real. The pressure on resources remains. It Is easier to say NO. Strong leadership with the emphasis on partnership is required at local level.

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An Example: Poor Practice

A Quote:

“Firstly and most importantly, can I emphasise that (the) Council fully recognise the severity of the current economic situation and is committed to working with the house building industry to minimise the impact of the downturn, which is now affecting a wide range of public and private sector organisations.”

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An Example: A 7 Month Process

  • Efforts at Partnership Working with Planning Authority

  • Meetings and presentations mid 2008

  • Further meeting with development management

  • Prepare planning application

  • Resource commitment

  • Efforts at Community Engagement (Community Council, Councillor, MP and MSP) successful

  • Planning application submitted November 2008

  • Within 5 days email asking to withdraw or refusal the only option

  • Further meeting

  • Mistake made alter the planning application (outline to detail)

  • Final comments received 23rd December 2008

  • Process of meaningful engagement still going on yet

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An Example: Good Practice

  • Pre-application discussions

  • Agreed submission date

  • Process arrangement put in place

  • Consultees advised and responded

  • Council and applicant maintained contact

  • Process arrangement fulfilled

  • Decision issued

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Killian-Pretty Review

  • Sets out recommendations to speed up the Planning System in England and Wales

  • First review to urge councils not to reduce their planning staff in today’s tumultuous financial climate but to focus on resources on local development frameworks ready for the upturn.

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Killian Pretty Review

  • Defined timetable for consultees responses

  • Clearer approach for planning conditions

  • Clarity in relationship between community infrastructure levy and legal agreements

  • All Councils to delegate 90% of planning applications

  • More use of support staff and joint working

  • Appropriate planning training for Councillors

  • Improve Council internet systems

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Planning Reform

  • Up to date development plans

  • More proportionate demands made of developers

  • Improved planning applications

  • Speed up response times from the public sector.

  • Simpler and more transparent processes.

  • Streamlined statutory consultation processes

  • Greater understanding and cooperation across the public and private sector.

  • The right partnerships in place to deliver better developments efficiently.

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Planning Reform: Culture and Practice

  • The Scottish Government will work with Local Government toraise awareness of the contribution planning reform can make to make sustainable economic growth

  • culture change is essential

  • private sector and the RTPI will participate actively

  • The Scottish Government will continue to play an active

    role indisseminating good practice.”

    “The aim is to resolve issues of procedure and process locally.”

    Scottish Government Delivering Planning Reform (Oct. 2008)

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Planning Reform: Improvements

  • planning authorities will establish local forums

  • by endMarch 2009, authorities will identifyareas for service improvementa process repeated on an annual basis.”

  • planning authorities will ensure that the Planning service is given sufficient priority and resource,

  • measures are required to recruit and retain staff.

  • consider the scope for new ways of delivering planning services.”

  • the Scottish Government will agree, with the private sector, a firm programme to better explain the importance of development economics in planning.

    Scottish Government Delivering Planning Reform

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A Summary

  • Culture change

  • Business approach

  • Speed

  • Simpler and transparent processes

  • Flexibility

  • Skills

  • Partnership

  • Service improvement

  • Private sector compliance

  • Improved consultation

  • Councillor training

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The Next Steps(?)

  • Establish political forum

  • Establish business forum

  • Establish joint working

  • Establish best practice

  • Establish a stronger voice for the Construction Industry

  • Establish a stronger profile for the Construction Industry

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  • Culture change ?

  • Business approach ?

  • Speed ?

  • Simpler and transparent processes ?

  • Flexibility ?

  • Skills ?

  • Partnership ?

  • Service improvement ?

  • Private sector compliance ?

  • Improved consultation ?

  • Our role ?

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Contact Details


  • [email protected]

  • 07850 189108

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