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Labour Tried and Failed To Give New Planning Rights To Communities

3rd July 2019

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, David Stewart, has slammed the ‘SNP-Tory' stitch up of the Planning Bill, warning that it has become a missed opportunity to deliver transformative change.

The SNP and Scottish Conservatives joined forces to block Labour's plans to secure the power for a community right of appeal as well as remove key changes made by MSPs at an earlier stage.

Scottish Labour has been pushing for amendments that would rebalance power in the planning system and give communities a right of appeal with developers to level the playing field and make the system fairer.

Mr Stewart said that such a move would have given local people more say over decisions made in region.

But SNP and Tory MSPs voted against the proposals to reform the planning appeal system, choosing instead to side with big developers.

Scottish Labour pushed for amendments to:

• Give communities a right of appeal on proposed developments

• Secure more protections for live music venues

• Require the Scottish Government to legislate for land value sharing to allow for more public sector led development and increasing land values to be invested in communities.

• Put public health at the heart of the planning system

"The Planning Bill has become an SNP-Tory stitch up which fails to deliver transformative change," said Mr Stewart.

"The SNP has teamed up with the Tories to push through their timid approach to planning reform, blocking the chance to give local people more say in decisions about our local area.

“It’s a shameful missed opportunity.

“SNP Ministers have failed to read the public mood on planning and have chosen to side with big developers over local people."

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