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Scottish Civic Trust Issues 6-Point Action Plan for Scottish Local Government Elections

24 March 2017

The Scottish Civic Trust has issued a six-point action plan for the new administrations of Scotland's local authorities after the May elections.

These include: "improve training and resources on planning issues for all councillors to inform better decision-making at Planning Committee level; review, safeguard and enhance Scotland's diverse heritage, particularly conservation areas, by consistent use of planning legislation and enforcement powers; and support expansion of network of urban design panels with strong community representation."

John Pelan, Director of the Scottish Civic Trust said:

"As well as carrying out their statutory requirements in relation to planning and heritage policies, local authorities need to step up their game in terms of consulting widely with communities on new developments.  Planning and heritage management are not secondary issues.  A good quality built environment is a basic human right for everyone and can greatly enhance wellbeing and life expectancy.  Our six-point action plan sets out some of the steps that could be taken to improve decisions, involve communities and generate a sense of civic pride." 

THE SCOTTISH CIVIC TRUST BELIEVES THAT LOCAL AUTHORITIES MUST STRIVE TO: 

  1. facilitate community empowerment by providing resources and training for local groups who manage and maintain local heritage assets
  2. promote citizenship and civic pride from an early age by supporting engagement with heritage and the built environment
  3. improve training and resources on planning issues for all councillors to inform better decision-making at Planning Committee level
  4. adopt the new Place Standard Tool, particularly applicable to new housing developments and existing neighbourhoods, with adequate training and resources for delivery and implementation
  5. review, safeguard and enhance Scotland's diverse built heritage, particularly conservation areas,  by consistent use of planning legislation and enforcement powers
  6. support expansion of network of urban design panels with strong community representation

WE BELIEVE THESE ACTIONS WILL:

  • safeguard our historic environment
  • promote better community-supported planning decisions
  • encourage the highest quality of design in architecture and public realm
  • recognise the importance of placemaking in fostering wellbeing and citizenship