Green Anger as SNP block community planning rights

Wednesday November 7th 2018

Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Greens today hit out at the SNP for blocking a bid to give communities the same right as developers to appeal planning decisions.

The campaign for equal right of appeal has the backing of dozens of community and environmental groups such as community councils, the RSPB and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

At today’s meeting of Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee, SNP MSPs voted against amendments to the Planning Bill from Scottish Greens housing spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP.

His amendments, which would have given communities the right to appeal, were supported by the Labour MSP on the committee but voted down by the 3 SNP MSPs. The Tories abstained.

Andy Wightman, Housing spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

“Planning is meant to reflect the needs and interests of communities and provide a process for democratic decision making about how land is allocated to different uses. Today’s vote was an opportunity to generate real public engagement and establish trust in the planning system. Instead we are back to square one where those who have to live with the consequences of planning decisions have no right to appeal.

“The system has been besmirched by a lack of parity and I will seek to re-introduce my amendments at Stage 3 so that the wider Parliament can decide whether or not communities can have an equal say.”

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