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Question ref. S6W-00440
Asked by: Pam Gosal, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 3 June 2021


To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether planning regulations need reforming, and what its response is to reports of decisions by East Dunbartonshire Council being overturned by Ministers, leading to pressure on local infrastructure and loss of greenbelt land.

Current status: Answered by Tom Arthur on 16 June 2021


The Scottish Government is currently progressing a programme of reform of Scotland’s planning system, including implementation of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019.

The right to appeal certain planning decisions made by local planning authorities is a long-established and important part of the planning system, recently supported by the Scottish Parliament in passing the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019. In the vast majority of appeals independent reporters from the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) are appointed to decide the appeal. In all cases the reporter is required by statute to make the final decision on the planning merits of the case, in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The reporter takes full account of submissions made by all parties involved in the appeal, including those made by members of the local community.

Since 1 January 2018 reporters have made the final decision on 8 planning appeals in East Dunbartonshire Council area - refusing the appeal on six occasions and allowing the appeal and granting planning permission on two occasions. One of the proposals granted planning permission was an extension to the Bearsden Golf Club and the other for residential development in Bishopbriggs. In both appeals the reporter found that the proposal conformed with the Development Plan.