Graham Simpson introduces mediation into the Planning System

Graham Simpson MSP has successfully lodged an amendment to the Scotland Planning Bill which would introduce mediation int the planning system.  The successful vote took place yesterday and will become part of Scotland’s planning system.

Throughout the passage of the Planning Bill there has been a lot of discussion around how there can be more community engagement within the planning process. Graham has lodged this amendment as solution to this problem.

Mediation is part of a package of amendments at Stage 3 which would ensure more frontloading in the system. Graham’s amendment would ensure that developers and members of the public could discuss and listen to any concerns surrounding new developments.

Graham Simpson said “I was keen to find a solution to the vexed question of people feeling cut out of the planning system.

“We have a system where applicants of larger developments hold meaningless, poorly advertised and poorly attending so-called community meetings ahead of putting in applications. I thought, there must be a better way – something that’s part of the process and not a fight at the very end of it.

“I want to see changes that put people – real people, not stakeholders, not the vested interests – but real people at the heart of the planning system. I believe that mediation – and we have to work out the details of that through consultation – will achieve just that.

“Planning is controversial. You are never going to get rid of all disagreement. But we can have a better system. One where everyone is involved in shaping communities to everyone’s benefit. I believe this is part of that solution”.