Graham Simpson MSP blasts the atrocious planning performance of the SNP in South Lanarkshire

Graham Simpson MSP has blasted the atrocious planning performance of the SNP in South Lanarkshire.  

The Scottish Government’s Annual and Quarterly Planning Performance report has revealed the appalling stagnation of Scotland’s planning system.  These statistics come against the backdrop of the SNP’s passage of their Planning Bill.  The Bill has been criticised across the sector and the political spectrum for its failure to address the underlying issues within Scotland’s planning system.

Mr Simpson said “Scotland is in the grip of a housing crisis, and one that is getting significantly worse. Young Scots are trying in vain to get onto the housing ladder and thousands of vulnerable people are on long waiting lists for an affordable home.

“The number of local housing development decisions across Scotland has dropped from 1,425 in 2013/14 to 1,110 in 2017/18, a 22 per cent decrease.

Despite Scotland’s growing housing crisis, only 33 per cent of major developments within South Lanarkshire Council were housing developments in the past financial year. This is leading to rising rents in South Lanarkshire and is undermining the standard of living of local residents.

“The SNP Government’s policies in this area have not worked, and that is plain from these atrocious statistics. We need radical and urgent reform of Scotland’s planning system.

“The SNP’s Planning Bill legislation will not radically improve the planning system. The future performance of the planning system in Scotland now depends on the inclusion of amendments which actively enhance this Bill.

“I am calling for measures that ensure that planning decisions are made locally and that money gained from developers is ploughed back into their communities. The planning bill, as it stands, is a missed opportunity. It could go much further to revitalise the planning system and help more young people seeking to get on the property ladder".