Wednesday, 1 September 2010

URGENT: New Community Engagement Advice Published; it is very much in your interest to be aware of this

Development is essential if we are to meet our current and future economic, social and environmental needs and aspirations. The planning system guides the future development and use of land - where development should happen, where it should not and how it interacts
with its surroundings. Through a plan-led system, succinct and clear development plans set out ambitious, long-term visions for an area. By taking decisions on applications for planning permission, the future development of an area is set out.

So states the very first paragraph of the latest Government Planning Advice Note*

Para 7 continues:

Whatever the circumstances, it is important that all stakeholders know the extent to which they can be involved in planning decisions, taking into account the practical limits of the process and the constraints within which it operates. For instance, while development plans will set out the planning authority’s policies and proposals, whether development will actually occur on a piece of land will also depend on subsequent regulatory processes, such as the need for planning consent, and a host of other factors including the landowner’s aspirations for the site.


  • How does the Government define community engagement?
  • What are the roles and responsibilities of the various parties involved in the community engagement aspects of planning? (Government, Local Authorities / Councillors, Community Councils and other interest/ community groups, applicants and their agents)
  • What is meant by 'Development Planning' and 'Development Management' and how do you get involved in both processes?
  • What is Pre-application consultation?
  • What are the national standards for engagement?
For the answer to the above and many other questions click through here now

(*Planning Advice Notes provide advice and information on technical planning matters.)

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Consultation; UHI Millennium Institute being awarded University title. Speak Up for Rural Scotland; Extending the Coverage of the Freed



Consultation is an essential and important aspect of Scottish Government working methods. Given the wide-ranging areas of work of the Scottish Government, there are many varied types of consultation. However, in general, Scottish Government consultation exercises aim to provide opportunities for all those who wish to express their opinions on a proposed area of work to do so in ways which will inform and enhance that work.

The Scottish Government encourages consultation that is thorough, effective and appropriate to the issue under consideration and the nature of the target audience. Consultation exercises take account of a wide range of factors, and no two exercises are likely to be the same.

Typically Scottish Government consultations involve a written paper inviting answers to specific questions or more general views about the material presented. Written papers are distributed to organisations and individuals with an interest in the issue, and they are also placed on the Scottish Government web site enabling a wider audience to access the paper and submit their responses. Consultation exercises may also involve seeking views in a number of different ways, such as through public meetings, focus groups or questionnaire exercises. Copies of all the written responses received to a consultation exercise (except those where the individual or organisation requested confidentiality) are placed in the Scottish Government library at Saughton House, Edinburgh (K Spur, Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh, EH11 3XD, telephone 0131 244 4565).

All Scottish Government consultation papers and related publications (eg, analysis of response reports) can be accessed at: Scottish Government consultations (

The views and suggestions detailed in consultation responses are analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:

* indicate the need for policy development or review
* inform the development of a particular policy
* help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
* be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented

Final decisions on the issues under consideration will also take account of a range of other factors, including other available information and research evidence.

While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.

The following (amongst other) consultations are now on the Scottish Government web pages

UHI Millennium Institute being awarded University title - here

Speak Up for Rural Scotland - here

Consultation on Extending the Coverage of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 - here

*Resourcing a High Quality Planning System: A Consultation Paper - here

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