Design expertise invitation taken up by planning authorities

TWENTY-TWO of Scotland’s 34 ‘planning authorities’ (32 local authorities and two National Park authorities) have responded positively to an invitation to pilot what’s being described as “a collective place-based approach as part of their development plan preparations”.

The invitation has been issued by the Scottish Government agency, Architecture and Design Scotland on behalf of the so-called Key Agencies Group, offering local authorities access to its expertise.

Says A&DS, here: “Draft guidance for Local Development Plans (LDPs) calls for new-style plans that are place-based, prepared in a different way, look different and used differently to before.”

The new-style LDPs follow Scottish Parliament approval of a new national planning framework (NPF4) and will be guided by new LDP regulations and guidance currently being developed by the Scottish Government. 

The offer forms a key part of a wider body of work undertaken by the Key Agencies Group in support of planning reform. 

Says the Scottish Government, here: “The Key Agencies Group was initially established in 2008 and comprises a group of public bodies that are recognised as supporting the delivery of culture change through improved joint working.”

Architecture and Design Scotland is a member and current chair of the Key Agencies Group, along with the likes of Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Says an A&DS spokesperson: “The initial focus will be evidence-gathering and reporting, laying the foundations for potential ongoing collective work at [the] proposed plan stage.”

Speaking on behalf of the Key Agencies Group, Heather Claridge, A&DS director of Design, said: “We are delighted by the great response to the pilot project. Whilst there is limited capacity for us to work with everyone who has expressed an interest in the offer – we see this very much as a collective learning opportunity.

“We are currently meeting with all 22 planning authorities that have expressed an interest to scope out the next steps. We are going to draw learning from our direct engagement and share that with authorities that we may not be able to work with directly in the pilot.” 

She continued: “In parallel to the pilot work, key agencies will continue to provide input to all local authorities, in line with the agencies’ duty to cooperate in LDP preparations.

“The Key Agencies’ collective potential to support planning authorities in shaping places for the long-term public interest is significant and essential in the delivery of sustainable, liveable and productive places.”

The identity of the 22 is being kept under wraps.

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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