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Archive | culture change

making the most of digital engagement

There’s been a lot of talk about online engagement in planning since lockdown started in March, much of it focussing on the use of web platforms for public Pre-Application Consultation on planning applications and Local Development Plan consultations. The Scottish Government’s flexibility in allowing online consultation in these statutory contexts has been widely welcomed to […]

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If early engagement is such a great thing, why isn’t everyone doing it?

The original version of this article, jointly authored with Kathie Pollard of the Scottish Land Commission, was published on the Land Commission website on 15 June 2020. This version has been slightly updated. Research aims The principle of early public engagement is enshrined in recent major reforms to Scottish planning and land reform policy. The […]

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how can planning better support thriving rural communities?

Community Land Scotland‘sPolicy Director Calum MacLeod has just published an excellent brief overview of what Scottish land reform has achieved since the 2003 Land Reform Act (thanks to the Scottish Community Alliance). As Calum succinctly explains, much has been achieved since 2003 – but more needs to be done to spread the benefits of community land […]

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community charrettes: how we can maximise their impact

I’ve had the privilege of being involved in almost twenty charrettes in Scotland. And it really is a privilege, because on every occasion I gain a fascinating insight into local life and aspirations, and learn new things about community development, placemaking and making change happen on the ground. Being a planner, I’ve long seen charrettes as […]

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exam time for Councillors!

Councillor training on planning is back on the agenda, more than ever before. The draft Planning Bill published this week proposes: compulsory planning training for Councillors an examination for any Councillors involved in planning decisions At face value, those proposals are a pretty strong indictment. Improvement is needed. But are Councillors really that bad at […]

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barriers to community engagement in planning – an issue of trust

When I first heard of the Scottish Government’s proposed research into barriers to engagement in planning – linked to the ongoing review of the planning system – I expected the barriers would relate to access to information, too much jargon, and outmoded communications channels like statutory notices. How wrong I was! As part of the […]

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planners as honest brokers

How would you describe the job of a planner? Regulator?  Facilitator?  Broker? Manager?  Mediator?  Designer? Personally, I’m more of a broker.  At the moment I’m brokering between people with different visions for Moffat: residents, public agencies, businesses and landowners.  And elsewhere I’m brokering between different interests, too: between walking, cycling and vehicles in a redesign […]

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maximising planning’s potential

The Scottish Government’s planners are busy working on a new White Paper on planning reform, for publication by the end of the year. I think they should be congratulated for their innovative decision to draft the White Paper through co-production – a process which kicked off in mid September with a two-day workshop for planners, […]

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why we need to better integrate land-use and community planning in Scotland

This article first appeared in RTPI Scotland‘s journal The Scottish Planner (June 2016 edition). Better integration of spatial planning and Community Planning has been a hot topic in national and local government for the last year couple of years. There’s been lots of high-level talk about improving integration, including in the Planning Review report published in May. […]

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