New planning legislation as of 1 October 2022

The Town and Country Planning (Pre-Application Consultation) (Scotland) Amendments Regulations 2021 and the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 (Commencement No. 9 and Saving and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2022 came into force on 1 October 2022. This follows the expiration (30 September 2022) of the Coronavirus Temporary Modifications that responded to the pandemic.

Pre-Application Consultation (PAC)

You may recall an earlier LUC article discussing the changes proposed to Pre-Application Consultation. These have now come into force, and the main changes are summarised below:

  • A minimum of two public events;
  • At the final public event, the applicant must feedback on comments received throughout the PAC process;
  • The content of the PAC Report has been placed in legislation and must be complied with;
  • New exemptions to carrying out PAC on certain applications.

There are transitional arrangements in place which cover the movement between the two sets of Regulations. These relate to the timing of the submission of Proposal of Application Notices (PoANs) and the timing of the submission of the subsequent planning application.

For advice on how the transitional arrangements or the new Regulations might impact your development, please contact us.

Commencement of Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 Provisions

The Commencement Regulations apply the following changes to the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (the 1997 Act):

  • A condition attached to the planning permission or planning permission in principle will specify the duration.
  • Planning permission in principle: Currently, the 1997 Act prescribes the time periods for making applications for approval of matters specified in conditions. The Government will remove the statutory framework and planning authorities are to consider such time periods and specify them in conditions.
  • Declining to determine planning applications: Under the current regulations planning authorities have the discretion to refuse to determine “repeat” planning applications in certain circumstances. With the new regulations, the period over which that discretion applies extends from 2 to 5 years.
  • Completion notices: From 1 October 2022, Scottish Ministers, who seek to streamline the process, will need to confirm every such notice.

The Government has advised that a revised Development Management Procedure Circular will replace the current Circular 2/2013 to cover the new requirements within the regulations. The Government has not yet confirmed timescales for this.

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