Planning Law – CBI ‘Utterly Wrong’ on Bias

Criticising CBI chief Iain McMillan’s comments on planning today (1), Greens pointed out that both industry leaders and the other parties have consistently failed to take account of the interests of communities across Scotland. As things stand, any developer whose plans get rejected can appeal, but individuals and communities affected by unsuitable projects have no such right. Greens have campaigned for a so-called “Third Party Right of Appeal” since planning was devolved in 1999.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“The CBI is utterly wrong to suggest that the current planning system is slanted against developers. The odds are in fact entirely stacked in their favour: they can appeal decisions they don’t like, while local communities have no such right, however unsuitable an individual scheme may be.

“What’s more, Ministers of all parties regularly intervene on behalf of developers like Donald Trump to usurp planning processes. I cannot understand how the CBI can say with a straight face that this represents a bias against development.

“We agree that the planning process does remain cumbersome and slow, and hard for individuals and communities to contribute to. Parliament recently reviewed planning law, and Ministers should have three main objectives in mind when implementing those changes: to speed up the process, to prioritise sustainability, and to ensure communities and developers are on a more level playing field.

“They must also pledge to stop meddling on behalf of favoured commercial interests, which undermines public confidence in the whole process.”


1. Iain McMillan is quoted as saying “There must be a greater presumption in favour of development built into our planning system.”

2. See the Planning etc (Scotland) Act 2006

James Mackenzie
Media and Communications
Scottish Green MSPs
Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh EH99 1SP

Tel: 0131 348 6360
Mob: 0790 99 33 074
Fax: 0131 348 5972

Contact: James Mackenzie
Phone: 0131 348 6360 or 0790 99 33 074