Presumption in favour of Community interests and NOT 'development'.

p { margin-bottom: 0.25cm; line-height: 120%; }a:link { The current economic model, which promotes unsustainable, continuous economic growth, has led to a “presumption in favour of development”, which is not necessarily in the best interests of communities, and can profoundly affect long term social and environmental wellbeing.


Aligned to the current economic model, a “presumption in favour of development”, together with other factors such as industry lobbying, has for instance exerted considerable pressure to release and rezone priceless Greenbelt and prime agricultural land, a process which is fundamentally unsustainable.


Greenbelt is NOT a landbank and its loss is a dereliction of duty in fundamentally safeguarding the security of future generations in a low carbon economy.


The Planning Review MUST recognise the natural limits of growth and be guided by the definition of “Sustainability” as defined in the Bruntdland Report which states:


"development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."


The significant overall disparity in wellbeing between Edinburgh and Glasgow for instance should serve to indicate that endless growth beyond human scale compromises the quality of life for citizens.


...the most affluent of countries, operate on a depletion economy, leaving destruction in its wake... When the last tree is cut, the last fish caught, and the last river polluted, when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realise too late that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.” - American Indian proverb

Why the contribution is important

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Given the Scottish Parliament's commitment to the the spirit of Sovereignty, the Community Empowerment Bill, the Climate Change Bill and the aspirations of a low carbon future etc, it is imperative that the Planning Review upholds the Principles of Public Office, as defined by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (Nolan Report), and instates a presumption in favour of Community interests, in respect of the democratic process.


by SimonB on February 03, 2016 at 01:33PM

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  • Posted by DJJ February 03, 2016 at 14:51

    In theory at least, there is no "presumption in favour of development" in Scotland, although the Scottish Government got quite close in 2014 with the publication of Scottish Planning Policy (SPP). The 'presumption' that does exist is theoretically limited and does relate to 'sustainable development', although both of these caveats are under attack. It is to the shame of the planning system and development industry that so little current development could get anywhere near being truly sustainable development. Only radical systemic change will get us anywhere near a planning and development system which delivers sustainable development. The whole system for delivering development is the issue, right back to land ownership.

  • Posted by alfaman159 February 04, 2016 at 09:37

    Can new housing on a greenfield site ever be sustainable having regard to the definition above? If this is the case and only truly sustainable development is to be permitted then we will not be able to come close to meeting housing requirements for future generations.
  • Posted by SimonB February 04, 2016 at 14:52

    The population is relatively stable and the principle of carrying capacity is such that we will go the way of Easter Island if we continue to be aligned to the mantra and construct of endless economic growth on a finite planet which ultimately serves the short term interests of the psychotic mindset of "the 1%".

    BAD development is producing identikit soulless housing which, unlike the quality of building from the past which still stands today, is likely to be demolished within a generation, hardly meeting the needs of future generations.

    The current obsession with house building is largely a fiction in order to appease the insatiable appetite of the current amoral economic system.

    The Scottish Government is aware that there are tens of thousands of long term EMPTY houses across the country.

    Considerable brown field sites are available for development but due to the chicanery of the market have become land banked, thus putting pressure on priceless Greenbelt.

    For the sake of common sense and the security of future generations Greenbelt should be properly protected and valued.

    An article published last year attempts to challenge the current opinion regarding the supposed housing crisis:[…]/housing-crisis-policy-myth-realities

  • Posted by Thenonymous February 06, 2016 at 18:00

    Yes: in the present economy, wrecked by intemperate venture banking and subsequency quantitaive easing, land is the only place to make an investment killing. The 1% landowners can build new houses at a nice slow rate (to keep the prices up) and make more money to buy more agricultural land and ... make more money! Locak Government should be able to buy, and build on, land that is available and not being used. Look at Leith: hectares of brown field land owned by an offshore company. Just buy it back: at last year's prices.
  • Posted by DJJ February 19, 2016 at 17:37

    We need a house building system which is not predicated in rising prices. We aren't there at the moment, which is why there is a need for systemic change - not to the planning system but to the wider development process. The current system will never build enough houses, or build them to a high enough standard environmentally with high quality supporting infrastructure.
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