The Planning System MUST “act solely in terms of the public interest”, upholding the principles of public office as defined by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (Nolan Report).

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The Principles of Public Office, as established in the Nolan Report, are:


1. Selflessness

Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.

2. Integrity

Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.

3. Objectivity

Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.

4. Accountability

Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.

5. Openness

Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.

6. Honesty

Holders of public office should be truthful.

7. Leadership

Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

Why the contribution is important

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A planning review that seeks to 'focus on delivering a quicker, more accessible and efficient planning process' while not upholding the primacy of the Principles of Public Office but continuing to adopt a presumption in favour of 'development', thereby showing favour to private commercial interests, is disingenuous and fundamentally flawed.


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For those members of the public who have first hand experience with the current planning system there is considerable disaffection and it is evident that financial considerations have come to fundamentally pervert the integrity of the process, (accentuated by the chicanery of the current economic climate) leading to compromised decision making and BAD development.


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The Minister has recently expressed his own concern for bad development, recognising how profoundly damaging this can be for the long term wellbeing of communities and the environment.


Such a situation fundamentally damages the credibility of the democratic process and compromises the wellbeing of future generations.

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All money is a matter of belief” - Adam Smith

by SimonB on February 03, 2016 at 12:44PM

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Based on : 14 votes


  • Posted by JohnColledge February 29, 2016 at 10:46

    Yet our MSPs prefer to support those public servants whom they know to be at best incompetent and in a growing number of cases have been shown to be guilty of deliberate wrongdoing.
  • Posted by notinmyname February 29, 2016 at 15:44

    We should have more transparency & honesty about the planning department's decision making process. Many ugly and inappropriate large developments have been granted planning permission in conservation areas and public protests have been ignored.
    At the same time, applications from householders for small alterations are refused because they contravene the letter of the law.
    Double standards and arrogance on the part of paid employees should have no place in the council.
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