Wider use of mediation in planning

Scotland has an opportunity to become a world leader in the use of mediation in planning. This review of planning is an ideal opportunity to integrate mediation more fully into the Scottish planning process. There should be specific references in future policy to the use of mediation in planning and mediation should be considered a key part of the planning process, especially for situations which have a direct impact upon a wide variety of groups such as the preparation of a development plan.

Mediation will be helpful throughout the planning process, however ideally it should be implemented as early in the process as possible.  Mediation would be particularly useful at the pre-Main Issues Report (MIR) and MIR stages of development planning when initial decisions are being made about the future of an area and planning authorities are looking to gather the views and ideas of a wide range of stakeholders who are likely to have some competing opinions and interests. 

Why the contribution is important

Through the use of mediation and by equipping those involved in the planning system with mediation skills, the potential exists to support better engagement of all parties and to ensure that issues can be resolved at an early stage. The use of this approach also has the potential to reduce the possibility of conflict arising in the first place.

The wider use of mediation in planning would also enhance equality of opportunity. Mediation offers a way for everyone involved in a planning decision to have an equal opportunity to express their view and to contribute to decision-making. The mediator(s) will offer a chance for the different groups to express their views and to work together to find any areas where consensus can be reached. This would work to directly counteract any power imbalances (whether real or perceived) which currently face the Scottish planning system. This would also help to foster good relations between different groups and may be a step towards a more collaborative and inclusive planning process in the future.

by ScottishMediation on February 19, 2016 at 02:30PM

Current Rating

Average score : 4.2
Based on : 7 votes


  • Posted by JohnColledge February 28, 2016 at 22:48

    In theory this has to be a good thing, but in our experience, our input has been ignored, resulting in two 'planning disasters'.
  • Posted by Kacurry February 29, 2016 at 13:49

    Earlier engagement of interested parties could be beneficial and should be encouraged. Where there are disagreements these could be resolved before planning decisions are made, and move away from a process which encourages conflict by its 'them versus us' approach and one-sided appeals process which is strongly biased in favour of developers.
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