No need for additional planning bureaucracy when NP contained within one local authority area

The Campaign for a Scottish Borders National Park has listened to local farmers, foresters, and other land managers who, understandably, do not want to see unnecessary additional bureaucracy regulating planning. For some years now we have stated that this can readily be avoided because the proposed boundary (and even any expansion of that to other parts of the Scottish Borders) would be wholly contained within one local authority area, ie that of the Scottish Borders Council. We believe that the Planning Department of that Council already does an adequate and professional job of dealing with planning applications and so propose that the Scottish Borders National Park Authority should not become a planning authority but rather a statutory consultee on applications within its area, with statutory input to Local Development Plans.

Why the contribution is important

It is important that new National Parks in Scotland are governed as economically as possible.

by malcolmrdickson on May 25, 2022 at 01:53PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 2.7
Based on: 4 votes


  • Posted by camusfearna May 26, 2022 at 10:22

    Based on the experience of Scotland's existing two national parks, it is highly questionable whether it maker sense to establish a new national park without planning authority - either a full authority as the case with Loch Lomond and The Trossachs NP or a 'call in' authority as with Cairngorms NP. Evidence from the existing national parks on this point should be sought.
  • Posted by ricc45 May 26, 2022 at 12:49

    Additional layers of bureaucracy are, for obvious reasons, cited by residents of proposed NPs as highly undesirable.
  • Posted by McNay May 27, 2022 at 14:15

    I see the “most unpopular planning application ever in Scotland” is back on the table at Balloch in Loch Lomond and Trossachs. The National Park authority will be selling public land (yours and mine) to a private company (Flamingo Land) if planning permission is given. This is the nature of the National Park economic model and I can’t see what benefit it gives to the local area or environment. Yes, put Scottish money into supporting the environment, wildlife, mitigating climate change and encouraging responsible access, but why give it away to tourism developers in the name of a “National Park”.
  • Posted by JeremyHW May 31, 2022 at 08:27

    I understand the sentiment of the proposer of this contribution. Elsewhere I note the possibility of creating, redefining or setting improvement policy for regional parks instead of new national parks. It is at this scale that a existing local authority could cope - in fact co-exist easily with national policy on natural environment. But on the other hand natural environment of the significance that we are considering in this consultation rarely neatly meets the political / administrative boundaries of regional authorities. It took me some time to get used to dealing with the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority for architectural planning applications that in everyday reality are felt to be the responsibility instead of the various local authorities, particularly within urban areas within the park.
  • Posted by JeremyHW May 31, 2022 at 08:40

    When I settled here two decades ago Drumkinnon Bay was still a muddy mess and the development of Lomond Shores had just begun. (We are talking here of the southern end of Loch Lomond near Balloch). I was to realise that much of this site had been already altered to support the textile industry (most of that is a housing development with that adjoining it mainly now set aside as Drumkinnon Wood), a railway terminal right near the slipway, supporting infrastructure for the paddle steamers and other boats etc, old roads etc. All that redevelopment was controversial at the time, but although some still decry it, it has turned out well. The whole area including what is now under the current application as "Lomond Banks" was already deemed a redevelopment site. I am not sure of the practical side of restoring the Woodbank House (hotel) ruins). Next to that was a bear park. You can understand why there is great benefit in having such planning applications come under a more specialised planning department such as that of the national park. I would rather bemoan the excessive development of the large new wing of Cameron House.
  • Posted by camusfearna June 01, 2022 at 22:31

    I applaud those campaigning for NPs in the south of Scotland for seeking to adjust their proposals to try to deal with one of the key issues, which is whether a national park in Scotland can be said to be meaningful and effective if it is not a planning authority, but the arguments are unconvincing. There is a reference to the proposed national park authorities having statutory consultation status for planning applications in their own areas but would this be for all planning applications and, if so, would that not undermine the role of the two respective local authorities if they were required to consult the national park authority on all applications? And it would require the national park authorities to employ planners to consider applications and offer views, thus duplicating the cost of development planning arrangements in the Borders and in D&G. Also, the proposal that a national park authority be a statutory consultee for applications being determined by Borders or D&G Councils would mean that if the relevant Council determined a planning application contrary to the position of the national park authority the Council would (per Scottish Planning Policy) be required to notify Scottish Ministers to give them the option of calling in the application for Ministerial determination. The argument for the new national park authorities in the south of Scotland not to be planning authorities, but to have statutory consultee status, would actually complicate and add a layer of planning bureaucracy and cost rather than simplify arrangements as those campaigning for this idea might hope.
  • Posted by DiarmidHearns June 02, 2022 at 14:49

    Given the experience of the two existing National Parks, it makes sense for the new National Park Authority to be planning authority in its own right from its inception. The situation of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, or the Cairngorms, was complicated by the Park boundary crossing a number of local authority areas. In the case of the proposed National Parks in the Scottish Borders or Dumfries & Galloway, these would have the apparent advantage of sitting inside a single local authority area.
  • Posted by camusfearna June 05, 2022 at 10:59

    I agree it makes sense for a national park, to be meaningful and effective, to be a planning authority and that the experience of the existing two national parks (which each straddle several local authority areas) shows that such an arrangement can be made to work. A national park should at minimum be a 'call in' planning authority (as is the case with CNPA) or a full planning authority (as is the case with LLTTNPA). There is no need to match the boundary of a national park to that of a single local authority, indeed local authorities were established for completely different reasons to the criteria for identifying an area as a national park and it would risk diluting the rationale for areas being national parks if they were simply to be identified as a national park that covers a local authority area.
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