Improvements to Scotland’s planning system announced today will ensure that even more emphasis is placed on using the planning system to secure jobs and economic benefits while protecting Scotland’s environment and scenic areas.
The latest National Planning Framework identifies key projects of national importance to Scotland, including a Grangemouth Investment Zone; carbon capture schemes at Peterhead and Grangemouth; improvements to Scotland’s airports; high speed rail; infrastructure for offshore renewables; and a national cycling and walking network.

Plans unveiled today include strengthening environmental protection in the 31% of Scotland classified as the wildest and most scenic land, and preventing any wind farms from being built in the areas covered by National Parks and National Scenic Areas. Additionally, the Scottish Government has proposed increasing the separation distance between wind farms and cities, towns and villages.

It is expected that following the consultation launched today, the Scottish Planning Policy will be finalised by the end of the year with NPF3 scheduled for adoption by 2014.

Commenting, Falkirk East’s SNP MSP Angus MacDonald said:

“Today’s announcement provides the possibility of exciting opportunities for growth in my Falkirk East constituency, including the Grangemouth Investment Zone and proposals for a Carbon Capture and Storage plant in Grangemouth.
“These proposals are an exciting vision of the way forward for Falkirk district and Scotland as a whole, and are a critical part of efforts to secure economic growth and create more jobs in Falkirk district and beyond.”
“Securing growth and creating jobs are at the heart of the SNP Government’s priorities and these improvements to our planning system will help to ensure we are able to achieve even more in this regard.

“It is only right that planning decisions take into account the economic benefits and new jobs that can be secured by proposed developments, so that opportunities to improve the economic prospects of communities across Scotland are not lost.

“As a former Grangemouth Councillor I am only too well aware of the concerns large industries can create when situated close to residential areas therefore it is essential that we get the right balance between supporting job creation and protecting our environment, and this latest guidance will help to ensure we achieve that.

“An effective planning system is an essential part of ensuring that Falkirk district and Scotland develops as a place we can all be proud to live.
“In addition, the Scottish Government will support a review of Town Centres by insisting that major new developments which attract people - like workplaces, leisure facilities and shops - are in town centres wherever possible. We want to see development which ensures lively, successful and viable town centres, which is good news for Grangemouth, Falkirk and Bo’ness.”

“The Scottish Government wants to hear the views of the people of Scotland and will reflect carefully on all responses received. The process will be as inclusive as possible so we can come together to agree our priorities.”

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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