Call for ideas on planning system ambitions
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Scotland’s new National Planning Improvement Champion is calling for ideas on what a high-performing planning system looks like and what impact it has.

Craig McLaren, who took up the post of National Planning Improvement Champion in September, is consulting with planning authorities and users of planning services on their ambitions for the system. The responses will feed into the creation of a new performance management model for planning authorities and a reporting and monitoring process that helps them identify areas for improvement.

Planning authorities and service users are being asked to respond to three questions:

  1. What are the outcomes we need the planning system to deliver to have impact?
  2. What makes a high-performing planning authority?
  3. How can we measure this?

Launching the call for ideas, Craig says: Key to this new approach to performance and improvement is agreeing what a successful, high-performing planning service looks like and what impact it has. I believe that this will need to be framed around the planning system’s ambitions to enable the delivery of sustainable, liveable, and productive places, which in turn relies upon planning services working effectively and efficiently and users being able to engage constructively with the system and the service. The often-contested nature of the planning process means that there are a range of organisations and people as stakeholders, often with differing perspectives and views on what constitutes success. This makes it particularly important to ensure that these voices can contribute to the discussion on what constitutes good performance.”

If you want to respond, either email or join the conversation on X (formerly Twitter) by tagging @CraigMMcLaren and using the hashtag #PlanningAmbitions. The deadline for responses is Thursday, 30 November 2023.