The South East of Scotland transport partnership has responded to the Scottish Government’s Places, People and Planning consultation seeking a reinforcement of regional planning led by local stakeholders from Scottish Ministers.
Chair of SEStran Cllr Lesley Hinds stated “We welcome the consultation proposals of the planning review and the recognition of the value of regional planning. We are aware of the need to be open to focussed change if we are to deliver the inclusive growth agenda for Scotland. However, it will be fundamentally important to retain and strengthen regional planning and plans within the wider package of reform proposals managed locally for wider regional benefit.”
SEStran in its response has highlighted that any package of reforms, that does not include provision for strong regional planning would seem to place Scotland at a strategic disadvantage relative to other economies with whom we are competing for inward investment and seeking to deliver positive outcomes for our communities.
The Board of SEStran in agreeing a response a number of recent reports from the United Nations, Royal Town Planning Institute and the Inclusive Growth Commission of the Royal Society of Arts have highlighted the case for integrated planning across a number of topics and wider regional geography. The current UK government Industrial Strategy Green Paper also outlines a strong support for devolved locally led regional plans. Regional planning led by local partners would appear a fundamental requirement for Inclusive Growth if we are to create shared and binding visions across all regional economies of Scotland.
Cllr Lesley Hinds concluded by observing “For SEStran, the consultation points to the potential in regional planning. We feel there should also be a clearer relationship between regional planning for all terms of infrastructure and services, physical – large transport projects or cross boundary bus routes; and social – childcare facilities and employability skills. The legislation which emerges from this consultation is a chance to realise that potential and position all of Scotland’s regions to deliver long-term inclusive growth.”