Letters to the Editor

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Disappointed at outcome

The Scottish Government Planning Review Panel has published its findings. While there are a number of welcome recommendations, the report does absolutely nothing to redress the power imbalance experienced by communities. A developer who is refused planning permission can appeal that decision.

However, if permission is granted – however shaky the grounds - the affected community cannot appeal the decision. The panel heard many persuasive submissions from community respondents asking for a limited Equal Right of Appeal (ERA) for communities. Sadly, the panel still refers to ERA as ‘third party right of appeal’ (TPRA) - now an outdated term which has the effect of reducing local people to third class citizens with no voice.

Communities should be recognised to be, at least, an equal party when their well-being is threatened by inappropriate development (which is often driven by the profit motive).

As an active citizen who spends much time participating in the planning process I feel deeply disappointed with this outcome and would appeal to the Scottish Government to carefully consider the panel’s assertion that they found no evidence of the value of an Equal Right of Appeal.

Daya Feldwick


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