Net zero at centre of Scottish planning proposals

It has been announced that planning applications will have to show how they help meet Scotland’s ambitious targets to cut emissions to net zero by 2045 to get approval under new proposals.

The Scottish Government has said that applications that create more town centre homes or help reuse vacant and derelict land will be more likely to succeed, under the draft fourth National Planning Framework which has been published for consultation.

The proposals promote the creation of 20-minute neighbourhoods, where services are easily accessible on foot or by bicycle, across cities and towns. Tighter restrictions will be imposed on out-of-town retail development.

Other proposals in the 18 national developments include sustainable drainage and water management solutions to protect cities from future flood risk and mass and rapid transit networks for cities to significantly reduce congestion and reliance on the car.

Planning Minister Tom Arthur said: “As COP26 delegates debate the future of our planet, we are proudly publishing our new draft National Planning Framework that proposes planners will have to consider the impact of applications on climate change and our natural environment.

“This plan for Scotland in 2045 aims to transform places so more of us live in well-designed and energy efficient homes, located within walking distance of local services and green space, and puts planning at the heart of delivering green, inclusive and long‑term sustainable development.

“This is a turning point for planning in Scotland. Our proposals will help us achieve our just transition to net zero emissions by helping to deliver more renewable energy, protecting our natural environment and creating better, healthier places to live.”

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