Rural businesses will benefit from proposed planning system reforms

Press Release

Proposed reforms to Permitted Development Rights (PDR) in the Scottish planning system would provide welcome flexibility to rural businesses.

Scottish Land & Estates (SLE), the rural business organisation, said the Scottish Government’s plans are a ‘positive step toward achieving the right balance between flexible regulation and continuing to provide protection against inappropriate development’.

A Scottish Government consultation on draft proposals for the first phase of changes and extensions to PDR has completed and the SLE response can be viewed here.

Gavin Mowat, Policy Adviser (Rural Communities) at Scottish Land & Estates, said:

“There is a fine line between a planning system that delivers appropriate checks and balances on development and one that stifles the needs of business, making it difficult for the built environment to be adapted to meet changing circumstances.

“Scottish Land & Estates has long pressed for the need for planning changes to better enable rural businesses to adjust their premises to suit local requirements. For many years, rural businesses have been encouraged to diversify or deliver housing by converting existing agricultural buildings into commercial or residential property, but all too often the planning system has proved a real impediment to that process.

“The Scottish Government has listened to the case for change and we believe their proposals are a positive step toward achieving the right balance between flexible regulation and continuing to provide protection against inappropriate development.

“As rural Scotland continues to look to a future where land-based businesses are focusing on environmental outcomes as much as they are on traditional sectors such as food production and tourism, we need a planning system that can respond appropriately. If implemented, these reforms will go some way to helping achieve that.”