Date lodged: 4 August 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on reported concerns that there has been an increase in ministers intervening in local authority decisions regarding planning applications.
Answered by: Kevin Stewart 24 August 2016
Scottish Ministers have a general power to intervene in the determination of a planning application but only where it appears there may be some matter of genuine national interest at stake. In practice, Ministers will exercise this power very sparingly, recognising and respecting the important role of local authorities in making decisions on the future development of their areas. As at 31 March 2016 there were approximately 788 live cases over one year old in the planning system, creating uncertainty for not only developers but the communities in which they are proposed. In year 2015-2016, planning authorities in Scotland determined 29,766 applications for planning permission. Through their power of call-in, Scottish Ministers intervened in 5 (0.02%) of those.