Scottish Government and Conservatives in row over planning application appeals

The Scottish Government and Scottish Conservatives have locked horns after the latter revealed virtually half of planning appeals in the final 12 months had been rejected.

Based on statistics obtained by the Scottish Conservatives beneath the Freedom of Info Act, out of 151 planning attraction selections in 2022/23, 80 had been allowed and 71 had been rejected.

The Conservatives additionally prompt the Scottish Government spent £4 million deciding on the 2022/23 appeals, including that they’ve spent £22 million on planning selections since 2017, although this declare was rejected by the Scottish Government.

Liz Smith, Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife and shadow cupboard secretary for finance and the financial system, stated the Scottish Government has “rode roughshod” over native communities for “far too lengthy”.

Ms Smith stated: “Overruling native authorities in over half of planning selections sums up the conceitedness on the coronary heart of this SNP-Inexperienced Government.

“They repeatedly act like they know greatest on the subject of native communities and have rode roughshod over native democracy for a lot too lengthy.

“Native planning selections are made greatest by those that can be affected by them, not by these dwelling many miles away in Edinburgh.

“Not solely are these selections overturning selections by native authorities, they’re costing taxpayers tens of millions of kilos.”

She added: “The SNP have didn’t correctly fund our councils throughout their 16 years in energy and deal with them with additional contempt by overturning so many planning appeals.

It’s incorrect to recommend that greater than £4 million was spent deciding planning appeals final 12 months. The precise value was one-fifth of this

Scottish Government

“It’s time our councils acquired the respect they deserve which is why I’m delighted my colleague Miles Briggs is bringing plans ahead to cease ministers in Edinburgh meddling in native planning selections.

“I hope that may grow to be regulation as quickly as potential, in gentle of those figures.”

Ms Smith’s declare was rejected by the Scottish Government, which stated the vast majority of planning functions are decided by native authorities, and “of the various hundreds of functions decided final 12 months, simply 151 had been appealed”.

A spokesperson stated: “Most appeals to ministers are determined by an unbiased reporter, who’s required to bear in mind native views and decide on the planning deserves of every case in accordance with the native growth plan, except different components point out in any other case.

“It’s incorrect to recommend that greater than £4 million was spent deciding planning appeals final 12 months. The precise value was one-fifth of this.”

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