Friday, 9 January 2009

Scotland the Theme Park?

Scotland`s people should be heard in the National Planning Framework

Otherwise there may be more Caltongates, unnessary demolitions, more clearances, more erosion of our heritage and culture in the name of greed and development, everyone should be listened to , not just the Manish Chandes and Donald Trumps of this world.

Look at what greed and selfishness has reaped from the last ten years....the worse is still to come. Do we want to be a sad little theme park with the natives serving the visitors as they fly into airports that used to be our farm, homes, heritage and countryside....

What is the National Planning Framework?

You may be aware of the NPF and its importance to all planning decisions.

It is the most important planning document in Scotland today because it sets out what is going to happen in Scotland over the next 20 years.

The NPF is a legal document, once it has established that there is a need for development in a certain area there will be very little you will be able to do to stop it.

All you will be able to do is to influence where it goes and what it looks like.

There are 12 national developments stated in the document. These developments are very likely to go ahead as the NPF effectively removes the ability to question the "need" for the development through any subsequent planning process.

They include airport expansion, the Beauly Denny overhead transmission line and new coal fired power stations amongst others.

So get involved, as an individual or as a group, act before Monday the 12th of January but if you can`t then send it anyway, better late than never......

How to Give Evidence to the Committee who are Scrutinizing the NPF Document Written views of no more than six sides of A4 can be sent by e-mail to

You can submit evidence in hard copy to -

The Clerk to the Local Government and Communities Committee
Room T3.40
The Scottish Parliament
EH99 1SP

The Local Government and Communities Committee are looking at the NPF document over the next 60 days (they will finish the first week of March). They have asked for people to give evidence by 12th January 2009.

They are asking specific questions these can be viewed here.

One of the key questions they ask is

‘Whether the policies set out in the NPF2 support the Government's key aims for the development of Scotland to 2030’.

You can write to them saying that the lack of consultation means that they do not fulfill one of the key aims of the strategy for Scotland ’s spatial development to 2030:

to help build safer, stronger and healthier communities, by promoting
improved opportunities and a better quality of life.

If you want to see all of the key aims see para 43 on page 11 of the final NPF document which can be found here

You can argue that the evidence found from your own experience and others does not fulfill this aim.

Community participation in the planning system is a key part of building safer and stronger communities.

People have a right to influence strategic documents and plans such as the NPF, however the NPF consultation process has not enabled people to do this.

You can quote the Government’s own guidance which states that

‘many people believe that there are barriers to engagement in the planning system, inaccessibility of documents complex procedures, lack of expertise; consultation fatigue; belief that views are not taken into account and distrust of local Government. We need to change all of this. We now have a golden opportunity to create a planning system which Scotland can be proud of- modern, efficient and above all with communities at its heart’ (PAN 81 on Community Engagement 2007)

You can ask MSPs to look at the Critique of the National Planning Framework (NPF) Consultation Process report on the way the consultation was carried out and see the evidence that it has not addressed these key barriers to community engagement.

In September 2006 Scots writer Alasdair Gray said"Mrs Thatcher called upon the Scots to start exploiting their natural resources, not meaning that they should learn to produce good food, clothes and housing for each other, but earn the money to buy these from tourist industries, thus becoming a nation of boarding houses, heritage trails, golf courses and summer schools, with business conference centres in some of the prettiest places, with nuclear submarine and airforce bases in others. New Labour continues this policy, while drug addiction and brutal crime grow worse in once hopeful housing schemes that are now our new slums. There may be small nations in the world with effective democratic constitutions. Scotland is not among them, perhaps not England either. "
2009 What is an SNP led government going to do?