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Scotland must get planning reform right if it wants to deliver 50,000 new homes

The Scottish Government must successfully reform the country’s planning system if it is to hit its target of delivering 50,000 new “affordable” homes by the end of the current parliament, according to the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

This is a key conclusion from evidence CIH Scotland has submitted to a Scottish Government consultation on the future of the planning system, which closed earlier this week.

“As the housing sector works hard to implement the Scottish Government’s target of delivering 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021, it’s clear that the planning system will have a crucial role,” said Esther Wilson, CIH Scotland’s vice chair.

“At the same time, it’s important that we acknowledge that a combination of complex factors will come into play in delivering the increased supply of housing Scotland needs. There is equally a careful balance to be struck between achieving a more efficient and streamlined planning system and ensuring that the local communities most directly affected by planning decisions are properly consulted and involved.

“In the future, we will need our housing to be smarter and more adaptable to be able to meet the changing needs of an ageing population and other important demographic trends. This is something that the process of planning reform will need to address – as well as ensuring best use is being made of our existing housing stock. For instance, we are calling for further investigation to be made of the impact on local housing markets of a rise in short term lets.”

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