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New draft planning guidelines to assist local authorities in determining the allocation of land for housing in thei...
New draft planning guidelines to assist local authorities in determining the allocation of land for housing in their areas have today been issued for consultation by George Kynoch, minister for local government and planning at the Scottish Office.

The secretary of state for Scotland announced on May 15, that he was giving councils greater freedom to decide how best to allocate appropriate land for housing in their structure plans. The new policy is consistent with his general aim to devolve more power from central to local government in Scotland.

The draft versions of National Planning Policy Guideline (NPPG) 3 'Land for Housing' and Planning Advice Note (PAN) 38 'Structure Plans: Housing Land Requirements', issued today, reflect the new policy in more detailed terms.

Announcing the issue of the draft NPPG and PAN, Mr Kynoch said: 'Present structure plan policy has been criticised for its inflexible approach with insufficient scope for authorities to take account of local factors in determining how appropriate land for housing in their areas should be allocated. The new policy gives Councils greater freedom for making these choices using their own detailed knowledge of local circumstances and priorities.

'The revised draft guidelines are intended to assist Councils in determining what level of provision is appropriate for their own area, and set out how they can have regard to economic, infrastructure, environmental and amenity considerations as well as housing demand.

We are seeking comments on the draft and I urge all those with an interest to participate in the consultation process.'

Planning authorities will continue to be required to submit their draft structure plans to the secretary of state for Scotland for approval.

The new draft guidelines set out the issues which the secretary of state will have regard to when considering proposals within these plans about the allocation of land for housing.

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