Wed 11 Jan, 2023

The Scottish Greens have welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s approval of the fourth National Planning Framework. The Framework, which was formally passed today in Parliament, is the first to put the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis at the heart of planning. 

It lays out the policies which local councils must use to decide future planning applications up to 2045, including where to site new housing, schools, roads and industrial facilities. 

As a result of the Framework, all planning decisions must now give “significant weight” to the climate and nature crises. Similarly, development proposals must minimise greenhouse gas emissions as far as possible and contribute to biodiversity enhancement.  

Development proposals for all forms of renewables will be supported – while protecting National Parks and National Scenic Areas from inappropriate development.

Speaking in the debate, the Scottish Greens environment spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP, said:

“It is crucial that - for the first time - the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis has been placed at the heart of the National Planning Framework. 

"And we’ve got a far better strategy as a result, one which will help us meet our targets on climate change and nature recovery, in the years to come. This is no longer a plan which prioritises economic growth above all else; our climate, our nature, and our wellbeing is finally considered on equal footing…  

“It will allow us to transform our planning system to facilitate the expansion of renewables, whilst still protecting our beautiful natural environment...  

“Well-designed renewable developments in the right places must be accelerated rather than languishing in the planning system for years on end, there is no time to waste…

“To turn this vision into a reality, we must support everyone involved in delivering it – as much in council planning departments, as in our local communities. People must feel empowered to shape the spaces around them…

“With Scottish Greens as part of Government, I am pleased that we are showing the bold leadership that is required to address the climate catastrophe. Through this framework and others, we are laying the ground for a fundamental shift in our economy and society.”

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