Mon 17 Jun, 2019

Scottish Green MSPs will stage a series of bids to radically overhaul Scotland’s planning system over three days of debate in the Scottish Parliament, starting tomorrow (Tuesday 18 June).

Amendments brought by Green MSPs at stage 3 of the Planning Bill will seek to improve natural habitats in response to the climate crisis and give communities more power over issues like short-term holiday lets, which blight local areas.

Andy Wightman MSP will also bid to stop hill tracks being bulldozed through natural areas without consent, while Mark Ruskell MSP will attempt to make air pollution a priority of the national planning framework.

However, they face a battle after commitments to cross-party working were ripped up by SNP Planning Minister Kevin Stewart in favour of stitched-up deals with the Tories.

Scottish Greens’ local government and economy spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP, said:

“The Planning Bill should have been an opportunity to reset where power lies and give people a far greater say in decisions which affect them, but instead it looks like an SNP-Tory stitch-up is going to usher in an era of mass centralisation, leaving communities frozen out once again.

“Green MSPs have worked hard to strengthen what was a lacklustre Bill and we’ll fight for our amendments this week, which include measures to regulate hill tracks and short term lets, improve air quality and protect natural habitats. These are important issues that people care about and we’ll do everything we can to win support for them. But if the SNP chooses to side with Tories and their corporate and landed interests it will be a huge blow for hopes of building a fairer, more equal Scotland.”

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