Planning for the New Normal – Scottish temporary modifications

As anticipated, the Scottish Government has published The Town and Country Planning (Miscellaneous Temporary Modifications) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (the Temporary Modifications). 

The Temporary Modifications come into force on 24 April 2020 and run during the “emergency period” defined as the period beginning on 24 April and ending on 30 September 2020.  This end date is open to further amendment by the Scottish Ministers. 

The Temporary Modifications remove the requirement to:

  • hold a public event to be held as part of the pre-application consultation procedures.  This applies in relation to applications made:
    • either during the emergency period or within the period of 6 months immediately following the expiry of the emergency period; and
    • in respect of which a proposal of application notice is given to the planning authority before or during the emergency period;
  • hold Local Review Body meetings in public during the emergency period;
  • make Environmental Impact Assessment reports available for inspection at a physical location during the emergency period.

As part of the pre-application procedures, the prospective applicant is still required to publish a notice in a local newspaper however during the emergency period this shall include details as to how (including by what electronic means) further information may be obtained concerning the proposed development.

Guidance on these matters is awaiting publication which may shed further light on their intended operation. Further regulations relating to site notices are also expected. 

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Gordon Clark

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