Shaping Scotland's
Digital Future

A research project is underway that will assess how the Scottish Planning System can effectively support delivery of world class connectivity in Scotland.

Bidwells and FarrPoint are jointly undertaking the project on behalf of the Scottish Government to produce evidence-based recommendations on the scope for legislative changes to further increase Permitted Development rights for electronic communications infrastructure.

Digital communication is an essential part of today's society – economically, socially and environmentally – enabling countries, regions, towns and communities to maintain their competitiveness through connectivity.

The research will take into consideration the expansion and investment needed in current infrastructure to meet Scottish Government digital objectives, including the technological development and innovative implementation techniques required to meet coverage scenarios and service needs. This is particularly evident in rural Scotland where realising a world class digital connectivity vision presents a challenge for delivery to remoter communities.

The Scottish Government is committed to working in collaboration with industry and stakeholders to improve mobile coverage in Scotland, particularly in hard to reach areas or those parts of Scotland likely to be outwith the commercial rollout of 4G services. 

The Scottish Planning System has a key role to play in supporting the Scottish Government World Class Vision. We are considering how the Scottish Government can use the range of legislative levers at its disposal to assist this process.

Corinne MacDougall, Principal Planner

Jan Miszalowski, Principal Consultant at FarrPoint, added:

“Bidwells and FarrPoint have engaged with industry, planning authorities and stakeholders to gather an evidence base that will form a key component of our assessment when making recommendations. This research work will be a key element in deciding how the Scottish planning system can support operators in building the communications infrastructure required to ensure that everyone in Scotland can participate in the digital age.”

The research project is due to conclude at the end of March 2016.

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