At the beginning of October, the Scottish Government’s Chief Planner announced an update on the Scottish Planning Review’s progress. Details of the ‘Planning Bill Timetable’ were laid out and the first Planning Bill is expected to be introduced to Scottish Parliament by the end of 2017. The Bill is expected to be scrutinised, amended and voted upon by members of Parliament at the start of next year, before the Bill is to be passed in June 2018.

The Bill is also anticipated to include new legislation on an Infrastructure Levy, following on from the Supreme Court ruling in Aberdeen at the end of October.

Councillors have approved the proposed Local Development Plan (LDP) at a special meeting on 22 November.The blueprint highlights a need for around 12,000 new houses in the next nine years to cope with a predicted population surge. The inclusion of greenfield sites in the proposed plan opens up opportunities for landowners in the area to promote sites for development. Read more on our website.

Head of Planning Scotland (HOPS) recently published a guidance note on National Standards for the Validation and Determination of Planning Applications. The Scottish Planning Review highlighted the need to improve consistency and transparency of planning at this stage as a substantial 60% of planning applications across local authorities in Scotland are invalid when first submitted.

This guidance is hoped to assist applicants submit the robust information and associated documents with their applications, speed up the validation process and provide clarity to developers.

SEPA has published two new documents on flood risk and land planning. They are broadly based upon Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) and the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009. The documents are intended to help local authorities and other stakeholders take account of flood risk in plans for the future.




Bidwells remain a leading UK employer for Chartered Town Planners
Our planning teams across the UK have scored highly in this year's Planning Consultancy Survey, with Bidwells remaining in the top 20 for the UK’s Leading Employers for Chartered Town Planners. We have moved up 6 places from last year, ranking us as number 14 of the UK’s Major Fee Earners.


Gradfest 3

Welcome to our new Graduate Planner, Amelia Smith! 

Amelia (far left) joined the Scotland Planning Team at the end of October. As part of ‘Gradfest’, she had the opportunity to learn more about the business and meet the other 2017 graduates while at our head office in Cambridge.


Food and drink on the menu

Corinne MacDougall attended the Brodies Annual Food and Drink Conference on 3rd November held at Perth Race Course.

Food and drink is of huge importance to the Scottish economy and one of the country's most dynamic and successful sectors. With high growth targets, a changing regulatory environment, rising commodity prices and significant economic pressures, a challenging and exciting time lies ahead.

The conference provided an excellent opportunity for Corinne to listen to key speakers from all sides of this sector as well as network and promote the good work Bidwells Planning is doing throughout the UK.


Housing Land Audits
Kathryn Donnelly recently attended a RTPI South East of Scotland event co-hosted by City of Edinburgh Council and Homes for Scotland regarding ‘Housing Land and Delivery Methodology’. This event discussed the challenges facing Housing Land Audits. This is important for those with residential development aspirations as the five-year effective land supply calculation is considered relevant within planning decisions. 




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