Scottish Green Belts Alliance

2004/05 Exec review of Scottish Planning Policy on green belts

Scottish Planning Policies provide the national approach to all aspects of planning. On 11-8-04 the then Communities Minister, Margaret Curran, announced that a new Scottish Planning Policy on green belts will be prepared, to replace the 1985 Circular.

The Scottish Executive had sponsored research on green belts, to assess the operation and application of the present policy, and advise on changes.

In March 2005 MSP Jackie Baillie asked three parliamentary questions of the new Communities Minister, Malcolm Chislholm:

  1. Whether the draft Scottish Planning Policy on green belts will retain
    1. the term "green belt" and
    2. the presumption against development in green belts.
  2. whether the draft Scottish Planning Policy on green belts will reflect all aspects of a green belt, including the environmental, rural and recreational potential of existing green belts.
  3. whether the draft Scottish Planning Policy on green belts will encourage the creation of new green belts.

The answer given was A revised policy is currently in preparation. We intend to publish the draft Scottish Planning Policy for full consultation in late Spring 2005.

The consultation Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) 21: Green Belts was released on 5th August 2005.

The following is a copy of the 11/08/2004 news release:

Green belts to be reviewed

A new Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) on green belts is to be prepared, following research showing both a high degree of support for green belts and a need to strengthen and clarify the policy.

The Executive will now begin the process of preparing the new SPP, supported by a Task Group and involving consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. A draft SPP is expected in spring 2005.

Communities Minister Margaret Curran said:
Green Belts have played an important role in shaping Scotland's cities and towns over the last 50 years.

However, since policy was last reviewed in 1985, there have been many changes in development pressures and how green belts are used.

They may serve a wider range of purposes than originally envisaged, with increasing interest in issues such as urban regeneration and sustainable transport.

That's why we commissioned research to look at whether green belts are still the best tool to use. The study suggested three options: scrapping green belts, creating a two-tier system of 'permanent' and 'fixed term' green belts, or looking at improvements to the existing system.

Following this, we strongly believe scrapping them would not be appropriate - they still have a key part to play in the management of urban change.

Nor do we believe that a two-tier system is necessarily the best way forward - that is potentially confusing and could undermine the protection that some green belt areas currently enjoy.

But there is a real need to refresh green belt policy, and over the coming months we will take forward discussions on how we can strengthen our green belts so that they continue to play a key role in supporting our aspirations for healthy and vibrant cities, towns and countryside and protecting valued green space.

Findings from the research include:

The research was based on a research project carried out for the Scottish Executive by a team from Heriot-Watt University and Robinson Associates. See Our view on research.

   Go back to top

t h e  f i n e  p r i n t
 Copyright: anyone is free to copy sections any of our publications as long as they acknowledge the source.

 We try to be legal, decent, honest and truthful, and have made every effort to present fair opinions and accurate facts. Please email any corrections. created 3/12/04, modified 19/03/2011 by Dutyhog.

 Search this web site for:

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

 This site looks best with recent browsers. It is OK with Netscape Navigator 9, Explorer 5, Opera 9, Safari 4 and Firefox 3 for Mac OSX, and with Explorer 5, 6 & 7 in Windows 98, NT & XP.