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Dundee LibDems echo concerns about planning system changes

August 10, 2009 9:06 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats
Alison McInnes MSP

Alison McInnes MSP

Dundee Liberal Democrats have today (Monday 10th August) backed comments by Liberal Democrat Local Government spokesperson, Alison McInnes MSP, that local authorities may struggle to foot the bill for changes to the Neighbour Notification system for local planning that have been introduced this month.

Neighbour Notification is one of the big changes in the modernisation of the planning system currently underway, a system whereby planning authorities are required to notify those with an interest in 'neighbouring land' of a planning application.

Prior to the changes, the responsibility for the communications involved in this lay with the applicant. Under the changes, local authorities now have responsibility for this process.

Commenting, Mrs McInnes, said, "Whilst these changes are welcome, many councils have expressed some serious concerns that have not been addressed properly by the SNP Government.

"Local authorities, already struggling under the tight financial settlement from the SNP, are now going to have to foot the bill for implementing the Neighbour Notification system.

"Many local authorities have expressed real concern over the additional costs that will be involved in meeting these new demands.

"Ministers appear to have made no extra funding available to councils to help ease this burden. This is yet another example of the SNP failing to get the detail right.

"Our planning system is already overstretched. Without careful implementation by Ministers, the changes underway could cause a great deal of confusion and delay."

Here in Dundee, LibDem City Council Group Leader, Cllr Fraser Macpherson, added, "This is another example of Scottish Government adding to the burden placed upon local authorities, without giving authorities the financial resource to meet costs involved.!