Developers ‘dubious’ about new planning rules in Glasgow

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The rules could have a major effect on construction in Glasgow

Major construction firms are reportedly “dubious” about the benefits of new ‘green’ planning rules from the Scottish Government which will influence building decisions in Glasgow.

The National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) was adopted in February and will be used alongside the city development plan to decide whether construction can go-ahead. Scottish Greens councillor Blair Anderson described the framework as “one of the most important tools to tackle climate crisis” while fellow politician Lana Reid-McConnell said housebuilders “need to get on board.”

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A council official said large housebuilders are “dubious” about this delivering a quicker, more certain, engaging and leaner planning system. He added, “It is fair to say that some of the delivery detail is particularly weak in particular reference to Glasgow Metro and Clyde Mission.” He said he expects more non-statutory guidance to come forward in due course.

A computer generated image of what a Clyde Metro station could look like at Glasgow AirportA computer generated image of what a Clyde Metro station could look like at Glasgow Airport
A computer generated image of what a Clyde Metro station could look like at Glasgow Airport | Contributed

Pointing out the positives, the official said there is “genuine synergy with our collective work programme across” the council’s neighbourhood, regeneration and sustainability department. Speaking at the net zero and climate progress monitoring city policy committee this week, the official said, “NPF4 gives significant weight to the climate and nature crisis throughout all our decision making. There is strong alignment with our strategic plan commitments and ambitions contained in the Glasgow City Council climate plan.”

Scottish Greens councillor Lana Reid-McConnell said: “It is essential we have the right frameworks in place to be able to progress to meet our targets. Particularly the large private stakeholders should be championing it if not getting on board more enthusiastically.” After questions from Labour councillor Keiran O’Neill, the meeting heard the new guidance will make it more difficult for developers to demolish worthy buildings in the city. A paper presented to the meeting said, “NPF4 is a long-term plan which sets out an approach to planning and development that will help to achieve a net zero, sustainable Scotland by 2045.”

Eighteen national developments are being highlighted in the framework with a number relevant to Glasgow including the ‘Glasgow Metro’ and Clyde Mission (which aims to drive sustainable and inclusive growth covering areas on either side of the river.

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