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Housing land policy revised

29 July 2008

Safeguarding the provision of land for housing is the aim of a revised planning policy issued by the Scottish Government yesterday.

The new version of Scottish Planning Policy 3 (SPP 3), which follows a consultation exercise, is intended to make it easier for local authorities to make sure that they always have a five-year supply of effective land for housing, and enable them to bring forward more land for housing if required.

As well as replacing the version of SPP 3 published in February 2003, the new policy also supersedes the existing Planning Advice Note 38 on housing land audits.

Planning Minister Stewart Stevenson said that by better integrating the identification of housing requirements and local housing strategies with development plans, the government would ensure that sufficient land was brought forward "to enable provision of new housing of the right kind, of the right numbers, in the right places".

He added: "Crucially, SPP3 also sets out that developers and planning authorities work together to help provide high quality, well designed homes in sustainable locations across Scotland that will bring essential benefits to communities."

The government's long-term ambition is to increase housing supply in Scotland to 35,000 units a year by the middle of the next decade, while fully recognising the impact that the current economic climate is having on the development of new housing, and on the housing market in general.

Ministers are engaged in discussions with lenders and the housebuilding sector, including through the Housing Supply Task Force, to ensure that everything possible is done to support the housing market both now and in the future.