Scottish Property Federation - Branklin Lays Down Planning Gauntlet
Scottish communities minister Rhona Brankin
launched the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) last night,
telling industry leaders they were "the key to a smart,
successful, confident and growing Scotland" as well as laying
down the gauntlet to planners to help make the system work.
The property and construction sectors account for 14% of Scottish GDP.
Over 200 Scottish property professionals and MSPs filled Edinburgh Castle for the launch, which also saw an SPF report entitled 'Growing Scotland's Economy' which can be downloaded here:
Praising the SPF, which had been set up by the British Property Federation (BPF), the minister said it would be an "effective voice for the sector", stating that the success of the government's key objectives depended on the property industry.
She said: "Our key objectives - the regeneration of disadvantaged areas, the provision of good quality education, health and leisure, the creation of safe, sustainable communities - all of these depend on the wealth that growth creates; and they depend directly on developing physical infrastructure, townscapes and facilities we require."
Ms Brankin urged developers to speak up over last December's Planning (Scotland) Act, which brought about a fundamental shake-up of the industry. She said: "We won't get it right without your input, and we promise we will listen and take your views into account.'
Acknowledging the industry's frustration over the planning system, indicated that both developers and planners could move the system forward now new legislation had been passed. She said planners must learn to "understand the economics of development that affect the decision making process" and that the industry could help them do this.
She added: "The critical point is that it is about changing the culture, not just the legal framework. The devil will be in the detail. That detail will be in secondary legislation, guidance and advice."
BPF chief executive Liz Peace said: 'Ministers can be reassured that we are keen to export the advocacy techniques we have used to great effect in London. We will say when we are deeply worried. When we do, it will be based on our real experience and facts. We hope that the SPF will soon develop a close and fruitful working relationship with our colleagues in Scotland."
David Hunter, past president of the BPF and founder of Hunter Advisers, is the inaugural chairman.