Scottish Environment LINK members have launched an e-action to gather support around much needed changes to the Scottish Government’s Planning Bill that will put our communities and the environment first.

The places where we live, work and play matter hugely to our health, wellbeing and identity. The planning system plays a crucial part in determining how we get about, whether we breathe clean air, if we can access the services we need, how our green spaces thrive and how sociable our communities are.

Members of the public are encouraged to support their e-action and help give Scotland the world class planning system it deserves! This is the time to write to your MSPs and ask them to support a planning system that delivers for our communities and the environment!  Support our e-action and let’s make our voices heard!

Planning is the foundation that preserves and enhances our built and natural environment, shaping and supporting our local communities. At its best, planning can deliver sustainable communities with affordable housing, well-resourced public services, green spaces for recreation, a flourishing and protected natural environment, clean air and transport infrastructure.

But all too often the planning system puts developers’ profits before communities’ needs leading to unsustainable developments, exacerbating inequalities and damaging our environment.

Today, confidence in the planning system is at an all-time low, with a recent survey finding that most people feel they have no influence in planning decisions that impact on their day-to-day lives and environment.

Key to fixing the planning system is meaningful community engagement and equal rights of appeal to help level the playing field between communities and developers. However, the Scottish Government’s proposed new Planning Bill doesn’t go nearly far enough in embedding sustainability and community engagement. In fact, it risks making matters worse.

Scottish Environment LINK is the forum for Scotland’s voluntary environment organisations, with over 35 member bodies representing a range of environmental interests with the common goal of contributing to a more environmentally sustainable society.