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Scotland overhauls planning system

New measures have been introduced in Scotland to speed up and increase public participation in the planning process.

Infrastructure Minister Stewart Stevenson said the changes will create a more effective “joined up” planning system.

Local bodies enabling councillors, as opposed to the Government, to review decisions made over small-scale developments will be set up as part of the measures.

There will be more transparency on planning decisions and developers will also have to consult communities before major development proposals are put forward.

Planning authorities will also have increased powers to take effective enforcement action.

Mr Stevenson said: “The Scottish Government is working to ensure Scotland’s planning system is increasingly joined up, providing greater certainty and speed of decision-making for developers and communities.

“A key part of our economic recovery programme is ensuring that all Government activity, including on planning and regulation, supports economic development.”

But Liberal Democrat local government spokeswoman Alison McInnes raised doubts over the funding of the changes and said that councils could struggle to pay for the measures.