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Planning and Architecture News Permitted Development Rights Review - Phase 3 - Regulations laid in the Scottish Parliament

29th March 2024

The Scottish Government is currently conducting a substantial review of permitted development rights (PDR) as part of its wider planning reform programme. The review is being taken forward on a phased basis, with each phase focusing on new and extended PDR for specific types of development.

Following consideration of responses to the public consultation last year on the third phase of the review, The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2024 has been laid before Parliament. The Amendment Order is, subject to Parliamentary scrutiny, due to come into force on 24 May 2024.

The changes introduced by the Order are intended to help support:
Deployment of domestic and non-domestic renewables equipment, such as solar panels, wind turbines and heat pumps.
Alteration/replacement of windows to improve energy efficiency.
Roll-out of electricity network infrastructure.
The Phase 3 measures:
Provide new PDR for domestic solar panels in conservation areas.
Introduce new PDR for solar panels attached to domestic outbuildings.
Extend existing PDR for solar panels on non-domestic buildings and introduce new PDR for free standing solar panels within the curtilage of such buildings.
Relax certain restrictions on PDR for solar canopies in carparks, including removal of requirement that these must be primarily for purpose of powering electric vehicle chargers.
Provide new PDR for wind turbines on detached dwellinghouses.
Simplify existing PDR for free-standing domestic wind turbine within the curtilage of a dwelling.
Introduce new PDR for the installation of a wind turbine attached to a detached dwellinghouse.
Clarify the extent of the PDR for ground and water source heat pumps.
Provide new PDR for alteration and replacement of windows in domestic and non-domestic buildings, with restrictions in conservation areas.
Clarify and extend existing PDR for electricity network infrastructure.
See the accompanying Policy Note for more information. An Independent analysis of responses is also available. Revised circulars on Householder Permitted Development Rights and Non-Domestic Permitted Development Rights will be issued in the near future.

Section 3F Annual Report Laid in Parliament

The Fourteenth Annual Report on the operation and effectiveness of Section 72 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 has been laid in the Scottish Parliament in accordance with Section 73 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. Section 72 introduced Section 3F into the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997. Section 3F requires local development plans to contain policies that require new buildings to be designed to avoid a specified and rising proportion of in-use greenhouse gas emissions through the installation and operation of low and zero-carbon generating technologies.

The annual report highlights that latest national planning policy, heat policy and associated building regulations go much further than what section 3F can achieve.

The annual report concludes that after 1 April 2024 the latest policy and regulatory position goes beyond what Section 3F can achieve and that the requirement to include policies within development plans under Section 3F is no longer necessary.

National Planning Framework 4, which now carries significant weight in planning, is progressive on emissions reduction and moves to the minimisation of lifecycle emissions of development proposals. In addition, the New Build Heat Standard and associated building regulations require zero direct emissions heating solutions for new buildings from 1 April. The annual report also highlights practical and resource implications associated with continuing Section 3F under the latest policy and regulation.

Whilst the legislation remains in place it is in-force. However, as indicated in the annual report, work will be commenced to prepare a repeal Order, for consideration by the Scottish Parliament, using existing provisions of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. We will engage with planning authorities on the preparation of the Order.

Enabling Powers for Scotland's Environmental Impact Assessment Regimes & Habitats Regulations

Scottish Ministers are seeking views on proposed enabling powers relating to Scotland's Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regimes and Habitats Regulations. The consultation commenced on Monday 18 March 2024 and will run for 8 weeks.

If you wish to submit a view on the proposed enabling powers, you can do so online through our consultation hub. Please ensure consultation responses are submitted before the closing date on Monday 13 May 2024.

If you are unable to respond using the consultation hub, you can submit your consultation response by emailing or in writing to the: EIA and Habitats Regulations Consultation, Restoration team, Area 1B North, Scottish Government, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ