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Housing ambition must be increased in South-East Scotland new report directs

Scotland’s home building industry today applauded the recommendations of an independent Reporter which will ensure SESplan 2 - the next strategic development plan for South-East Scotland – not only meets housing need and demand in the region but also supports wider economic growth.

With planning authorities in South-East Scotland having spent four years preparing a new strategic development plan, housing targets proved a main area of contention. Homes for Scotland argued the plan must rise to the challenge of tackling what is a significant shortfall of homes in Edinburgh, the Lothians and southern Fife – efforts supported by today’s report.

 The Reporter’s key findings include:

  • 94,416 new homes need to be built across South-East Scotland by 2030 – an increase of over 30,000 on what was originally proposed.
  • To meet this target, more land (not limited to previously developed / brownfield land) will need to be allocated for home building.
  • Planning authorities must recognize and address the shortfalls in supply that commonly arise as plans age. If too few homes are built in the first few years – more will need to be built in the rest of the plan period.

Homes for Scotland Director of Planning Tammy Swift-Adams said: 

“Rising to the challenge of housing need and demand is the only way that Scotland’s housing crisis can be eased so I am delighted with the support for home building provided by the Reporter today.

“This breaks a damaging recent trend of development plans that don’t make adequate provision for much-needed new homes.

“I am hugely proud of the work of our planning team and members in amassing a strong evidence base and putting forward positive and persuasive arguments as to why SESplan 2 must take a gutsy and responsible approach to ease Scotland’s housing crisis.

“It is often said that planning isn’t what prevents a resurgence in home-building. That’s not entirely true. If a plan doesn’t make full provision for the number of homes we know are needed, it is much harder for would-be developers to get new sites allocated and consented.

“In this case – had the draft plan been supported – some 30,500 homes (almost a third of the homes that are genuinely needed) would simply have dropped off the radar.

“The Reporter has recognised the relevance and reliability of the information and insight provided by Homes for Scotland and our members. This shows the importance of moving away from what has too often been a confrontational style of plan-making towards a new era of collaboration.

“The Planning (Scotland) Bill currently going through Parliament is a chance to embed that positive spirit – but it is up to all of us involved in planning and development to make it work.

“We hope this hugely significant outcome will encourage all planning authorities to make good use of the wealth of information provided by Homes for Scotland and other stakeholders, at an early stage of the plan-making process.”

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