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Concern over planning appeals being overturned figures

By Kyle Ritchie

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The Scottish Government has overruled Aberdeenshire Council on more than half of all planning applications in the last year alone, a new report has revealed.

The Planning and Environmental Appeals Division’s annual report shows that nine out of 16 application decisions in Aberdeenshire were overturned by ministers (56 per cent).

Among them was an application to create seven houses and 56 flats at the former Blockworks site in Westhill, which was rejected by the local authority but passed on appeal by the Scottish Government.

In Aberdeen, 10 application decisions made by Aberdeen City Council were reversed by the government officials out of 19 appeals (53 per cent).

Across the country, 164 local authority planning decisions out of 367 were overturned by the Scottish Government in 2021/22, a rate of 45 per cent.

North-east MSP Liam Kerr said: “It’s extremely concerning to see these figures which show proportionately Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire lose more appeals than other councils.

North East MSP Liam Kerr.
North East MSP Liam Kerr.

“People will feel this aspect of the planning system is completely broken, with Scottish Government ministers constantly failing to respect community decision-making over a host of developments.

“They think they know better than local authorities who aren’t being given the chance to decide what’s right for them and their communities.

“Instead, decisions are being taken in Edinburgh with no care whatsoever about the north-east.

“The Scottish Conservatives would guarantee in law that no planning decisions made locally can be overturned in Holyrood.

“That would give people in the north-east the confidence that decisions made at council level would be final.”

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