'Power grab' claim

Half of council planning appeals overruled

Scottish Parliament Holyrood
Ministers are accused of holding too much power over councils (Pic: Terry Murden)

The SNP Government overruled local councils on almost half of all planning appeals in the last year alone, a new report reveals.

The Planning and Environmental Appeals Division’s annual report shows that 164 local authority planning decisions out of 367 were overturned by the Scottish Government in 2021/22, a rate of 45%.

The worst affected local authority area was Argyll and Bute where six out of seven decisions made locally were overturned by the SNP Government.

East Dunbartonshire, South Ayrshire, Dundee City and Highland Councils all saw more than 60 per cent of the decisions they made overturned.

In total, 18 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities had a rate of more than half of decisions being lost on appeal by Scottish Government ministers.

Conservative Shadow Local Government Secretary Miles Briggs has accused SNP ministers of a “power grab” on local authorities and holding a “blatant disregard for local views”.

He is also bringing forward a Local Government Powers and Protection Bill to ensure councils are protected against what the Tories regard as SNP centralisation.

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Mr Briggs MSP, said: “This is the latest clear evidence of an SNP power grab on our local authorities.

“It is completely unacceptable that almost half of decisions made by our local authorities in the last year were then overturned by the Scottish Government.

“It is what we’ve come to expect from SNP Ministers, who love centralisation and ignoring the views of local communities.

“The SNP like to pretend they know what’s best for local communities, but then they arrogantly overrule a whole host of decisions made by councils.

“We know the impact planning application outcomes can have on local communities, and it those local people who know how best how decisions will affect them.

“It shouldn’t be up to out-of-touch SNP-Green ministers who are miles away in Edinburgh to overrule local decisions.

“The SNP should start treating our councils with the respect they deserve rather than always seeking to meddle in their business.

“The Scottish Conservatives are fully committed to standing up for our 32 local authorities, by ensuring no planning decisions made locally would be overturned and enshrining a fair funding deal for councils in law, after years of savage SNP cuts.”

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