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RIAS warning over right of appeal

The RIAS is set to warn the Scottish Executive that the introduction of a third-party right of appeal would be detrimental to the functioning of the planning system. Business leaders are also lined up in opposition to the proposals, which have been put out to consultation in a White Paper.

Hugh Crawford, chairman of the RIAS's housing and town planning board, said the Executive 'should be making things simpler instead of widening opportunities for objection'. And he warned it would 'increase the level of frustration' for architects working in Scotland.

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser described the proposals as 'disastrous'. He said: 'The way the planning process works is already a hindrance to economic development. If we have a review of the planning law we should be attempting to streamline the process.'

However, Friends of the Earth Scotland welcomed a third party right of appeal under certain limited conditions, such as where it was contrary to development policy, where the application was accompanied by an environmental impact statement and where a planning committee has gone against its officer's recommendation.

The White Paper was issued quietly at the end of March, after Parliament had been dissolved. The RIAS will be taking part in the consultation.

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