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Planners key to recovery, says SNP

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The SNP has pledged to give planners a key role in leading Scotland’s economic recovery

Leader Alex Salmond said that ‘a vibrant planning system’ is essential to boosting the nation’s economy.

The party is celebrating winning an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament - a first in the 12-year history of Holyrood.

The SNP’s pre-election manifesto said: ‘We want to see a wider understanding of the planning system and a recognition of the important role planners have in the creation of more sustainable communities and in the delivery of higher levels of sustainable economic growth.’

Planners have welcomed the SNP’s pledge.

Craig McLaren, director of the Royal Town Planning Institute in Scotland, said: ‘The fact that the SNP Government has said that it supports planners and sees them having a role in delivering sustainable communities and high levels of economic growth is a good thing. It sees the value of planning.’

He added: ‘On the other hand, I think that the Scottish Government is still going to be extremely interested in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning system. I think we have to rise to that challenge as a profession.’

Salmond has also called for greater borrowing powers to be devolved from Westminster, so that the country can invest in infrastructure and boost the development sector.

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