Scottish Planning System to support future connectivity

The Scottish Government is set to review a number of evidence-based recommendations on how the Scottish Planning System can effectively support the delivery of world class connectivity in Scotland.
It has commissioned a study, which was due to be concluded in March after being carried out in partnership by Bidwells, a Scottish property specialist, and project management specialist Farrpoint, in a bid to explore the scope for legislative changes to further increase Permitted Development rights for electronic communications infrastructure.
According to the Scottish Government, digital communication is an essential part of today’s society – economically, socially and environmentally – enabling countries, regions, towns and communities to maintain their competitiveness through connectivity.
It claims its research will take into consideration the expansion and investment needed in current infrastructure to meet Scottish Government digital objectives, including the technological development and innovative implementation techniques required to meet coverage scenarios and service needs.
According to the Scottish Government, this is particularly evident in rural Scotland where realising a world class digital connectivity vision presents a challenge for delivery to remoter communities.
It says it’s committed to working in collaboration with industry and stakeholders to improve mobile coverage in Scotland, particularly in hard to reach areas or those parts of Scotland likely to be outwith the commercial rollout of 4G services.
Head of Planning at Bidwells Corinne MacDougall said: “The Scottish Planning System has a key role to play in supporting the Scottish Government World Class Vision. We are considering how the Scottish Government can use the range of legislative levers at its disposal to assist this process”.
Jan Miszalowski, principal consultant at FarrPoint, added: “Bidwells and FarrPoint have engaged with industry, planning authorities and stakeholders to gather an evidence base that will form a key component of our assessment when making recommendations. This research work will be a key element in deciding how the Scottish planning system can support operators in building the communications infrastructure required to ensure that everyone in Scotland can participate in the digital age.”
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