National Planning Framework response: “Wellbeing must be at the heart of the process”
9 March 2021
Children in Scotland has responded to the Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework Position Statement, calling for a greater emphasis on health and wellbeing and the adoption of a people-focused planning system.
In our response we welcome the broad intersectional approach in the government's statement, and acknowledge its reference to inequalities in communities, such as lack of green space, unsuitable play areas or vacant and derelict land.
We also support the commitment to net-zero emissions in future planning.
However, we believe it is vital that the planning framework takes account of the needs of children, young people and families and facilitates their meaningful involvement in the development and planning process to guide decision and investment.
In our Manifesto for the 2021-26 Scottish Parliament we call for consideration to be given to the UNICEF Child Friendly Cities model, which aims to ensure that children and young people's needs are at the heart of local decision-making and planning.
This is an approach that the Scottish Government should embrace as part of the planning framework, we argue.
Investment in person-centred planning, a commitment to a wellbeing economy and place-based investment are also amongst our top-level recommendations.
Chris Ross, Children in Scotland's Senior Policy, Projects and Participation Officer, said:
“The Scottish Government’s position statement outlines a range of positive policy suggestions that could support better places and, most importantly, better outcomes for those who live there.
"To achieve this, it is vital that children, young people and families have input to ensure investment reflect their needs.
"We know from our own project work that they have clear views about the places they live and what could change.
"It is important for the Scottish Government, planning authorities and others involved in local planning to learn from our projects, and others like them, about how to meaningfully engage children and young people in discussions about place and planning for better outcomes for all.”
The response highlights the requirement to tackle wider systemic issues such as poverty, inequality and discrimination.
It recognises the need for both meaningful resources and political will in order to deliver a truly wellbeing and people-centred planning system.
The response supports many of the recommendations and calls made within our Manifesto for 2021-26, published in November 2020.