Article 12 included in Scottish Planning System recommendations

Date: 15th June 2016
Category: Respect for the views of the child

The Scottish Government released their independent review of the Scottish Planning system this week. In it, recommendation 48 is to introduce a statutory duty to consult children and young people in the preparation of Local Development Plans and explicitly mentions article 12.

In September 2015, Scottish Ministers appointed an independent review of the Scottish planning system. The authors were tasked with providing a 'root and branch' review, and encouraged to explore game-changing ideas for radical reform of the system. They were asked to focus on six key themes: development planning, housing delivery, infrastructure, development management, community engagement and leadership, resources and skills. Throughout the process, it was identified as clear that these were the right priorities for change. The authors invited views from anyone with an interest in planning, through a call for written evidence, oral evidence sessions, and an online discussion forum. Their review was also supported by available statistics, publications and background information. This report sets out the resultant recommendations.

Although acknowledging that children are only mentioned once in the review, Recommendation 48 states that:

"A new statutory right for young people to be consulted on the development plan should be introduced. This would engender much stronger participation in place planning to realise the terms of Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is also important that active citizenship is underpinned by education - place planning should be built into the Curriculum for Excellence and the Place Standard should guide much wider discussions on place in schools. Community council membership could be transformed where involvement of young people is a requirement rather than an exception. A mechanism for direct engagement between young people and elected members which focuses on place is also recommended. Training will be required in this area as well as a measure for monitoring inclusion."

Article 12 of the UNCRC outlines respect for the views of the child, in all decisions that affect them.