Boosting infrastructure will support the forthcoming National Planning Framework 4, said Homes for Scotland
The Scottish government should carry out a place-based assessment of long-term housing demand and supply across the country by next year, according to a new report.
In an assessment of Scotland’s needs over the next 30 years the country’s infrastructure commission called on Nicola Sturgeon’s government to back planning for housing with the development of a “coherent strategy for the labour market and business opportunities arising from an inclusive net-zero carbon economy”.
Among the report’s 23 recommendations the commission also argued that infrastructure should be at the heart of the development of a new planning framework – National Planning Framework 4. This would give “stronger guidance on housing delivery and diversification including the setting of targets on land for housing”.
Homes for Scotland, which represents 200 homebuilders, welcomed the commission’s acknowledgment that housing was “an integral component of [Scotland’s] essential infrastructure”.
Nicola Barclay, Homes for Scotland’s chief executive, said new housing developments “do not stand alone and are themselves dependent on having the necessary supportive infrastructure in place, such as schools, GP surgeries, transport options, water, gas, electricity and broadband”.
She said that such upfront provision was not only necessary for new residents but “helps to alleviate concerns from existing residents”.
But she warned that costs remained prohibitive for both developers and their public sector partners.
“If Scotland is to fully meet the housing needs and aspirations of its people, we must find the funding and delivery solutions for both on-site and off-site infrastructure requirements. Otherwise development, particularly by SMEs and in rural areas, risks being stymied even further,” she added.