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Planning (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (Day 2)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th June 2019.

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Photo of Graham Simpson Graham Simpson Conservative

It feels as though I have never been away.

Amendment 112 removes land value capture from the bill. It was introduced by an amendment that I lodged at stage 2. Initially, the bill had no mechanism for capturing any land value uplift. It was a subject that the Local Government and Communities had a close look at and I think that there is general cross-party support for the concept.

However, my stage 2 amendment has raised legal concerns. I have to be honest about that and say that I do not think that there is a place for it in the bill, because there are problems with it. Organisations such as the Scottish Property Federation have called it “premature” and welcomed amendment 112, which removes the provision. Scottish Land & Estates pointed out its possible incompatibility with the European convention on human rights. That point was also raised by the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee, which I convene.

Given the work that is being undertaken by the Scottish Land Commission on land value capture, this bill is not the place for it and I am happy to remove it. On that basis, I will not be supporting amendments 212 and 215, in the name of Alex Rowley.

I move amendment 112.