Interesting announcement today by the English Housing and Planning Minister, John Healey. He proposes that Parish Councils be given powers to build affordable housing by extending the scope of permitted development rights. Individual planning applications would not be needed for amaximum of 10-15 houses where the Parish Council backs the development.

This is quite radical.

Of course it is only possible because England still has a local level of “local” government. Parish Councils in Scotland were abolished in 1930 by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929 and Town Councils were abolished in 1975 by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.

It is time to resurrect these vital levels of local democracy so that the parishes, towns and villages of Scotland can play a proper role in local development.

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