Issues guide: Housing and planning

Holyrood has control over the planning system, land use, and building standards in Scotland.

It also oversees housing and regeneration projects.

Here, BBC news online Scotland outlines the housing and planning policies of the SNP, Scottish Labour, the Scottish Conservatives, the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Greens.

Election issues 2011

Housing and planning

Scottish National Party



Liberal Democrats


  • Guarantee to retain secured tenancies at affordable rent and implement Tenant Deposit Scheme, to help the estimated 8,000 to 11,000 Scots who have their deposit wrongly withheld.
  • Tough tenancy rules for those who commit anti-social behaviour.
  • Levy on long-term empty houses, which could raise £30m for extra council houses, and extend support for the Shelter Scotland Empty Homes Scheme
  • Will fund construction of another 5,000 council houses.
  • Private Rented Sector Strategy Group to improve the sector.
  • Publish national strategy on housing for older people.
  • Consult tenants on how housing is provided.
  • Require all property factors to comply with a code of conduct to end "nightmare" homeowners face at the hands of unscrupulous factors.
  • Review recent changes to the planning system.
  • End fuel poverty by 2016.
  • Support communities to take ownership of derelict land or rundown properties and empty homes partnership to bring Scotland's 25,000 long-term empty homes back into use.
  • New First Foot scheme to cut size of deposits on new properties to between 5-10%.
  • Reinstate "modernised" right to buy for new and recently built social houses in local authority ownership.
  • Additional housing need weighting for local people and those with a proven family connection in specific areas.
  • Abolish home report surveys to stimulate the property market, but retain home energy reports.
  • New Scottish minister for enterprise and jobs, with responsibility for enterprise, planning, transport and infrastructure.
  • Establish business-led review of the planning system, to report by March 2012.
  • Require Scottish Water to complete the work within three months of planning permission in detail being granted for a development.
  • New system of grants worth up to £10,000 to bring Scotland's 70,000 empty homes back into use, provided owners allow a housing association to rent it out for 10 years.
  • Give further priority to shared equity schemes.
  • Develop community land trusts to secure and develop land within remote or rural communities.
  • Deliver "efficient and "inclusive planning system, involving local people in the decisions.
  • Review home information survey packs to evaluate their effectiveness, but retain energy performance certificate.
  • Widen tenancies available for immediate rented housing.
  • Minimum energy standards for private rented housing sector.
  • Reverse the cut to the housing budget and invest in social housing.
  • Further restrict the right to buy council homes, ensuring social housing remains available as social housing.
  • Bring more empty homes back into use, using a mixture of grants, loans and strengthened legal powers for councils and social landlords to take over properties.
  • Review planning laws with view to restoring planning's original purpose of achieving development in the public good, rather than economic growth.
  • Programme of investment in flats and tenements, funded by small grants and equity release loans.

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