Section 65 & 68 of the Town & Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997

What is section 65 of the Town & Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997?…. Section 65 of the relevant planning legislation could be invoked by City of Edinburgh Council in order to revoke the consented planning application, India Buildings 15/04445/FUL, which was approved at the Development Management Sub Committee (DMSC) planning hearing on 25 May 2016 and formally consented on 17 November 2016.

The grounds for revoking planning consent must be based on material planning grounds, of which there are at least twelve:

  1. Central Library’s floor area requirements
  2. Central Library’s reduction in daylighting by 82%
  3. Central Library is now a category A listed building
  4. Historic Environment Scotland have not assessed the impact of India Buildings hotel development on the setting of Central Library
  5. India Buildings hotel development will decrease the economic value of Central Library
  6. Common good land comprising the Cowgate/Cowgatehead gap site was sold, but it was intended for Central Library’s setting and future expansion needs
  7. No mix of uses evident in the hotel development
  8. Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015
  9. Hotel servicing raises issues of pedestrian safety
  10. Lack of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) within a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) where proposed hotel development breaches air quality legislation
  11. Edinburgh as a UNESCO City of Literature AND cummulative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of its UNESCO World Heritage Site
  12. Permanent residents in Edinburgh’s Old Town already under pressure from hotels, short-term lets including Airbnb, student accommodation including purpose-built student accommodation and the over-provision of licensed premises (noise pollution and antisocial behaviour).

Alternatively, section 68 of the same legislation allows for the Secretary of State to also revoke a consented planning application, see below:

In Scotland section 65 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (the 1997 Act) allows a planning authority to revoke or modify a planning consent “to such extent as they consider expedient” and in doing so shall have regard to the Development Plan and other material considerations:

65 Power to revoke or modify planning permission.

(1) If it appears to the planning authority that it is expedient to revoke or modify any permission to develop land granted on an application made under this Part, the authority may by order revoke or modify the permission to such extent as they consider expedient.

(2) In exercising their functions under subsection (1) the authority shall have regard to the development plan and to any other material considerations.

(3) The power conferred by this section may be exercised—
(a)where the permission relates to the carrying out of building or other operations, at any time before those operations have been completed;
(b)where the permission relates to a change of the use of any land, at any time before the change has taken place.

(4) The revocation or modification of permission for the carrying out of building or other operations shall not affect so much of those operations as has previously been carried out.

(5) Part II of Schedule 3 shall have effect for the purpose of making special provision with respect to the conditions which may be imposed by an order under this section revoking or modifying permission for development consisting of the winning and working of minerals or involving the depositing of refuse or waste materials

As with the law in England and Wales and in Northern Ireland, the power can only be used before the development, or the change of use given permission for, is complete. Under section 66 of the 1997 Act, if the revocation order is opposed then it must be confirmed by Scottish Ministers.

Section 68 of the 1997 Act provides a power for Scottish Ministers to make a revocation order under section 65 if they consider it “expedient” to do so.

Compensation for where planning permission is revoked or modified is set out in section 76 of the 1997 Act.

Louise Smith, ‘Revocation of Planning Permission’, Briefing Paper Number 00905, 4 July 2016, House of Commons Library.


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