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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Planning Law and Land Use (LAWS10249)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines planning law within the particular context of Scotland, though it will encompass some material considering the nature and objectives of planning law regimes more generally across different jurisdictions in the legal world. There will also be some study of the historical development of Scotland¿s distinctive planning regime in order to situate and explain its current architecture.
The course will assess how priorities are set by government and local authorities for the use of land and how planning law polices and fulfils those objectives. This will encompass macro-policy in terms of various environmental targets and socio-economic policy frameworks, as well as looking at the detailed doctrinal law. These assessments will be conducted by classical doctrinal analysis and also by way of case studies across Scotland.
Course description An indicative list of seminars (in order to respond to legal and policy developments and accommodate outside professional engagement it is subject to some change from academic year to academic year) is:
Seminar 1: What is Planning Law? Historical Introduction and Principles
Seminar 2: Sources of Planning Law and the Scottish Context
Seminar 3: Planning Policy
Seminar 4: Making an application
Seminar 5: Responding to an application
Seminar 6: Deciding on an application
Seminar 7: Challenges to a planning decision
Seminar 8: Compulsory purchase
Seminar 9: Planning Law in Practice: Case Study
Seminar 10: The future: controversies, problems and reforms?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Public Law and Individual Rights (LAWS08132) AND Property Law (Ordinary) (LAWS08133)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Spaces on this course are allocated as part of the Law Honours Course Allocation process. Places are generally only available to students who must take Law courses. To request a space on this course, please email
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. An advanced introduction to the concept of planning law and the objectives which it serves, including a grasp of the details of the doctrinal law and attendant procedure
  2. Understanding of the institutional architecture of the bodies taking planning decisions and the ways in which their decisions can be reviewed and challenged
  3. A critical account of the efficacy of planning law in meeting the objectives it seeks to achieve
  4. Understanding of how planning affects or interacts with other cognate areas of legal study such as environmental and property law
  5. Understanding how planning law affects communities and how they can take part in the planning process
Reading List
The nature of the subject means that most texts are advanced and detailed practitioners¿ texts, so there is not really a single teaching textbook which will cover the course.
However, use will be made of the following sources, all of which are in the library, and in most cases they are electronically available

R McMaster et al, Scottish Planning Law (2013)
J Rowan Robinson, Scottish Planning Law and Procedure (2001) (rather out of date, but a new 2nd edn is ¿expected¿ to be published in 2023)
N Collar, Planning (4th edn, 2016)
F McManus, Environmental Law in Scotland: Introduction and Guide (2016) ch 10
B Gill (ed), Scottish Planning Encyclopedia (looseleaf)

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Having completed the course students should have, and be able to demonstrate, the following skills:

- Experience of identifying and synthesising key points from complex information.
- Exposure to the interface between policy making and applied doctrinal law.
- Experience of developing oral communication of complex ideas and arguments;
- Experience of communicating complex ideas and arguments in writing.
- Experience of prioritising source materials and use of time;
- Experience of planning a research strategy and effectively using resources to prepare contributions to class and assessments;
- Experiences of taking constructive feedback and criticism.
- Experience of standard academic skills such as word processing, accessing electronic readings, making electronic searches, and using online platforms.
- Experience of interpreting and framing policy briefs
Additional Class Delivery Information Total Hours: 200 (Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176)
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Daniel Carr
Course secretaryMrs Suzanne Strath
Tel: (0131 6)517000
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