Environmental Concerns About Investment Zones

The Scottish Conservatives support this UK Government initiative to bring more investment and economic growth to Scotland and the wider UK. 

In Scotland, Investment Zones will be subject to agreement between the SNP Government and the UK Government. It is my hope that the SNP Government will engage with the UK Government to ensure that the new Investment Zones are taken advantage of and benefit Scotland’s economy.

I appreciate your concern about protections for the environment. As you may know, environmental issues are a devolved matter so any proposed Investment Zones would need the agreement of both of Scotland’s governments to proceed. The UK Government have made clear they wish to maintain planning policies which ensure developments protect our precious natural heritage. I am sure the SNP Government will set out their position in due course. 

In Scotland, I am concerned that the SNP Government often overrides planning decisions made at a local level despite environmental concerns raised by residents in the local area. Between 2017 and 2022, the Scottish Government have overturned the local planning decision in nearly half of all cases that they have decided on. 

The Scottish Conservatives know that our natural environment is Scotland’s greatest asset, and we must do everything we can to protect and nurture it – so it can be enjoyed by future generations. But in recent decades we have experienced catastrophic loss of species and their habitats, accelerated by climate change. That’s why we support plans for an ambitious Nature Bill, to strengthen environmental protections on land, in our rivers and at sea – so that we can reverse the decline in native species.