SNP ministers have been warned their overhaul of national planning rules will not go far enough to alleviate Scotland’s housing crisis and could lead to less homes being built.

The alarm has been raised by Homes for Scotland, the body representing organisations providing the majority of the country’s new homes.

The Scottish Government has published its revised national planning framework (NPF4) proposals.

The plans include measures to encourage low carbon buildings to be constructed – with proposals to enable more renewable energy to be generated.

The proposals will support emerging low-carbon and zero emissions technologies as well as measures to regenerate city and town centres to better help them adapt to economic change.

Ahead of SNP planning minister Tom Arthur's appearance at Holyrood’s Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee on Tuesday, Homes For Scotland is calling on the Scottish Government to provide a framework that can balance the climate emergency and nature crisis alongside tackling Scotland’s housing need – with a shortfall now approaching 100,000 homes.

In a letter to the committee, Homes For Scotland has also warned that a lack of transitional guidance alongside the new framework will lead to considerable and unnecessary delay for both applicants and decision-makers in processing applications for new homes.

The industry body is calling on the Scottish Government to proceed with a fundamental review of the housing need and demand assessment process.

Homes for Scotland’s director of planning, Liz Hamilton, has previously warned MSPs that “the present system is not fit for purpose and drastically under-estimates real housing needs”.

Ms Hamilton has also warned there is no mechanism for bringing forward additional land if allocated sites fail to deliver the number of homes required.

She said: “Guidance, which is clear on how a deliverable land pipeline is to be identified and reviewed in order that a consistent supply of homes is maintained across the 10 year life cycle of a local development plan, is required to clarify this”.

Jane Wood, Homes for Scotland’s chief executive, said: “For the sake of everyone in need of a new home, NPF4 must be clear, deliverable, viable, consistent and ambitious. It is therefore disappointing that no transitional guidance has been issued as there are numerous live planning applications in the system awaiting a decision which will be delayed further because, as it stands, all planning applications will require reassessing when the new framework is in place.

“The draft NPF4 gives significant weight to tackling the climate and nature crises but it must also balance this against meeting Scotland’s growing housing needs particularly when the housing crisis is within our control to fix.

“We look forward to hearing what Mr Arthur has to say at the committee and to working with him and other stakeholders to ensure a planning system that enables the delivery of good quality homes that meet the current and future needs and aspirations of everyone living in Scotland.”

Cosla, the umbrella-organisation for Scottish councils, has warned funding will be required for local authorities alongside the new rules is aims are to be met.

Gail Macgregor Cosla’s environment and economy spokesperson, said: “Analysis and scrutiny will be required to comment on the content of NPF4, due to the detail and complexity of the framework. Cosla has previously made clear that we support a national planning framework which is consistent with our existing priorities, particularly the just transition to a net zero economy no later than 2045 and place making to improve the wellbeing of Scotland’s communities.

"We welcome moves in the NPF4 to achieve these aims, but the framework alone is not enough and local authorities will require the resources and flexibility of full cost recovery to effectively and efficiently deliver its aims.”

Mr Arthur has insisted that “the climate and nature crises are the priority”.

He added: “There is now a clear expectation of the role that planning must play in delivering the expansion of renewable energy needed to realise the just transition from reliance on fossil fuels.

“This framework creates the foundation upon which to build the fairer, greener Scotland we want to see for the benefit of future generations.”