A FIFE MSP has voiced his dismay at the revelations that SNP ministers have overturned almost 400 planning decisions made by local authorities in the last five years.

Since 2015/16, 367 planning appeals submitted to ministers in Edinburgh have been overturned after they were decided at local authority level.

The news fuels concerns about the SNP snatching powers from local decision makers, according to Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Alexander Stewart.

He said: “We have seen many examples of this across Fife over the years, of SNP minsters running roughshod over Council decisions.

“In November this year, the Scottish Conservatives unveiled a policy to guarantee in law that planning decisions would not be overturned and that decisions made at a local authority level will be respected.

“This pledge would ensure that national developments are always done in conjunction with the wishes of local communities.

“It has to be remembered that five years ago, SNP ministers overturned almost half of planning appeals, while last year the figure remained over a third, which is absolutely unacceptable.”

Mr Stewart continued: “The SNP continues to take the attitude that they know better than local communities when it comes to vital planning decisions.

“That has routinely been the case over the SNP’s 13 years in charge. They don’t want to listen to local authorities and residents but instead want to grab power from them.

“Last year they confirmed this by rejecting almost four in ten decisions made at a local level.

“By contrast, the Scottish Conservatives would guarantee in law that local decisions could never be overturned in Holyrood in order to respect the wishes of local people who want to rebuild their communities.”