CALLS to ease planning restrictions on countryside huts in a bid to revive the Scottish hutting tradition and encourage people to connect with the outdoors are to be put to the SNP conference in June.

Delegates at the event in Aberdeen are to be told concerns have been raised over “disproportionate levels of bureaucracy” when applying to erect the small structures in rural and remote areas, and that these should be relaxed to allow their number to grow.

A resolution by the party’s Westhill Kintore and Blackburn Branch is due to be debated during the c onference, which will take place on June 8 and 9.

It states: “Conference believes supporting a hutting culture in Scotland will provide many benefits to the individual, as evident in many studies extolling the improved health of folk communing with the great outdoors.

“Hutting life promotes economy of resources and waste minimisation. Rather than being faced with lots of hurdles to overcome with a complicated planning process, individuals with a qualifying project should have a right to pursue that project.”

The resolution adds huts should be allowed “permitted development status” so planning permission is not required, and that such a move would empower “ordinary individuals and allow the recreational benefits of hutting to be widely enjoyed”.

Simple, rustic buildings have long been central to Scotland’s heritage. They are celebrated in musician Martyn Bennett’s album Bothy Culture, and cartoon-strip family The Broons’ have their own rural but ’n’ ben.

The best-known hutting site is at Carbeth in Stirlingshire, where there are 140 huts. The development dates back to 1918 and was designed to allow returning soldiers access to green spaces. In 2013, Carbeth hutters rallied together to buy the land on which their huts sit.

Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in hutting, with a pilot project with the Forestry Commission under way in Fife to create a small new hutting community.

About 600 Scots registered to secure just 12 plots in Carnock Wood, with applicants due to attend an open day in Dunfermline next month to find out more details. Shuttle buses will run to the woodland, which will be leased out by Forest Enterprise Scotland, a commercial arm of Forestry Commission Scotland. Those who then want to take forward their application will enter a ballot, with results expected to be known by the end of June. At Carnock Wood, successful applicants will build their own huts, which usually costs anything between £5,000 and £15,000 depending on materials used.

Each hut at Carnock, which will have no running water or electricity, will likely be serviced by its own compost toilet. The hutters will enter a rental agreement with Forest Enterprise Scotland for their space in the wood, which is designed to be used at weekends and for holidays.

Reforesting Scotland, the charity working with the Forestry Commission on the pilot, said it was “overwhelmed” by the levels of interest in the plots in Carnock Wood.

The hobby of hutting is popular in Norway and Sweden, where many people own huts and use them for weekend breaks.

Currently, anyone who wants to build a hut must apply for planning permission. However, last year, the Scottish Government introduced new legislation to make it easier for people to build a simple hut for recreational use. A new building type for huts is now recognised by the planning process and, in effect, exempts huts from most building regulations.

The hutting resolution is among the resolutions published in the draft conference agenda obtained by The National. Amendments can be submitted by May 11.