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eplanning scotland

PAS LogoWith core activities supported by a grant from the Scottish Government, PAS provides independent advice on planning and environmental matters.


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The Planning System in Scotland

national planning framework 3 logo The planning system is used to make decisions about the future development and use of land in our towns, cities and countryside. It considers where development should happen, where it should not and how development affects its surroundings. The system balances different interests to make sure that land is used and developed in a way that creates high quality, sustainable places.

Scotland's planning system has undergone the most significant modernisation in over 60 years. The overall aim is delivery of a planning service that is efficient, inclusive, fit for purpose and sustainable.

There are 3 main parts to the planning system:

  • Development Plans - The planning system in Scotland is plan led. The plans set out how places should change into the future.
  • Development Management - This is the process for making decisions on planning applications. Legislation requires that decisions on planning applications be guided by policies in the development plan.
  • Enforcement - This is the process that makes sure development is carried out correctly and which can be used to take action when it has not.

Planning Links


Development Plan Correspondence

Correspondence from the Scottish Government to each planning authority which has been issued at formal stages of the plan preparation process.
Local Authority Plan Preparation

Review of the Scottish Planning System

Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights has announced further detail on proposals for the reform of the Scottish planning system.  The review will be undertaken by an independent panel, chaired by Crawford Beveridge, and also including Petra Biberbach of PAS and John Hamilton of the Scottish Property Federation.

New Town and Country Planning (Notification of Applications) Directions



Replacement eplanning portal ( due in Jan 2016 with the new building standards portal due next Summer. What will be different? article published October 5, 2015

eBuilding Standards