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One year on

mail us tiny 20 NPF Team
telephone tiny 20
0131 244 7888

Area 2-H (South)
Planning & Architecture Division,
The Scottish Government
Victoria Quay

One year on

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Ambition, Opportunity …Progress!

One year on

June 23, 2015 marks the one year anniversary of the publication of National Planning Framework 3 and Scottish Planning Policy.

For the first time we have a succinctly expressed vision for planning:

‘We live in a Scotland with a growing low carbon economy with progressively narrowing disparities in well-being and opportunity.  It is growth that can be achieved whilst reducing emissions and which respects the quality of environment, place and life which makes our country so special.  It is growth which increases solidarity – reducing inequalities between regions.  We live in sustainable, well designed places and homes which meet our needs.  We enjoy excellent transport and digital connections, internally and with the rest of the world.

Here we take a brief look at some of the events that have progressed this vision over the past 12 months:

2 Main Issues Reports for Strategic Development Plans consulted on

5 National Planning Framework 3 and Scottish Planning Policy delivery seminars with Royal Town Planning Institute Chapters

7 times the NPF3 Action Programme has been updated with new information across the 30 Actions and 14 national Developments

8 Local Development Plans adopted, a further 6 in the final stages of preparation

11 Proposed Local Plans published

14 charrettes held; 6 Local Development Plan charrettes and 8 town centre charrettes.

37 of the 44 actions/national developments have made progress on implementation

53% of planning appeals allowed in the period 2014/15, up from 48% of planning appeals in 2013/14.

93% approval rate for planning applications maintained (Q1-Q3 of 2014/15)

162 applications with a processing agreement have been determined in the first three quarters of 2014/15), up at least 30% on the number of applications with processing agreements determined in the whole of 2013/14


On the four themes of our national policy, progress has also been made:

Planning makes Scotland a successful sustainable place – supporting sustainable economic growth and regeneration, and the creation of well-designed places


Applecross, Firhill & Hamiltonhill, Glasgow

Town Centre charrettes

Nairn, Tain & Fort William, Highland
Dumbarton Castle, West Dunbartonshire Carnoustie, Angus Council
Elgin, Moray Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire

Govan & Partick, Glasgow

Crieff, Aberfeldy & Auchterarder, Perth & Kinross

Perth West Masterplan, Perth & Kinross

Denny, Falkirk

Tranent, East Lothian

Dunblane, Dunblane Community Council


Maybole, South Ayrshire


Whitburn, West Lothian

Town Centre Toolkit published to inspire and help people and organisations make their town centres more attractive, accessible and with more activity.

Understanding Scottish Places’ new online data platform launched to help understand town’s characteristics, function and economic relationships.

£119,000 programme of town centre planning pilots underway, supporting 9 local authorities from across Scotland, based around 7 themes looking at how planning can support vibrant  town centres.

Joint Housing Delivery Plan for Scotland launched on June 3, 2015 to help make progress on housing delivery.  It identifies priority actions that representatives from across the housing sector agree need a specific focus to deliver the strategic objectives set out in Homes Fit for the 21st Century and other subsequent Scottish Government strategies with a bearing on housing.

Planning makes Scotland a low carbon place – reducing our carbon emissions and adapting to climate change

49.6% of Scotland’s gross electricity consumption was generated from renewable sources in 2014, the target for 2015 is 50%

Community Energy Empowerment and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) announced funding for six projects across Scotland to demonstrate innovative local energy

All 32 Councils in Scotland have requested the national heat map dataset in order to develop their own heat maps.

Planning makes Scotland a natural resilient place – helping to protect and enhance our natural and cultural assets, and facilitating their sustainable use

The Long Distance Walking and Cycling Network Project Plan was launched setting out the route towards delivery of the national development.

Work progresses on the development of effective regulation for opencast coal restoration

Planning makes Scotland a connected place – supporting better transport and digital connectivity

By April 2015 over 267,000 premises were able to access fibre broadband as a result of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, with a target of 95% of premises by 2017/18

Our Scenic Routes exhibition has toured Scotland, with some on-site construction already completed.

We have been working with the freight industry to discuss and agree priority projects to be considered for inclusion in NPF4.


In the anniversary week we are also launching:

New Guidance on prior notification and approval requirements in relation to agricultural and forestry private ways.  The guidance is included in a newly consolidated Circular on Non-domestic Permitted Development Rights, streamlining planning guidance by bringing together into one place a range of previously existing Circulars now revoked.

Consultation on new permitted development rights for non-domestic solar panels and domestic air source heat pumps – to increase the number of situations where the technology does not require planning permission in advance.  You can see the consultation documents and provide comments until August 27, 2015.