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mail us tiny 20 Suzanne Stephen
telephone tiny 20 0131 244 7148

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


Key Agencies Group comprises a ‘core’ group of agencies (A+DS, Historic Scotland, SEPA, SNH, Scottish Water and Transport Scotland, and more recently Scottish Enterprise). The Group, initially established in 2008, following the publication of  Delivering Planning Reform, has grown to include other interested bodies (e.g. COSLA, Homes for Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, Sportscotland etc). Key Agencies Group has been recognised as supporting the delivery of culture change through improved joint working. This page contains a range of information made available by the Key Agency Group.


Action Plan - The action plan sets out a range of joint actions (to be taken forward by two or more of the Key Agencies) that will contribute to the operation of a more efficient planning system.

Progress Report - This progress report sets out a range of actions and initiatives the Key Agencies have completed this year that contribute to the operation of a more efficient planning system

Planning Performance Framework Reports - Seven of the Key Agencies prepare an Annual Performance Report which reflects on the previous year’s work and sets out priorities for the coming year.

Agencies Engagement with Local Authorities - The Key Agencies jointly issued a letter to Heads of Planning indicating their willingness to engage in development planning and development management. In September 2011, the agency group shared good practice on local development plan action programmes . The group is also working closely with Homes for Scotland, Scottish Property Federation and Scottish Renewables to address issues raised by their members.

Pre-application engagement for National and Major Developments - This pre-application statement reinforces the key agencies commitment to effective and early engagement on national and major developments. It clarifies their areas of interest and roles in the process as well as outlining how the roles of others best serves effective early engagement.

Sector Engagement - This regularly updated list outlines a list of meeting and events with various sector interests

Data and Resources - The Key Agency Group has produced a short video, in association with COSLA, that outlines the role of the group in supporting planning.

Supporting the plan-led system - The Key Agencies Group has held a workshop to reflect on experiences of inputting into the first generation of development plan making following planning reform. The report (January 2013) captures the findings from the workshop and provides some observations on what is working well, where improvements might be made, and possible areas for future action. The Group has also worked with HOPS and the Scottish Government to identify good practice and where improvements might be made.

Collaborative Working in Development Planning

Planning and Climate Change (February 2012) - this documents provides links to a series of resources and guidance available from the Agencies to assist local authorities with the consideration of climate issues.

Planning Data and Guidance (September 2012) - this document provides links to various data documents which are available to the planning profession to assist with development planning and development management processes and decision making.