Scottish Planning Policy (SPP)

The Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) is a statement of Scottish Government policy on nationally important land use.

The SPP was published in February 2010. It consolidated a series of topic specific policy statements into a single, more concise statement. The SPP currently contains:

  • An overview of the key components and overall aims and principles of the planning system.
  • Cross-cutting policies on sustainable economic growth, community engagement and sustainable development.
  • Subject specific policies on: economic development, town centres and retailing, housing, rural development, coastal planning, fish farming, historic environment, landscape and natural heritage, open space and physical activity, green belts, transport, renewable energy, flooding and drainage, waste management, minerals, on-shore oil and gas, surface coal mining and communications infrastructure.
  • And sets out the desired outcomes from the planning system, including the creation of high quality sustainable places, and increased sustainable economic growth.


Review of the SPP

A review of the policy was announced in Scottish Parliament on September 18, 2012 by Derek Mackay MSP, Minister for Local Government and Planning. The aim of the review is to bring the policy up-to-date, focus it on sustainable economic growth and emphasise placemaking.

Stakeholders were asked for views on what were considered to be a priorities for change in Autumn 2012. Their views informed the preparation on the draft SPP.

Public Consultation

The Draft SPP was published for consultation on 30 April 2013. It was accompanied by:

The consultation period ended on Tuesday July 23, 2013

Consultation Responses for the draft Scottish Planning policy are available.  These will be taken into account by the Scottish Government when finalising the SPP.

The SPP is being reviewed at the same time as the National Planning Framework. Reviewing these two key national planning policy document at the same time will enable connections to be made between where we want to see development (NPF) and how we want to see it delivered (SPP).  The Minister for Local Government and Planning announced in Parliament on 4 September that both reviews will be completed together in June 2014.

The intended outcome will be an improved, up-to-date and robust national basis for enabling development.


The Scottish Government is committed to encouraging interest and involvement in the preparation of the SPP. A Participation Statement sets out how this was done. We are continually looking for new ways and additional opportunities to enable participation and would welcome suggestions from interested parties.


Timescale for the review

  • April 30, to July 23, 2013: Consultation period
  • Summer/Autumn 2013: Analyse responses and re-drafting
  • June 2014: Publish finalised SPP





Planning Helpline

Carrie Thomson

Helen Wood


08457 741741

0131 244 7529

0131 244 7534

Address  Scottish Planning Policy Review

Scottish Government
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