eplanning scotland



Follow our blog


question feedbackCan't find what you are looking for? Please let us know.

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

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


RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence

On July 6, 2015 it was announced that work on National Planning Framework 3 and Scottish Planning Policy had been successful in two categories in the 2015 RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence.

More information is available on all the shortlisted projects, including the five from Scotland.

Winners Logo


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

Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning 2015

Shortlisted Entries: Pen Pictures

A highlight of the shortlisted projects for the 2015 Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning.

Follow @ScotGovPlanning on Twitter #SAQP2015 for updates