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National Planning Framework for Scotland




Margaret Curran photoPlace matters. It makes a difference to people and business. We recognise that policy has a geographic dimension. We must of course embrace the challenges of the global economy but our people are rooted in our cities, towns and villages. Everywhere in Scotland is important but the potential of places to promote or accommodate change varies.

The National Planning Framework is a key element in our package of measures to modernise and reform the planning system. Its publication marks an important first step in recognising the challenges we face in Scotland's long-term territorial development. But it is a perspective, not a prescriptive masterplan or blueprint. It is a planning document that analyses the underlying trends in Scotland's territorial development, the key drivers of change and the challenges we face. Describing an issue in spatial or territorial terms does not remove the dilemmas we face in policy and spending decisions. The framework is, however, one of the factors we will take into account in coming to difficult decisions on policy and spending priorities as well as providing a context for development plans and planning decisions.

The Scottish Executive believes that Scotland's planning system has a critical role to play in improving the quality of life for local communities and securing quality of place. The framework will support that process. It will also provide a context for other plans and strategies with a spatial dimension.

Publication of the framework marks the beginning of a debate on Scotland's long-term territorial development. The intention is to update it every 4 years to reflect changes in the external environment, changing population and household trends, key spending and other commitments with spatial implications, particularly in regeneration, transport, water and drainage and to address new themes and emerging opportunities and challenges.

Margaret Curran signature

Margaret Curran, MSP
Minister for Communities