Planning guidance

We produce a wide range of publications, including:


We produce planning circulars which contain policy on the implementation of legislation or procedures.

Designing Streets Toolbox

We have a Designing Streets Toolbox. The Toolbox includes guidance, templates and resources collected together to aid the design and development of a proposal or masterplan. We developed some of the tools in conjunction with Transport Scotland and the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation Scotland (SCOTS).

The toolbox is a direct result of our Implementation of Designing Streets policy: research report, published in August 2013, that analysed how well street design policy was being applied across Scotland.

Letters from the Chief Planner

The Chief Planner provides guidance to the planning authorities in the form of correspondence. We've provided a list of Chief Planner letters.

Planning advice

We produce Planning Advice Notes (PANs) which provide advice on good practice and other relevant information. These PANS

We also produce planning advice on the construction of renewable energy resources

In February 2016 we published guidance on Housing and Infrastructure Delivery. This shows that planning needs to focus on the delivery of good quality places and to help to increase the supply of housing. Infrastructure investment should be co-ordinated to release the potential of development sites across the country.

We published Draft Advice on Net Economic Benefit and Planning in March 2016. The document contains draft advice to support Scottish Planning Policy (2014) on giving due weight to net economic benefit. The advice shows how the net economic benefit generated by a proposed development may be a material consideration in the planning decision making process.
We have produced our Planning Delivery Advice - Build to Rent in September 2017. The advice builds on Scottish Planning Policy which sets out the vital role of planning in delivering good quality places and supporting the right development in the right place.


We commission research on planning-related issues. The most recent reports are:

We also commissioned research as part of the development of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019.