National Planning Framework 4 - draft: consultation analysis

Independent analysis of the responses to our consultation on the draft fourth National Planning Framework (draft NPF4), which ran from 10 November 2021 to 31 March 2022.


Background to the consultation

This report presents the analysis of responses to the Scottish Government's consultation on the Fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4).

The National Planning Framework is a long-term plan for Scotland that sets out where development and infrastructure is needed to support sustainable and inclusive growth. The current National Planning Framework (NPF3) was published in 2014.

The draft NPF4 builds on two previous rounds of engagement – the Call for Ideas and the Position Statement. NPF4 will, for the first time, incorporate Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) which contains detailed national policy on a number of planning topics. The draft NPF4 contains a spatial strategy, details of national developments, and detailed policies across four themes. Once adopted, the national planning policies (set out in Part 3) will be part of the statutory development plan. This is expected to improve the predictability and consistency of the Scottish planning system, and set a clear direction for planning decisions.

The draft NPF4 was laid in Parliament on 10 November 2021 for Parliamentary scrutiny. Alongside Parliament's consideration of the draft NPF4, the Scottish Government invited comments from all stakeholders. The public consultation was launched on 10 November 2021 and closed on 31 March 2022.

The consultation paper can be found on the Scottish Government's web page, with a range of information relating to NPF4 available on the Transforming Planning pages.

The consultation asked 70 open questions.

Profile of main consultation respondents

In total 761 responses were analysed. Where consent has been given to publish the response, it can be found on the Scottish Government's web page.

Respondents were asked to identify whether they were responding as an individual or on behalf of a group or organisation. A total of 539 responses were submitted by organisations and 222 by individual members of the public. The Woodland Trust also submitted a petition with 1,481 signatories.

Organisational respondents were allocated to one of 22 groups by the analysis team and the Scottish Government.

A breakdown of the number of responses received by respondent type is set out in Table 1 below and a full list of organisational respondents can be found at Annex 1.

Table 1: Respondents by type
Type of respondent No.
Active Travel-related Third Sector Organisation or Campaign Group 9
City Region or Strategic Development Planning Authority 3
Community Council or Residents' Association 41
Culture or Heritage Company, Association, Trust or Representative Body 22
Development, Property or Land Management Company or Representative Body 82
Energy-related Supplier, Developer, Association or Representative Body 58
Environment or Natural Heritage-related Third Sector Organisation or Campaign Group 46
Housing Association 7
Local Authority 37
Other 2
Other Infrastructure-related Company or Representative Body 9
Other Private Sector 22
Other Representative Body, Faculty or Network 40
Planning, Architecture or Housing Representative Body or Campaign Group 21
Planning, Development, Architectural or Environmental Consultancy 20
Public Body, Commission or Taskforce 22
Regeneration or Planning Partnership or Trust 12
Research, Academic Group or Think Tank 12
School or Nursery 7
Third Sector, Community or Campaign Organisation 39
Transport Partnership 6
Transport-related Body, Association or Provider 13
Organisations 539
Individuals 222
All respondents 761

Analysis and reporting

After a short chapter setting out some general themes raised by respondents, the remainder of this report presents a question-by-question analysis of the comments made to the main consultation. Readers may need to refer to the draft NPF4 to set the analysis in context.

A number of respondents did not make their submission on the consultation questionnaire but submitted their comments in a statement-style format. This content was analysed under the most directly relevant consultation question.

As with any public consultation exercise, it should be noted that those responding generally have a particular interest in the subject area and the views they express cannot be seen as representative of wider public opinion.



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