Evaluation of the Regional Land Use Framework Pilots

This report presents results from the evaluation of two local authority led Regional Land Use Framework pilot projects.

6. How stakeholders perceive the frameworks

Research Question: How are the frameworks perceived by stakeholders and what lessons have been learned?

The validity and potential future application of the pilot outputs will depend upon stakeholder perception and their views on this matter were sought in the stage 3 evaluation workshops. Attendance at these was lower than expected and in both cases lacked representation from the private sector. To ensure representation for this group our telephone interviews were held after the workshops to try to ensure that the views of this key group were captured.

6.1 Findings from the pilot areas

6.1.1 Aberdeenshire

Stakeholder participants in the stage 3 evaluation workshop noted that they felt that the pilot had been well managed and that the project team had done a good job, considering the challenges and constraints. It was suggested, however, that there had perhaps been too much emphasis on data collection in the early stages of the pilot (an observation also made by the project management team and referred to in the pilot's final report which suggested that defining key issues should have preceded data collection[30]).

Lines of communication were felt to have been good, although it was noted that the workshops had perhaps not worked as well as they might have, owing to an overly academic approach.

6.1.2 Scottish Borders

Those stakeholders who participated in the final evaluation workshop for the Scottish Borders pilot (including those involved in the supplementary telephone interviews) were very positive about the pilot and the project management team. They felt that the approach to the development of the framework had been appropriate, with some suggesting that they could not see how else the project could have been developed.

Communication was felt to have been good, with information being effectively and widely disseminated. Some new relationships had been formed as a result of the pilot, and the inclusion of Historic Scotland in the key stakeholder group was seen as important. Overall, it was noted that the pilot had built on strong pre-existing partnerships and the pre-existing network of local contacts and knowledge base held by the Tweed Forum and others.

As required by the Scottish Government, the Scottish Borders pilot ran a wider stakeholder consultation exercise at the end of the pilot, between 18th December 2014 and 16th February 2015, involving a web-based questionnaire (12 questions). The consultation was promoted via targeted emails and four workshops.

A total of 29 responses (including a number of organisations involved in the development of the pilot) were received to the web-based consultation. This level of engagement was seen as disappointing by the pilot. Nevertheless, the exercise generated some useful insights into external perspectives on the framework.

Overall, the responses to both the framework document and the process used to develop it were positive, with 80% of respondents answering 'yes' to the question 'Are you satisfied with the process undertaken to produce the framework?'[31]

6.2 Summary

Those stakeholders involved in the stage 3 evaluation workshop or telephone interviews for both pilots were very positive about the pilot projects themselves and the project management teams. Both pilots were felt to have been taken forward in an appropriate fashion, although it was noted that there had perhaps been an overemphasis on data collection in the case of the Aberdeenshire pilot.


Email: Linda Gateley

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