Infrastructure Investment Plan 2021-22 to 2025-26: programme pipeline update - March 2023

This pipeline provides information relating to key major infrastructure programmes with an investment of £20 million or more included at Annex D of our Infrastructure Investment Plan, published in February 2021.

This document is part of a collection

Sector: Planning / Land reform

Programme name: Digital Planning

Programme description: Development of a new, open-access, digital planning system to attract future investment, increase community participation and support place-making in Scotland.

Estimated total investment: £35 million.

How is programme being funded: Capital funded.

Programme delivery timetable: 2021-2027.

Latest programme progress: The 5-year programme to digitally transform planning has been extended to 2027. The programme was launched in March 2021 and is now entering year three of delivery. This will drive efficiencies, streamline services to improve the capacity of planning authorities, and deliver significant economic benefits.

In progressing the programme, we have now developed a first version of new single payment system for our current live service and progressed initial development work on the Planning Gateway and Smart Applications systems.

In 2023-24, we will complete development of a single payment system and work towards delivery of a next generation Smart Application service to simplify the planning application processes and improve experiences, reducing invalid applications and allowing applications to progress more quickly with real-time tracking and notifications. We will establish a first version accessible, next generation Planning Scotland Gateway online portal as a single point of entry to all planning information and services across Scotland with a consistent user experience and we will also complete the roll-out of the 'Place Builder' digital engagement tool, which promotes and enables positive community participation in shaping and re-imagining their communities.

Contribution to economic development: An economic impact analysis of the programme undertaken by the RTPI estimated up to of £200 million in economic benefits for users of the planning system. This included £20.4 million savings to local authorities on costs of introducing the Planning Act. Large housebuilders are estimated to save between £25k-£30k per site and local housebuilders £1.5k per site. The programme has the potential to create 1,600 jobs in construction and capacity to generate income of £1.6 million per annum over 10 years.

Contact for public enquiries: email:

Programme name: Land reform

Programme description: Capital funding for the Scottish Land Fund (at £8 million per year rising to £11.5 million by 2025-26) and costs for building new Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land (£3 million).

Estimated total investment: £48 million.

How is programme being funded: Capital funded.

Programme delivery timetable: 2021-2026.

Latest programme progress: The Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land (RCI) has been built by Registers of Scotland and became operational on 1 April 2022. There is a two-year transitional period before criminal offences come into force for non-compliance on 1 April 2024. In addition, we are committed to doubling the Scottish Land Fund by 2026.

Contribution to economic development: The Scottish Land Fund enables community groups to purchase assets within their own community and to deliver services to that local community. Whether it is bringing an unused asset back into productive use or ensuring that an existing one continues to be used and developed further, communities taking control of local assets helps to build local community wealth and contributes to the wider economic benefit as a result.

The RCI will improve transparency of who makes decisions about land and land use in Scotland and gives communities information that can help them engage with landowners and managers, and influence how land in their local area is used.

Contact for public enquiries: Scottish Land Fund email: / Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land email:



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