Publication - Consultation paper

Local development planning - regulations and guidance consultation: part C - local development planning - draft guidance

Published: 17 Dec 2021

Part C of the local development planning - regulations and guidance consultation sets out: (1) the overall aims and expectations for new style LDPs; (2) the process of how to achieve a new style plans; (3) and detailed thematic guidance on how new style plans are to implement policies in NPF4.

Local development planning - regulations and guidance consultation: part C - local development planning - draft guidance
Section 3 – Thematic Guidance

Section 3 – Thematic Guidance

236. This section is the ‘bridge’ between section 2 of this guidance on ‘process’ and the thematic policy content of NPF4. For the key documents of the plan making process: the Evidence Report, Proposed Plan and Delivery Programme, thematic policy guidance is provided, aligned with the policy themes of NPF4: Sustainable, Liveable, Productive and Distinctive Places. It replaces the expectations for Local Development Plans (LDPs) previously contained in Scottish Planning Policy.

Evidence Report

237. The Evidence Report is expected to be wide ranging in scope, reflecting the range of issues that affect and shape places. The aim is to front load the work and use the evidence to clearly establish what to plan for before the Proposed Plan looks at where development should take place.

238. Section 16B(3) of the Act states what the Evidence Report is to set out, including the planning authority’s views of the list of matters in section 15(5) of the Act. The ‘Proposals for Regulations’ sets out that we do not propose to include minimum evidence requirements in secondary legislation. This is to provide flexibility to planning authorities on the appropriate evidence for their area and for the appointed person to make a judgement of the sufficiency of that evidence based on the views of stakeholders.

239. Figure 6 provides an indicative list of the types of information and evidence that planning authorities may find helpful to inform their Evidence Report. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list, nor is it anticipated that all plans will need to cover everything on it. It is for the planning authority to determine what the most relevant type of information is, and the level of detail required, for the Evidence Report for their area. Further guidance on the information included in Figure 6 that may inform the Evidence Report is provided in the following paragraphs (240 – 310).

Figure 6 – Indicative Lists of sources / types of information to inform the Evidence Report

Sustainable Places

  • National developments identified in the NPF within the plan area, or any other spatial implications of development contributing to a wider national development
  • Strategic land use tensions
  • Sources and scale of climate change emissions
  • Heat related climate risks
  • Local Biodiversity Action Plan
  • Socio-economic performance and wellbeing
  • Regional Spatial Strategy (for plan area or adjoining area)
  • Any LDP for a different purpose for the LDP area or for an area adjoining the LDP area

Liveable Places

  • Details of existing 20 minute neighbourhoods, and areas not currently well-served as 20 minute communities
  • Community facilities
  • Baseline infrastructure information and data
  • Audit of Infrastructure
    • Communications digital + telecoms
    • Transport
    • Water management
    • Energy supplies
    • Health & social care services
    • Education
    • Natural infrastructure
    • Play
  • Existing and programmed infrastructure provision
  • Audit of the transport infrastructure and capacity of the area
  • Regional Transport Strategy
  • Local Transport Strategy
  • Baseline transport information and data
  • HNDA completed in full, and confirmed as robust and credible to inform the Housing Land Requirement
  • Housing Land Audit
  • Local Housing Strategy and Strategic Housing Investment Plan
  • The list of people seeking to acquire land for self-build
  • Heat mapping
  • Blue Green Infrastructure
    • Open Space Strategy
    • Play Sufficiency Assessment
    • Core Paths / Access Rights
  • Strategic Flood Risk Assessment
  • River basin management plan
  • Significant health issues
  • Poor air quality

Productive Places

  • Business Land Audits
  • Employment Land Requirements
  • Analysis of employment need, local poverty, disadvantage and inequality
  • Areas of constraint for green energy
  • National waste management plan
  • Local waste data
  • Data on permitted minerals reserves
  • Data on areas affected by coal mining and development high risk areas
  • Gaps in digital coverage and details of programmed investment in digital

Distinctive Places

  • Town Centre Audits & Strategies
  • Strategies and action plans relating to the historic environment and assets
  • Population stats and projections
  • Vacant & derelict land
  • Empty buildings at risk
  • Rural types, population distribution and demographic profile
  • Local Biodiversity Action Plan
  • Data on peat and carbon rich soils
  • Forestry & Woodland Strategy, Native Woodland Survey of Scotland and Ancient woodland Inventory, Tree Preservation Orders
  • Review of areas designated for their local landscape value and nature conservation interests
  • Coastal evidence and information

Sustainable Places

Plan-led approach to sustainable development

240. The Evidence Report should provide information on national developments, identified in the NPF, that affect the plan area. It should identify local spatial implications of:

  • the Scotland wide national developments;
  • any cross boundary national development that is partly within, or affects the plan area; and
  • any national development located solely in the plan area.

241. In line with draft regulation 8(1) in preparing an LDP the planning authority are to have regard to

  • any LDP prepared for a different purpose for the LDP area;
  • any LDP prepared for an area adjoining the LDP area;
  • any RSS prepared for the LDP area or an area adjoining the LDP area; and
  • where the LDP area adjoins land in England, any Local Plan published in respect of that land.

242. Strategic land use tensions should be acknowledged in the Evidence Report (see paragraph 319).

Climate Emergency

243. The Evidence Report should consider existing sources and the scale of climate change emissions, and the likelihood and severity of climate risks to the area.

244. The Evidence Report should identify heat related climate risks for infrastructure, places, particular land uses, communities and biodiversity.

Nature Crisis

245. The Evidence Report should be informed by an understanding of the natural assets and existing nature networks in the plan area.

246. The plan should be informed by up-to-date audits, strategies and action plans, including the Local Biodiversity Action Plan where applicable, and take into account statutory Open Space Strategies and Forestry & Woodland Strategies

Design, Quality and Place

247. The Evidence Report should be informed by population statistics and projections, and take account of existing data on socio-economic performance, and health and wellbeing, to support the development of place-based proposals.

Question 24

Do you agree with the proposed guidance on the Evidence Report in relation to the section on Sustainable Places (paragraphs 240 – 247)?

Yes / No / No View

Please explain why you agree or disagree.

Liveable Places

20 Minute Neighbourhoods

248. As set out in NPF4 ‘20 minute neighbourhoods are a method of achieving connected and compact neighbourhoods designed in such a way that all people can meet the majority of their daily needs within a reasonable walk, wheel or cycle (within approx. 800m) of their home’. This concept will apply differently across the country, and the principle can be adjusted to include varying geographical scales from cities and urban environments, to rural and island communities.

249. Successful 20 minute neighbourhoods include a mix of uses and range of features including homes, opportunities for local employment, shops and services, schools and local health services and community facilities, well connected paths, streets and spaces and quality green spaces. Accordingly, given the holistic nature of the 20 minute neighbourhood approach, it is important that this guidance is read and applied as a whole, including the rest of this section on Liveable Places, plus under the headings of Sustainable Places, Productive Places and Distinctive Places.

Figure 7 – Features of 20 Minute Neighbourhoods in Scotland

  • Movement
    • moving around
    • pulbic transport
    • traffic and parking
  • Space
    • streets and spaces
    • natural
    • play and recreation
  • Resources
    • social interaction
    • housing and community
    • work and local economy
    • support and services
  • Civic
    • feeling safe
    • identify and belonging
  • Stewardship
    • care and maintenance
    • influence and sense of control

250. Plans should be informed by the Place Principle and place-based working. The Evidence Report should be informed as far as possible and proportionately by baseline information on local liveability about how well neighbourhoods function. This may include what features they have and where, how the local community experiences it, and what the community wants and needs. Crucially, it is not merely about the existence of the features (services, facilities and assets) in a place but the quality of those features, how they operate and complement the other features within the neighbourhood and also how they connect to higher order services to create networks of 20 Minute Neighbourhoods. The Evidence Report should be informed by information on where networks of 20 minute neighbourhoods already exist, and where there are gaps in provision to help identify areas not currently well-served as 20 minute neighbourhoods.

251. Local liveability considerations should include information about community facilities, including facilities that are used by the local community for the purposes of sport, leisure, support services, social interaction, health and well-being, and childcare.

Infrastructure First

252. An Infrastructure First approach to plan making should be undertaken, based on a process of early engagement and evidence gathering, including with public and private infrastructure providers. Early collaboration, evidence gathering and data sharing also offers potential benefits for infrastructure providers to inform their own plans and strategies.

253. The Evidence Report provides an opportunity to front load infrastructure considerations in the preparation of LDPs. Evidence regarding existing and programmed infrastructure provision should be gathered, analysed and used at the early stages of plan preparation, including details of infrastructure capacity, condition and future investment.

254. The Evidence Report should be informed by an audit of baseline infrastructure information and data including:

  • NPF4: relevant aspects of the Spatial Strategy and National Developments;
  • national, regional and local infrastructure investment plans and strategies relating to an area for both the public and private sectors;
  • an audit of existing infrastructure capacity and condition, as well as planned infrastructure, both within a district, but also which serve the district; and
  • data regarding low-carbon infrastructure and how it can be prioritised, where appropriate, including the potential for negative emissions technologies in the area.

255. The audit of infrastructure should address:

  • communications - including digital and telecommunications networks and connections;
  • existing and planned transport infrastructure and services - their availability, accessibility and capacity in line with the NTS2 sustainable travel and investment hierarchies, including consideration of freight;
  • water management - supply, drainage systems and sewerage. This should also consider drinking water supply to the area, including areas not connected to public water mains, and how well adapted the drinking water supply is to the increased climate change risk of water scarcity and drought;
  • energy supplies - including electricity and heat networks, distribution and transmission electricity grid networks, and gas supplies;
  • health and social care services - including both services provided in the community directly by Health Boards and services provided on their behalf by contractors such as GPs, dentists and pharmacists;
  • education - including early years, primary, secondary, further and higher education services;
  • green and blue infrastructure; and
  • spaces for play and recreation.

256. The infrastructure evidence should be used to:

  • set the context for the plan being built around an infrastructure first approach and is key for framing and informing early thinking on the Spatial Strategy for the Proposed Plan;
  • identify key opportunities and constraints within an area, based on both existing infrastructure provision but also committed future provision; and
  • offer opportunities to identify risks for climate change and to support the drive towards a more sustainable use of infrastructure, in line with the Infrastructure Investment Plan and NTS2 sustainable investment hierarchies, and Scotland’s transition to net zero.

257. Authorities will be expected to explain how they have or intend to implement an infrastructure first approach. This should include how existing capacity has been used, as far as possible, in line with the Investment Hierarchies set out in the Infrastructure Investment Plan and National Transport Strategy (see Figures 8 and 9).

Figure 8 – Scottish Government Investment Hierarchy

1. Determine future need

Consider appropriate infrastructure needs and demand in light of net zero carbon and inclusive growth priorities, changes in service design, availability of digital platforms and technological innovation, and resilience in light of population and climate change forecasts.

2. Maximise the useful life of existing assets

Maximise adaptation, repair and maintenance of existing assets.

3. Repurpose & Co-locate

Reconfigure or repurpose existing assets, givin preference to co-location or shared facilities.

4. Replace, Create or Build New Assets

Consider suitability of new assets.

Source: A National Mission with Local Impact: Infrastructure Investment Plan for Scotland 2021-22 to 2025-26 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Figure 9 – NTS2 Sustainable Investment Hierarchy

1. Reducing the need to travel unsustainably

2. Maintaining and safely operating existing assets

3. Making better use of existing capacity

4. Targeted infrastructure improvements

Figure 10 – NTS2 Sustainable Travel Hierarchy

Prioritising Sustainable Transport

1. Walking and wheeling

2. Cycling

3. Public transport

4. Taxis & shared transport

5. Private car

Quality Homes

258. The Evidence Report is expected to:

  • include a section specifically on housing;
  • identify the proposed Housing Land Requirement (HLR);
  • provide a transparent and understandable explanation of how the HLR has been established; and
  • set out the methodology for assessing sites, including deliverability considerations, to be used when assessing sites prior to their allocation in the Proposed Plan.

259. The LDP must include ‘targets for meeting the housing needs of the people living in the part of the district to which it relates’ (section 15(1A)) of the 2019 Act. These statutory targets should be expressed as a Housing Land Requirement (HLR).

260. NPF4 Annex B provides a 10-year Minimum All Tenure Housing Land Requirement (MATHLR) for each planning authority area. Planning authorities must take this into account in arriving at their HLR. It is expected that the HLR should at least meet the MATHLR set out in the NPF and that the MATHLR is the minimum amount of land for housing to be included within LDPs. This minimum should be increased where information informing the Evidence Report indicates this is required, for example by reference to updated household projections, local need figures or to reflect a change in local, regional or national policy.

261. The housing section of the Evidence Report and the HLR should be informed by the Housing Need and Demand Assessment (HNDA). It is expected that the HNDA process will be completed in full, in line with published Scottish Government guidance. Where the Scottish Government (Centre for Housing Market Analysis) is satisfied that the HNDA is robust and credible, the approach used will not normally be considered further at the Gate Check.

262. The planning authority should have regard to the Local Housing Strategy (LHS) in preparing the Evidence Report. This will, in particular, provide relevant information relating to different tenures of affordable and market housing for an area. This should inform the process of setting the all-tenure HLR.

263. The same evidence can be used by the local authority for the LDP process as that used to inform the NPF4 MATHLR unless updated information is relevant. Additional housing information, including the most recent annual Housing Land Audit (HLA), Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) and the demand for self-build housing having regard to the list of persons seeking to acquire land for self-build housing (section 16E of the Act), should also inform the housing section of the Evidence Report.

264. The Evidence Report should be informed by the views of the Gypsy / Traveller and Travelling Showpeople community and other information on their housing needs identified in the HNDA and the Local Housing Strategy. Their views should be actively sought, and it may also be helpful to engage with neighbouring authorities.

265. Stakeholders expected to be engaged in the preparation of housing related evidence for the Evidence Report include:

  • local authority housing colleagues;
  • social housing providers;
  • private housing providers;
  • landowners;
  • representative bodies of housing providers and landowners; and
  • housing and specific interest groups.

266. The Evidence Report must set out a summary of the action taken by the planning authority to support and promote the construction and adaptation of housing to meet the housing needs of older people and disabled people in the authority’s area, and an analysis of the extent to which the action has helped to meet those needs (section 16B(3)(b)(i)).

267. In assessing the Evidence Report at the Gate Check, the Reporter is expected to take a view on whether there is sufficient information in the Evidence Report to establish the HLR.

Sustainable Transport and Travel

268. LDPs must take account of the infrastructure of the district, which includes transport, and how that infrastructure is used (section 5(d) and (e) of the 2019 Act).

269. The relationship between land use and transport is critical, particularly the capacity of existing transport networks, environmental and operational constraints, and proposed or committed transport projects. It is therefore expected that local planning and transport authorities will work closely in the preparation of the LDP. Stakeholders that would be expected to be engaged with to inform the preparation of the Evidence Report include:

  • Transport Scotland - particularly on potential issues for the strategic transport network and the Transport Appraisal methodology associated with this;
  • Regional Transport Partnerships – particularly on the planning and delivery of regional transport developments;
  • other neighbouring road authorities - particularly on cross boundary transport issues relating to the local network including on active travel, public transport and local roads;
  • public transport service providers and infrastructure operators - on network provision and future commercial viability.

270. An audit of the transport infrastructure, services and capacity of the area should be undertaken, as part of the wider audit of infrastructure (see paragraph 254).

271. The Evidence Report is expected to be informed by baseline transport information and data, including, but not limited to:

  • NPF4: relevant aspects of the Spatial Strategy and National Developments;
  • national and regional transport problems and opportunities outlined in STPR2 Case for Change Reports and continued relevance of these;
  • national strategic transport priorities relating to the area as identified in STPR2; and
  • existing and planned transport infrastructure and services, their availability, accessibility and capacity in line with the NTS2 sustainable travel and investment hierarchies, including consideration of freight.

272. The following information and data is available from Transport Scotland to support planning authorities in aligning land use and transport planning:

  • the latest Strategic Transport Projects Review information published on the Transport Scotland website (currently STPR2);
  • Land use and Transport Integration in Scotland (LATIS). LATIS is a service managed and delivered by Transport Scotland, which has a database of transport, land-use and demographic data which is linked to a multi-modal transport and land-use modelling suite. Information from LATIS can provide a robust evidence base from which to appraise LDPs; and
  • other information available on the Transport Scotland website in relation to current and future data, projects and plans.

273. Other data sources should also be used. Information will also be available, including from Regional Transport Partnerships, relevant information or data in local and regional transport strategies, transport appraisals and assessments undertaken in the Plan area, transport service providers and others. Draft regulation 8(1)(e) and (f) require that in preparing an LDP the planning authority are to have regard to any regional transport strategy and any local transport strategy relating to the plan area.

Heat and Cooling

274. Heat mapping should be undertaken to inform the potential for co-locating developments with a high heat demand together with or alongside sources of heat supply.

Blue and Green Infrastructure, Play & Sport

275. The Evidence Report should be informed by up-to-date blue and green infrastructure audits, strategies and action plans, including statutory duties for Open Space Strategies and Forestry & Woodland Strategies. The audit should identify existing blue and green infrastructure, including access rights and core paths, and areas with an important role in flood water storage or conveyance.

Further information is provided in the Consultation Paper on Open Space Strategies and Play Sufficiency Assessments Regulations, which is being consulted upon alongside this consultation on Local Development Plans.

276. The Act sets out at section 16D(1) that ‘A planning authority must assess the sufficiency of play opportunities in its area for children in preparing an Evidence Report.’

Sustainable Flood Risk and Water Management

277. A strategic flood risk assessment (SFRA) should be undertaken to inform choices about the location of development. They should have regard to the flood maps prepared by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), and support the implementation of the relevant objectives and actions of finalised and approved flood risk management plans and river basin management plans. Any significant cross boundary flooding and water issues should be taken into account.

278. Draft regulation 8(1)(g) requires that in preparing an LDP the planning authority must have regard to any river basin management plan relating to the plan area.

Lifelong Health, Wellbeing and Safety

279. The Evidence Report should identify any significant health issues in the plan area. This may be informed by health data such as above average rates of over-weight people, and the prevalence of related disease, or mental health issues. Spatial information may also be useful, such as on the location and type of food retail (including any clusters of hot food takeaways or ‘food deserts’ where food cannot be purchased within 20 minutes’ walk, wheel or cycle (approx. 800m) of the home); land available for local or community food growing, and the availability of local food markets, market gardens, other non-agricultural commercial food growing. Information on access to open space and green networks will also be relevant in relation to health outcomes (see paragraphs 275 – 276).

280. The Evidence Report should include information on the nature and distribution of poor air quality.

281. As mine gases are hazardous, the Evidence Report should identify areas that are at high risk from historical coal mining. In those areas within Scotland where coal mining has taken place, planning authorities are expected to review the relevant maps produced by the Coal Authority for their area that indicate where there are ‘development high risk areas’.

282. Planning authorities should consider the potential impacts of major-accident hazard sites, existing and, where known, proposed, in the vicinity. In particular, draft regulation 8(2) requires that in preparing an LDP planning authorities must have regard to the objectives of preventing major accidents and limiting the consequences of such accidents for human health and the environment. The relative proximity of such sites with other development and communities needs to be considered.

283. The Evidence Report should be informed by:

  • the location of major –hazard sites, and their consultation zones (maps of consultation zones are provided to planning authorities by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE));
  • any additional, recently granted Hazardous Substances Consents (data from the Planning Register); and
  • any expansion plans for new or existing sites, of businesses / operators using hazardous substances that the planning authority is aware of.

Question 25

Do you agree with the proposed guidance on the Evidence Report in relation to the section on Liveable Places (paragraphs 248 – 283)?

Yes / No / No View

Please explain why you agree or disagree.

Productive Places

Land and Premises for Business and Employment

284. Business Land Audits should be undertaken regularly by local authorities to inform reviews of development plans, and updated more frequently if relevant. Business Land Audits should monitor the location, size, planning status, existing use, neighbouring land uses and any significant land use issues (e.g. underused, vacant, derelict) of sites within the existing business land supply.

285. Based on Business Land Audits the Evidence Report should establish the requirement for employment land. This should inform the approach to planning land for business and industry and reflect principal economic characteristics of the area, and any anticipated change in them, where necessary using any up-to-date market intelligence and demand forecasting that informs associated local economic strategies.

286. The Evidence Report should include analysis of employment need, local poverty, disadvantage and inequality, to highlight where future business and industry development would provide most benefit.

Sustainable Tourism

287. The Evidence Report should be informed by relevant sector driven tourism strategies and identify any key spatial issues.

Culture and Creativity

288. The Evidence Report should be informed by any relevant Creative Scotland plans and strategies. The planning authority must set out in the Evidence Report their view on the desirability of maintaining an appropriate number and range of cultural venues and facilities (including in particular, but not limited to, live music venues) in the district (see Annex B).

Green Energy

289. The Evidence Report should be informed by established boundaries relating to National Parks and National Scenic Areas. It should consider the sensitivity of other nationally and internationally important designated sites in line with wider policies set out in NPF.

Zero Waste

290. The Evidence Report should be informed by requirements as set out by Scottish waste regulations, and draft regulation 8(1) requires that the planning authority are to have regard to the national waste management plan in preparing the LDP. The Evidence Report should also be informed by relevant circular economy strategies and plans, including consideration of waste and recycling targets, as well as local waste data information.

Sustainable Aquaculture

291. Where the aquaculture industry is active in their area planning authorities should include information in the Evidence Report to inform spatial planning to guide sustainable investment and support the industry. Data is available from planning registers, Marine Scotland’s database and SEPA. Planning authorities may also wish to work with the industry in gathering relevant data.

292. In such areas the Evidence Report should be informed by:

  • baseline information on the number of existing sites and levels of employment. This will help assess the cumulative impact of fish farms in the area and to indicate the sector’s contribution to local economies. (Marine Scotland’s database and maps show details of active fishery, shellfish and finfish sites, the planning register will also hold relevant information);
  • information on projected growth demand, reflecting Scotland’s National Marine Plan which includes industry sustainable production targets to grow the tonnage of marine finfish and shellfish. It should also indicate the likely number of additional pens required in the area to meet demands;
  • key environmental constraints, GIS data is available from Marine Scotland showing shellfish waters protected areas;
  • information, where available, on sea lice from any risk assessment framework and note any mitigation measures that are in place; and
  • any other relevant information to inform considerations around sustainability e.g. locations of fish processing plants / transit distances between farms and processing plants.
Minerals

293. The Evidence Report should include information that can clearly demonstrate if the planning authority is capable of meeting the 10 year landbank of construction aggregate in all market areas. The type of evidence that would be required can include information on existing permitted minerals reserves within the plan area and any relevant elements from the latest Aggregates Survey around usage trends. This information should help inform whether there is a sufficient supply of minerals or whether it is expected that further releases are required. In those areas where there is a history of being reliant on other planning authorities for their supply of construction aggregate, it would be for the planning authority to determine how best to provide evidence of these future supply chains.

Digital Infrastructure

294. The Evidence Report should identify any gaps in digital coverage to inform the facilitation of improvements in digital connectivity. This may be informed by the roll-out plans of digital communications operators, community groups and others such as the Scottish Government, the UK Government and local authorities.

295. Planning authorities should also ensure they engage with other relevant departments, such as economic development and where appropriate Mobile Network Operator (MNO)s and Wireless Infrastructure Providers (WIPs) to provide details of programmed investment in digital within the area.

296. The Evidence Report should establish the methodology that will be used for site assessment for new digital infrastructure to be included in the Spatial Strategy.

Question 26

Do you agree with the proposed guidance on the Evidence Report in relation to the section on Productive Places (paragraphs 284 – 296)?

Yes / No / No View

Please explain why you agree or disagree.

Distinctive Places

City, Town, Commercial and Local Centres

297. The Evidence Report should be informed by town centre audits for each town centre to harness its strengths, support vitality and viability, tackle weaknesses and improve resilience. Local authorities should work with community planning partners, businesses and community groups as appropriate to prepare the town centre audit. Audits should be regularly updated, to monitor town centre performance, preferably every two years.

298. To inform the Evidence Report as part of town centre audits and strategies planning authorities should gather information on:

  • where there are gaps in supply of existing housing and flats (including student and older persons’ accommodation or rental accommodation) relative to demand;
  • where there is capacity or opportunities to develop new housing and flats without compromising active use of ground floors and public spaces, or a mix of uses in the area; and
  • any related initiatives that would protect and improve residents’ quality of life.

299. Planning authorities should consider if there is need for a retail study to identify where there may be a need for further retail provision.

Historic Assets and Places

300. The Evidence Report should be informed by relevant strategies, action plans and records relating to historic assets and places. These could include: Townscape Audits, Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans, potential Compulsory Purchase Orders, Place Standard assessments, Town Centre Action Plans, the Buildings at Risk Register, Article 4 Directions, and Historic Land Use Assessments. Planning authorities should take the opportunity to consider in consultation with Historic Environment Scotland where designation records could be amended or updated.

Urban Edges and the Green Belt

301. Where relevant a green belt review of any existing or potential green belts should be carried out as part of the evidence to inform plan-making. This may consider the need for any new green belt and should provide evidence to inform any extension or review of precise green belt boundaries.

Vacant and Derelict Land

302. The Evidence Report should identify vacant and derelict land and be informed by the Buildings at Risk Register. Whilst highlighting properties of architectural or historic merit, the Buildings at Risk Register can also include properties which are not necessarily in poor condition but which may simply be standing empty with no clear future use or be threatened with demolition.

Rural Places

303. Where appropriate, the Evidence Report should identify types of rural areas within the plan area based on the urban rural classification, as well as Islands and Sparsely Populated Areas. It should also identify the rural population distribution and demographic profile, including, where relevant, areas where there has been a substantial decline in population over time.

Natural Places

304. The Evidence Report should be informed by details of locally, regionally, nationally and internationally valued natural assets, landscapes, species and habitats within the plan area, informed by relevant plans and strategies such as the Local Biodiversity Action Plan.

305. A review of any local designations including consideration of their function and continuing relevance, should be carried out as part of the Evidence Report, to inform plan-preparation.

306. LDPs should also be informed by strategic maps/data sets [peatland 2016 Map/ Native Woodland Survey of Scotland// Wildland Map 2014/ James Hutton Land use classification] to identify potential areas of sensitivity for non-statutory areas of national importance.

Peat and Carbon Rich Soils

307. The Evidence report should be informed by an understanding of the likely soil assets in the area. Maps such as the Nature Scot Peatland map and James Hutton Institute land use classification map should be used to inform likely sites of peatland, carbon rich soils and different land use classifications within a plan area.

Trees, Woodland and Forestry

308. The Evidence Report should be informed by the Forestry & Woodland Strategy for the area.

309. The Evidence Report should be informed by relevant inventories, such as the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland and the Ancient Woodland Inventory, alongside records such as Tree Protection Orders, to help identify trees and woodlands of high nature conservation in the plan area.

Coasts

310. The Evidence Report should be informed by coastal evidence and information from Scottish Government’s Dynamic Coast maps and reports, SEPA’s coastal flood maps and local authorities’ coastal change adaptation plans (where these have been prepared).

Question 27

Do you agree with the proposed guidance on the Evidence Report in relation to the section on Distinctive Places (paragraphs 297 – 310)?

Yes / No / No View

Please explain why you agree or disagree.

Proposed Plan

311. The Proposed Plan is expected to be developed using place-based working. The Place Principle agreed to by Scottish Government and COSLA commits us to taking a collaborative place-based approach to future development. This involves working with stakeholders and local communities to create liveable, healthier and sustainable places that improve lives, builds economic prosperity and contribute to net zero and environmental ambitions.

312. Based on that place-based approach and the Evidence Report, the Proposed Plan should identify where new development should take place and where it should not. Allocations and the scale and nature of development proposed should contribute positively to the character and sense of place of the area in which they are to be located, help meet local needs, and reflect the six qualities of successful places.

313. Draft regulation 6(1) requires an LDP to contain a map or maps, ( “the Proposals Map”), describing the policies and proposals set out in the LDP, so far as practicable, to illustrate such policies or proposals spatially. The emphasis of the presentation of the Proposed Plan should be on maps, allocations, masterplans and site briefs. It should contain such other diagrams, illustrations and descriptive matter as the planning authority thinks appropriate for the purpose of explaining or illustrating the proposals in the plan. The reader should be able to find what is relevant to a particular place in one area of the plan.

314. The expectation is there will be minimal thematic policy wording in the Proposed Plan. Thematic policies are contained in the NPF, which has the status of the Development Plan in decision making.

315. As set out in NPF4 each part of Scotland can be planned and developed to create:

  • sustainable places, where we reduce emissions and restore and better connect biodiversity;
  • liveable places, where we can live better, healthier lives;
  • productive places, where we have a greener, fairer and more inclusive wellbeing economy; and
  • distinctive places, where we recognise and work with our assets.

316. It is expected that the Proposed Plan will translate these drivers locally, setting out the spatial implications for places and local communities. This section provides further guidance to help planning authorities in determining what goes into their Proposed Plan, including their Spatial Strategy, again following the headings in NPF4.

Sustainable Places

Figure 11 – Spatial Strategies: Sustainable Places

Approach

  • based on draft NPF4’s six overarching spatial principles (compact growth, local living, balanced development conserving and recycling assets, urban and rural synergy and just transition) and action area priorities
  • based on an understanding of the emissions likely to be generated by the plan’s proposals
  • takes into account long term future climate risks
  • must seek to minimise Green House Gas emissions and maximise emissions reduction
  • address risks to investment proposals and infrastructure, as well as people who are most likely to be disadvantaged by climate change
  • designed to manage heat related climate risks through development, and retrofit solutions in existing areas for individual buildings and public spaces
  • founded on the Place Principle, Creating Places and six qualities
  • responds to strategic land use tensions, recognising the need for significant difficult decisions - take account of tackling the twin climate and nature crises and the fundamental role of Scotland’s natural and historic environment in supporting our economy, health, wellbeing and resilience to climate change
  • takes a design led approach - using new development to improve existing places should be considered as a first priority, ensuring this aligns with goals for net zero and biodiversity
  • address community wealth building priorities by reflecting a people-centred approach to local economic development

Identify

  • areas where development is unlikely to be supported due to the predicted effects of climate change
  • the potential for negative emissions technologies in the area, including emissions capture, storage and carbon utilisation and the Spatial Strategy should support their deployment through safeguarding land and enabling links between parts of the system
  • areas for co-locating developments with a high heat demand, large scale thermal storage opportunities and sources of low and zero emission heat supply
  • requirements for ancillary infrastructure to support renewable heat solutions (energy centres, grid infrastructure)
  • development that can improve existing places
  • where more detailed design briefs, masterplans and design codes are to be prepared to provide most benefit, in accordance with the six qualities, Place Standard considerations and Designing Streets
Plan-led Approach to Sustainable Development

317. Draft NPF4 Policy 1 states ‘All local development plans should manage the use and development of land in the long term public interest. This means that new LDPs should seek to achieve Scotland’s national outcomes (within the meaning of Part 1 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.’

318. Draft NPF4 sets out the national Spatial Strategy, six overarching spatial principles for Scotland 2045 (compact growth; local living; balanced development; conserving and recycling assets; urban and rural synergy; and just transition) and action area priorities. These should be used to guide the preparation of Regional Spatial Strategies, LDPs, and LPPs.

319. The plan’s Spatial Strategy should respond to strategic land use tensions, recognising the need for significant difficult decisions being made. The response to these tensions should take account of Scotland’s commitment to tackling the twin climate and nature crises and the fundamental role of Scotland’s natural and historic environment in supporting our economy, health, wellbeing and resilience to climate change.

Climate Emergency

320. In developing the Spatial Strategy, significant consideration should be given to the global climate emergency. The Spatial Strategy should be based on an understanding of the emissions that are likely to be generated by the proposals of the plan. The Spatial Strategy must seek to minimise new greenhouse gas emissions and maximise emissions reduction. LDPs must also take into account long term future climate risks. The aim should be to manage the risks on a systems based approach, avoid putting people at increased risk as a result of the Spatial Strategy, and avoid non-adapted and mal-adapted development and create places that are flexible for future adaptations that may be necessary. The LDP should identify areas where development is unlikely to be supported due to the predicted effects of climate change, factoring in the need for flexibility to allow for uncertainty. Risks to investment proposals and infrastructure, as well as people who are most likely to be disadvantaged by climate change, should be addressed in the Spatial Strategy as well as the opportunities for managing those risks.

321. The Spatial Strategy should set out the potential for negative emissions technologies in the area, including emissions capture, storage and carbon utilisation. The Spatial Strategy should support their deployment through safeguarding land and enabling links between parts of the system, such as to distribution and transmission networks as well as emission sources, as not all industrial and manufacturing processes will be able to fully avoid the release of new greenhouse gas emissions.

322. Heat mapping should inform the potential for co-locating developments with a high heat demand together with or alongside sources of heat supply. Requirements for ancillary infrastructure to support renewable heat solutions should also be identified and supported as part of the Spatial Strategy. This could include, for example, energy centres or transmission and distribution grid infrastructure. In advance of a Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES), heat networks should be prioritised to those areas not on the mains gas grid or where the electricity transmission and or distribution network is weak.

323. LDPs should design the Spatial Strategy to manage heat related climate risks through new development, and retrofit solutions in existing areas for individual buildings and public spaces.

Nature Crisis

324. Draft NPF4 Policy 3a states ‘Development plans should facilitate biodiversity enhancement, nature recovery and nature restoration across the development plan area, including by: facilitating the creation of nature networks and strengthening connections between them to support improved ecological connectivity; through the creation of new or restoration of degraded habitats; and, through measures to increase populations of priority species. Nature networks, which connect biodiversity rich areas, may include international, national and locally protected sites, and Other Effective Area Based Conservation measures (OECMs).’

325. Buffer Zones should not be established around areas designated for their natural heritage importance.

Design, Quality and Place

326. The Spatial Strategy should be founded on the Place Principle. Creating Places and the six qualities of successful places set out in draft NPF4 should be built-in and used as the guiding principles for a holistic approach to place making.

327. Plans should take a design-led approach. Design considerations should inform the Spatial Strategy and lead to places that are well adapted and resilient to the effects of a warmer climate. Using new development to improve existing places should be considered as a first priority, ensuring this aligns with goals for net zero and biodiversity. Design outcomes should enhance place identity and character, embrace creativity and innovation, reflect connection, culture and community talents from local areas and value the beauty and character of the local natural environment, and the essential services it provides to communities.

328. LDPs should provide a clear and strong framework for more detailed design input to follow at development level. The Spatial Strategy should identify where more detailed design briefs, masterplans and design codes are to be prepared to provide most benefit, in accordance with the six qualities, Place Standard considerations and Designing Streets.

Question 28

Do you agree with the proposed guidance on the Proposed Plan in relation to the section on Sustainable Places (paragraphs 317 – 328)?

Yes / No / No View

Please explain why you agree or disagree.

Liveable Places

Figure 12 – Spatial Strategies: Liveable Places

Approach

  • promotes potential for creating and enhancing 20 minute neighbourhoods
  • public convenience provision aligns with wider policies relating to 20 minute neighbourhoods and town centres
  • follows an Infrastructure First approach
  • includes land for homes in locations that shape existing and create new great places for people to live
  • aims to reduce the need to travel by prioritising accessible locations for future development
  • follows the sustainable travel and investment hierarchies
  • allocations chosen in locations that can best contribute to enhancing and delivering key green networks and priorities
  • takes account of the need to tackle geographical disparities in wealth and health, and reduce inequalities
  • prioritises investment in communities experiencing deprivation
  • informed by land use emissions modelling where appropriate
  • informed by heat mapping to inform the potential for co-locating developments with a high heat demand together with or alongside sources of heat supply
  • reflects Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy
  • aims to create vibrant, healthy and safe places and seeks to tackle health inequalities particularly in places experiencing the most disadvantage

Identify

  • identify infrastructure requirements to deliver the Spatial Strategy
  • identify opportunities for community facilities in areas where there is no, limited or inaccessible provision
  • identify land to meet the Housing Land Requirement in sustainable locations that create quality places for people to live
  • identify land to meet established needs for specialist and accessible homes, as well as accommodation for Gypsy Travellers and Travelling Show-people
  • identify and designate appropriate areas for infrastructure to support zero emission heating
  • identify areas for co-locating developments with a high heat demand, large scale thermal storage opportunities and sources of low and zero emission heat supply
  • identify and protect existing blue and green infrastructure (including access rights and core paths, and areas with an important role in flood water storage or conveyance)
  • identify and protect land with the potential to contribute to managing flood risk
  • identify land that could be used for localised, temporary greening and / or community food production, especially in urban areas
  • identify opportunities for play in the community / neighbourhood

Designate

  • may designate heat network zones
  • identify and designate appropriate areas for infrastructure to support zero emission heating

Enhance

  • enhance and expand natural (green and blue) infrastructure (strategic and local scales)
  • maximise the opportunities for play in the community / neighbourhood
20 Minute Neighbourhoods

329. Draft NPF4 Policy 7a states ‘LDPs should support the principle of 20 minute neighbourhoods, including through the Spatial Strategy, development proposals, associated site briefs and masterplans. The approach should take into account the local context for the plan and reflect the particular characteristics of the area. It should set out proposals to support the development and network of 20 minute neighbourhoods by bringing together relevant policies in this NPF to promote development that will contribute to the creation of safe, walkable, liveable and thriving places that provide and encourage sustainable travel options, provide communities with local access to the wide range of facilities, services, work and opportunities for socialising, leisure and play activities that they need to support a healthy and thriving and climate resilient community.’ This concept will apply differently in urban and rural areas and should be guided by the Place Principle and the place-based working that informs the LDP.

330. In developing the Spatial Strategy and identifying land allocations planning authorities should take account of:

  • encouraging a mix of uses which can support 20 minute neighbourhoods;
  • density or hubs or concentrations of services and facilities (whether based around high streets, centres, or transport interchanges) which can form the heart of 20 minute neighbourhoods;
  • access to local employment; facilitating new ways of working, homeworking, and community hubs;
  • opportunities for community wealth building;
  • existing buildings including vacant properties and buildings at risk which can be repurposed or reused, in line with circular economy principles;
  • planning housing land allocations alongside or together with everyday local community infrastructure including schools, community centres, greenspaces, local shops and healthcare to significantly reduce the need to travel by private car;
  • retrofitting new community infrastructure into areas which are heavily dependent on the car, for example by highlighting opportunities for new local facilities close to homes or by prioritising new active travel routes;
  • provision of walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure. Routes should be direct, accessible, safe and pleasant to encourage greater levels of use;
  • design led approaches to incorporating blue green infrastructure into existing and new neighbourhoods; and
  • ensuring access to local high quality outdoor spaces for play, socialisation, recreation and relaxation.

331. LDPs should set out proposals to support the development and network of 20 minute neighbourhoods to promote development that will contribute to the creation of safe, walkable, liveable and thriving places that encourage sustainable travel options, provide communities with local access to the wide range of facilities, services, work and opportunities for socialising, leisure and play activities that they need to support a healthy and thriving and climate resilient community.

332. Community facilities should be promoted in areas where there is no, limited or inaccessible provision.

333. Plans should also address the need for public conveniences. The LDP is to include a statement of the planning authority’s policies and proposals as to the provision of public conveniences. This should recognise that public conveniences are a vital facility, both for local people (especially for women, families, disabled people and older people) and visitors to an area. The approach in the Spatial Strategy to public convenience provision should align with wider policies relating to 20 minute neighbourhoods and town centres.

Infrastructure First

334. LDPs must take account of the infrastructure of the district, and how that infrastructure is used (section 5(d) and (e)). This legislative requirement is central to the infrastructure first approach for development planning. The infrastructure of the district includes communications, transport and drainage systems, systems for the supply of water and energy, and health care and education facilities.

335. Draft NPF4 Policy 8a states that LDPs and Delivery Programmes should be based on an Infrastructure First approach. They should:

  • align with relevant infrastructure plans and policies; including the Infrastructure Investment Plan (investment hierarchy) and National Transport Strategy (sustainable travel and investment hierarchies), the Strategic Transport Projects Review and the National Marine Plan;
  • be informed by evidence on infrastructure capacity, condition, needs and deliverability;
  • set out the infrastructure requirements of the Spatial Strategy, informed by the evidence base, and how and by whom this will be delivered; and
  • indicate the type, level and location of the contributions (financial or in-kind) that development will be required to make.’

336. There are clear benefits to achieving a consistent and robust approach to infrastructure planning and to providing clarity on infrastructure requirements and deliverability within LDPs. In particular, it can help avoid situations where a lack of infrastructure capacity or issues with infrastructure delivery result in planned development being undeliverable. In addition, it can help avoid disproportionate infrastructure costs falling to a single party.

337. As part of preparing the Proposed Plan, it may be necessary for planning authorities to undertake more detailed infrastructure appraisals to provide greater certainty for site allocations. This appraisal work should build upon the data and evidence established in preparing the Evidence Report in line with the infrastructure first approach. This process will require continued engagement with infrastructure providers.

338. Planning authorities should identify what, how and when required infrastructure will be funded and delivered. Where additional infrastructure is required, a clear and committed pathway to delivery should be included in the Delivery Programme. The pathway to the delivery of planned infrastructure should set out the key considerations and steps required to deliver the infrastructure, e.g. infrastructure costs, lead responsibility, timescales/phasing, funding sources.

339. The Proposed Plan should:

  • identify infrastructure requirements to deliver the Spatial Strategy, including the identification of any infrastructure needed to address cumulative impacts identified through an appropriate appraisal, this includes both existing unconsented plan allocations and new/expanded requirements;
  • set out what the infrastructure requirements are for each allocated site, including whether the proposed use involves the use of existing infrastructure or the provision of new or enhanced infrastructure capacity. This should be informed by evidence on infrastructure capacity, condition, needs and deliverability; and
  • provide a summary of the planned deliverability and phasing of the required infrastructure, where new or enhanced infrastructure is required (for each allocated site) with direct links to the Delivery Programme which accompanies the LDP (see paragraphs 471 – 476).

340. Where planning authorities intend to seek developer contributions for delivery of infrastructure, including transport infrastructure – the approach to doing so should be set out in the LDP. Plans should indicate the type (financial or in-kind), level and location of the contributions that development is expected to make, including the method of calculation.

Quality Homes

341. The Spatial Strategy of the Proposed Plan should include land for homes in locations that shape existing and create new great places for people to live. Homes should be recognised as an opportunity for placemaking, creating investment in neighbourhoods that will meet community needs and create and sustain liveable places.

342. A place-based plan is expected to:

  • identify the HLR which was concluded at the Gate Check;
  • identify the MATHLR set out in NPF;
  • allocate the amount of land for housing necessary to meet the HLR;
  • identify which allocations contribute to which stages of the deliverable Housing Land Pipeline; and
  • identify which allocations will help contribute to meeting specific needs including for: affordable housing, further and higher education, older people, disabled people, self-build and Gypsy/Travellers.

343. The Spatial Strategy of the LDP must take account of the:

  • housing needs of the population of the area, including, in particular, the needs of persons undertaking further and higher education, older people and disabled people (section 15 (5)(ca));
  • availability of land in the district for housing, including for older people and disabled people (section 15 (5)(cb));
  • desirability of allocating land for the purposes of resettlement (section 15 (5)(cc)); and
  • extent to which there are rural areas within the district in relation to which there has been substantial decline in population (section 15 (5)(cf)).

Amount of Land for New Homes

344. Draft NPF4 Policy 9a states ‘LDPs should identify a housing target for the area it covers, in the form of a Housing Land Requirement. Representing how much land is required, it should at least meet the 10 year Minimum All-Tenure Housing Land Requirement (MATHLR) set out in [NPF] Annex B.’

345. The HLR can be met by:

  • sites with planning permission and yet to commence;
  • sites allocated in the plan, for the development of 4 or more market, affordable or self-provided homes, where the Delivery Programme indicates there is a firm commitment to delivering homes; and
  • windfall development, where this is supported by evidence of past delivery and supported by sound assumptions about likely future trends.

Housing Land Pipeline

346. Draft NPF4 Policy 9b requires that LDPs establish a deliverable Housing Land Pipeline that covers the HLR and representing when land will be bought forward. The pipeline should comprise a balance of sites over time as below:

  • Short term sites to be commenced in 1 to 3 years, including sites with full planning permission;
  • Medium term sites to be commenced in 4 to 6 years, including sites with planning permission in principle and allocations supported by masterplans, site briefs or equivalent;
  • Longer term sites to be commenced beyond 7 years, in locations that align with the Spatial Strategy of the plan and have a pathway to delivery identified in the Delivery Programme.

347. Shorter term sites should be substantially delivered before longer term sites are bought forward. The Housing Land Audit and Delivery Programme should be used to manage the deliverable Housing Land Pipeline.

348. The Proposed Plan should ideally include a site brief or masterplan for medium or longer term allocations within the deliverable Housing Land Pipeline. Planning authorities should prioritise design work for sites which require greater coordination of interests and are integral to supporting delivery of the plan’s outcomes, including different types of housing (see paragraph 355). This should connect with the Delivery Programme which demonstrates the path to delivery.

349. The LDP may identify broader locations for housing that link to the Spatial Strategy and whilst constrained, may be suitable for the development of new homes in the longer term, beyond the plan period.

350. Where sites in the deliverable Housing Land Pipeline do not progress to delivery as programmed and alternative delivery mechanisms are not possible, longer term deliverable sites should be brought forward. Site de-allocation should be considered where sites are no longer deliverable.

Allocations

351. Draft NPF4 Policy 9c states ‘Land should be allocated to meet the Housing Land Requirement in sustainable locations that create quality places for people to live. The location of allocations for new homes should be consistent with the principles of 20 minute neighbourhoods and an infrastructure-first approach. In rural and island areas, authorities are encouraged to set out tailored approaches to housing which reflect locally specific market circumstances and delivery approaches.’ (See paragraph 453).

352. The location of homes should be in line with the plan’s Spatial Strategy and informed by engagement with public, private and community sector interests. Where appropriate there should be a mix of scales of sites in a range of locations to support a balance of tenures and dwelling types. Where they are proposed, plans should identify the location of Masterplan Consent Areas for new homes and associated infrastructure.

353. All sites for new homes should be assessed using the site appraisal methodology included in the Evidence Report and confirmed at the Gate Check. This includes sites for homes in an existing LDP yet to be consented: no sites should automatically roll forward from one plan to the next. It also includes sites proposed for homes through any Call for Ideas, and any others the planning authority considers may have potential for the delivery of homes.

354. The site appraisal should be undertaken using the site appraisal methodology contained in the Evidence Report, and where sites are to be allocated for housing, they should be confirmed as deliverable. This means that land allocated for new homes should be free of constraints. However, where constraints exist, sites can be regarded as deliverable, providing that the Delivery Programme confirms how constraints will be removed and the timeframe expected for this.

Types of Homes

355. Draft NPF4 Policy 9c states ‘Diverse needs and delivery models should be taken into account across all area’. LDPs should aim to diversify the range and types of homes that are built to meet people’s needs and provide more choice for all. This can be as part of wider proposals or through allocation of sites for specific housing types. Locations may include infill sites and brownfield land and could bring back land and buildings into use (e.g. vacant and derelict land or sites with planning permission which have not been built out), including in town centres. Plans should consider the potential for all types of homes across all tenures including the types of homes below, informed by Local Housing Strategies, and where appropriate make provision for these:

  • self-provided homes (including self-, custom- and collective- build homes). Locations should be identified for self-provided homes where evidence of demand has been established in the Evidence Report;
  • accessible and adaptable homes. Plans should have regard to providing land for any requirement established in the Evidence Report for accessible or adaptable homes, including wheelchair housing and intergenerational homes, to support independent living particularly although not exclusively among older or disabled people;
  • care homes and supported accommodation. Plans should have regard to providing land for supported accommodation and care homes where there is a requirement established in the Evidence Report. New models of living, for example co-housing and intergenerational living, should be actively encouraged;
  • Build to Rent homes. Plans should have regard to Build to Rent as part of the range of homes to be delivered. This can support transient populations (students and contract workers) and can also include urban and suburban family homes; and
  • Gypsy/Travellers and Travelling Showpeople. As required by draft NPF4 Policy 9c plans should consider and address the temporary and permanent needs of Gypsy/Travellers and Travelling Showpeople, - these needs should be established in the Evidence Report. Collaborative working with adjoining councils is likely to be necessary. Where a need is established, land for temporary and/or permanent sites should be allocated with access to services. Consideration should be given to design of sites, taking account the needs of the community – land allocated for Travelling Showpeople should have adequate space for storing and maintaining equipment. Consideration should also be given to the funding required to enable delivery.

356. In relation to affordable housing, the percentage contribution expected should be identified as part of a masterplan or site brief that is prepared for an area. Draft NPF4 Policy 9h states this should be at least 25% of the total number of homes on a site. The policy provides flexibility for this to be higher where justified by evidence of need. It also provides for locations or circumstances where a lower contribution may be appropriate. This could include, for example, where there is evidence of impact on viability, small scale developments or where a planning authority wishes to incentivise particular types of homes to diversify the supply, for example self-build, accessible or build-to-rent homes.’

Sustainable Transport and Travel

357. NPF4 Policy 10a states LDPs ‘should aim to reduce the need to travel unsustainably by prioritising locations for future development that can be accessed by sustainable modes. A plan’s Spatial Strategy should be informed by evidence of the area’s existing and committed transport infrastructure capacity’.

358. LDPs should implement and ensure development is in line with the sustainable travel and investment hierarchies set out in the National Transport Strategy, (see Figures 8 - 10). The Spatial Strategy should support transport options that focus on reducing inequalities and the need to travel unsustainably. The maintenance and safe operation of existing assets, as well as their resilience to climate change should also be considered. Investment promoting a range of measures, including innovative solutions, to make better use of existing capacity should then be considered, ensuring that existing transport networks and systems are fully optimised. Only following these steps should investment involving targeted infrastructure improvements be considered.

359. It is expected that a place-based plan will:

  • identify how future development can be accessed sustainably, without revenue support from the public sector or how it will be funded and delivered by the private sector;
  • allocate land well served by existing or committed infrastructure and services before considering the need for additional infrastructure in line with the NTS2 sustainable travel and investment hierarchies; and
  • indicate in site briefs for the proposed allocations how the sustainable travel and investment hierarchies in transport terms have been taken into account.

360. In preparing the Spatial Strategy consideration should be given to the:

  • evidence of the area’s existing and committed transport infrastructure capacity;
  • need to consider strategic and cross boundary transport connectivity at the earliest stage in the plan process;
  • resilience of existing and planned transport infrastructure including changing rainfall patterns, flood and storm drainage and temperatures; and
  • committed transport infrastructure investment (including active travel) and delivery pathways.

361. A key part of the plan making, will be the preparation of a Transport Appraisal, which should be completed in time to inform the Proposed Plan, and published alongside the Proposed Plan.

362. Draft NPF4 Policy 10b states ‘Local development plans should be informed by an appropriate and effective transport appraisal undertaken in line with Development Planning Transport Appraisal Guidance (DPTAG). Plans should be informed by evidence of the area’s transport infrastructure capacity, and by an appraisal of the plan’s Spatial Strategy, and reasonable alternatives to it, on the transport network. This should identify any potential cumulative transport impacts and mitigation proposed to inform the infrastructure first approach. The Spatial Strategy should reflect the sustainable travel hierarchy and transport investment hierarchy by making best use of existing infrastructure and services and also help to deliver 20 minute neighbourhoods. Where there is likely to be an impact on the trunk road or rail network, early engagement with Transport Scotland is required.’

363. The Transport Appraisal should build on the data and evidence established in preparing the Evidence Report for all travel modes. The approach to the Transport Appraisal should be proportionate and will be unique to each plan.

364. Transport Scotland should be involved in discussions on the Transport Appraisal methodology. Further advice is provided within DPTAG and early discussions with Transport Scotland on the nature and scale of appraisal is also advised should the Spatial Strategy or its options have the potential to impact the strategic transport network (including trunk roads). This includes any potential cumulative impact, for example any safety concerns or concerns relating to the efficient operation of the strategic network.

365. It is expected that the Transport Appraisal will:

  • appraise the impact of the plan’s Spatial Strategy, and reasonable alternatives to it as appropriate, on the transport network, including identifying any potential transport impacts and mitigation proposed to inform the infrastructure first approach;
  • provide a cumulative appraisal of the impact of the Spatial Strategy;
  • be at a scale and level of detail proportionate to the nature of the issues and proposals being considered, including their funding requirements;
  • appraise any strategic transport interventions required to deliver the strategy;
  • identify appropriate mitigation measures to assist in the delivery of the Spatial Strategy in accordance with the NTS2 sustainable travel and investment hierarchies, their funding and provide information on delivery; and
  • inform and align with the Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental Report and the Delivery Programme.

366. Completing a Transport Appraisal in time for publication of the Proposed Plan is important to support the deliverability of the plan. The Transport Appraisal should feed into the preparation of the Delivery Programme and may also be required to underpin a developer contribution strategy for the infrastructure identified in the plan. Not having this risks the outcomes of the plan being achieved.

367. As set out in paragraphs 334 – 335 the Spatial Strategy should detail what transport infrastructure is required to support planned development. This should include identifying where existing infrastructure capacity is to be used to support the creation of places, but also where new or enhanced infrastructure is required, the likely scale, location and timing of that required infrastructure.

368. Plans should not allocate land for development where transport infrastructure requirements have not been identified or cannot be delivered.

369. In developing the Spatial Strategy planning authorities should look strategically at their walking and cycling infrastructure identifying potential improvements to routes, especially those that join or form part of the national walking and cycling network and core path network. Improvements could include creating links, removal of barriers (road crossings/bridges etc.). Plans have a role in supporting the efficient roll out of electric bikes, by identifying potential locations for charging hubs. Plans should safeguard disused railway lines which have the potential to be brought back into use for active travel / green networks. Canals also have a role to play in active travel routes and tourism and plans should support their regeneration. Particular attention should be given to the development of safe, easy and direct key routes to town and city centres, schools, higher education and hospitals which are accessible to all, especially in the context of 20 minute neighbourhoods.

370. Options for the Spatial Strategy should be informed by the baseline data gathered at Evidence Report stage, and be informed by and include the embedding of the sustainable travel and investment hierarchies set out in the National Transport Strategy 2 (see Figures 8 and 9).

371. Plans should consider the need for improved transport interchanges to support new development, where existing infrastructure is inadequate. Plans should allocate land, where appropriate, for multimodal hubs, transport interchanges, freight transfer and distribution facilities and park and ride facilities.

372. Plans should also support key bus priority routes where appropriate. As set out in section 16 of the Act, planning authorities should also have regard to the desirability of preserving disused railway infrastructure for the purpose of ensuring its availability for possible future public transport requirements.

373. Agreement should be reached with Transport Scotland and Network Rail before rail proposals that affect the national rail network are included in a development plan or planning application and it should be noted that further technical assessment and design work will be required before any proposed new road / rail infrastructure can be confirmed as viable. Land should only be safeguarded for new road and rail purposes where approved by Transport Scotland and where it has a clear delivery pathway. The strategic case for new infrastructure should emerge from a complete and robust multimodal transport appraisal in line with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance. Where disused railway lines have a reasonable prospect of being reused for sustainable transport these should be considered for safeguarding through the Spatial Strategy.

374. The effective movement of goods is essential for trade and sustainable economic growth and should be considered as appropriate during plan preparation. Plans should locate land for economic development which generates significant freight movements on sites accessible to suitable railheads or harbours or the strategic road network.

375. Planning authorities, airport operators and other stakeholders as appropriate, should work together to address planning and transport issues relating to airports. Plans should identify that Public Safety Zones have been established for a particular airport and the extent of them should be indicated on the relevant maps accompanying plans. Where there is a Public Safety Zone, plans should signpost that Circular 8/2002 Control of Development in Airport Public Safety Zones provides policy on development in such areas.

376. Plans should consider identifying very accessible locations, in urban areas, which could support low /no car parking in new developments, taking account of access by active and sustainable modes, type of development and local car ownership levels.

377. Plans have a role in supporting the efficient roll out of electric vehicles by identifying potential locations for charging hubs, especially to support rural communities. Electric vehicle forecourts are likely to become more prominent and preference should be given to the conversion and re-use of petrol stations for this use. Electric vehicles are considered private vehicles and are therefore at the bottom of the NTS2 sustainable travel hierarchy.

Heat and Cooling

378. The Heat Networks (Scotland) Act 2021 sets statutory targets of heat networks for 2027 and 2030, and requires Scottish Ministers to set a further target for 2035. The Act also requires local authorities to determine whether areas are particularly suitable for heat networks – this can be done through the LDP.

379. Draft NPF4 Policy 11a states that LDPs should take into account the area’s Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES) and areas of heat network potential and any designated heat network zones (HNZ) when allocating land.

380. LHEES will provide a long term framework for decarbonising heat in buildings and improving energy efficiency across each local authority area. LHEES will identify strategic level zones that set out the primary measures for reducing heat emissions from buildings. LHEES will also be the primary means by which potentially suitable heat network zones are initially identified, to be designated by local authorities as required by the legislation. Local authorities may then designate such areas as heat network zones as appropriate or request Scottish Ministers to do this.

381. Allocations and the identification of development opportunities should be informed by heat network zones and other strategic level zones, and take into account the area’s LHEES and areas of heat network potential and any designated heat network zones.

382. The LDP:

  • should identify and designate appropriate areas for infrastructure to support zero emission heating, including appropriate space needed for upgrading electricity networks (to support greater network capacity for powering of heat pumps and electric vehicles) and appropriate areas for energy centres and heat storage in areas of heat network potential and in designated HNZ;
  • should identify areas for co-locating developments with a high heat demand, large scale thermal storage opportunities and sources of low and zero emission heat supply; and
  • may designate heat network zones.
Blue and Green Infrastructure, Play & Sport

383. Draft NPF4 Policy 12a states LDPs ‘should identify and protect blue and green infrastructure, safeguarding existing assets’. This includes access rights and core paths, and areas with an important role in flood water storage or conveyance.

384. This policy states that plans should also ‘identify opportunities to enhance and expand provision and access to blue and green infrastructure (at strategic and local scales).’ The Spatial Strategy should identify opportunities and proposals for new, enhanced provision, or improved access to blue and green infrastructure including open spaces. The role of and opportunity for green infrastructure at strategic and local scales in contributing towards biodiversity goals, climate change mitigation and adaptation should be considered.

385. The use of unused or underused land for green infrastructure should be encouraged. Plans should identify land that could be used for localised, temporary greening and / or community food production, including community growing spaces, especially in urban areas.

386. In relation to the Spatial Strategy, the policy also states that ‘development allocations should be chosen taking account of the areas that can best contribute to enhancing and delivering key green networks and priorities.’ This is intended to help target development towards where it can help address gaps in the network and improving access to green networks.

387. Draft NPF4 Policy 12b states LDPs ‘should identify new, enhanced provision or improved access to play opportunities for children as part of enhancing and expanding blue and green infrastructure. Blue and green infrastructure should provide opportunities for play and recognise the need for, and provide publicly accessible, outdoor opportunities for formal, informal and incidental play. These facilities should be good quality, accessible and suitable for different ages and abilities, to satisfy current and likely future needs and demand in the community’.

388. The Spatial Strategy should address the wider concept of play and playability through other relevant policy areas, to identify and maximise the opportunities for play in the community / neighbourhood. Plans should prioritise actions in disadvantaged communities, to ensure the adequate provision of publicly accessible, good quality outdoor play opportunities for formal, informal and incidental play help to tackle inequality and improve health and wellbeing outcomes for children in such areas. Plans should recognise the importance of quality greenspace for play and the range of health and wellbeing benefits this creates for children and young people.

Flood Risk and Water Management

389. Draft NPF4 Policy 13a states LDPs ‘should strengthen community resilience to the current and future impacts of climate change, including opportunities to implement natural flood risk management and blue green infrastructure. Plans should take into account the probability of flooding from all sources. New development proposals in flood risk areas, or which can impact on flood risk areas, should be avoided. A cautious approach should be taken, regarding the calculated probability of flooding as a best estimate, not a precise forecast.’

390. Land with the potential to contribute to managing flood risk should be identified and protected within the Spatial Strategy. This should include areas that have been identified for managed retreat/relocation arising from the formal flood risk management planning process.

Lifelong Health, Wellbeing and Safety

391. Draft NPF4 Policy 14a states LDPs ‘should aim to create vibrant, healthy and safe places and should seek to tackle health inequalities particularly in places which are experiencing the most disadvantage. The provision of health facilities and infrastructure to meet the needs of the community should also be a key consideration.’

392. The Spatial Strategy should take account of the need to tackle geographical disparities in wealth and health, and reduce inequalities, including gender economic inequality, provide good quality paid work and fair opportunities for work. Plans should seek to distribute economic activity and development more equitably and prioritise areas locally where growth lags behind for new business and industry opportunities. Plans should aim to build on the lessons from initiatives on community wealth-building in order to boost local job creation by developing resilient people, communities and places.

393. Reducing inequality is a significant action in addressing health. LDPs should prioritise investment in communities experiencing deprivation to help address the socio-economic-environmental challenges faced by those communities and link that to increased adaptation and resilience to the risks from climate change faced by those communities.

394. LDPs should reflect health concerns and risks to health present in the area and not increase the risk of exposure to those through intensification of the hazard or exposing more people to it, or introducing new hazards that cannot be appropriately mitigated. This includes risks related to a warmer climate as well as environmental, air quality (particularly in urban areas), and industrial hazards. Where appropriate land use emissions modelling should be used to inform the Spatial Strategy. Land use decisions should consider how to deliver improvements and reduce risks to health as a preventative measure that can improve health and wellbeing as well as avoid adverse impacts and costs of ill health to individuals, families, the NHS and the wider economy.

395. In developing the Spatial Strategy attention should be paid to the Coal Authority’s development high risk areas as a means to avoid future risks to human health.

396. Draft Development Planning regulation 8(2) requires that in preparing an LDP planning authorities have regard to the objectives of preventing major accidents and limiting the consequences of such accidents for human health and the environment. Draft regulation 8(2) also sets out that in preparing an LDP the planning authority are also to have regard to the need in the long term:

  • to maintain appropriate safety distances between establishments covered by the Directive and residential areas, buildings and areas of public use, recreational areas and, as far as possible, major transport routes;
  • to protect areas of particular natural sensitivity or interest in the vicinity of establishments, where appropriate through appropriate safety distances or other relevant measures; and
  • in the case of existing establishments, to take additional technical measures in accordance with regulation 5 of the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015[3] so as not to increase the risks to human health and the environment.

397. The Spatial Strategy should take account of the location of major-accident hazard sites, existing and, where known, proposed, in the vicinity and their potential impacts. In developing the Spatial Strategy and considering land allocations, planning authorities can use HSE's Planning Advice Web App, or where that is not suitable, HSE’s Land Use Planning Methodology underpinning the app, to ascertain the sensitivity levels / developments (in particular zones) that HSE would not advise against granting planning permission.

398. Plans should support lifelong eating well and healthy weight through supporting diversity in healthy, affordable local food and drink retail, local food growing and local food and drink manufacturing. Plans should take steps to increase food diversity and physical activity where significant issues are identified. Food deserts should be designed out and concentrations or clusters of outlets selling less nutritious foods, in particular for take-away purposes, should be avoided and not allowed to be created where they are within walking distance of schools.

399. Plans should support and encourage active lifestyles at all ages, through active travel, play and recreation. LDPs should seek to ensure that communities experience the health and wellbeing benefits of a high quality, nature positive local environment, with access to natural spaces. They should seek to tackle environmental health inequalities, including those associated with air pollution, impacts of climate change and access to quality greenspace.

400. The Act requires LDPs to include a statement of the planning authority's policies and proposals as to the provision of water refill locations.

Question 29

Do you agree with the proposed guidance on the Proposed Plan in relation to the section on Liveable Places (paragraphs 329 – 400)?

Yes / No / No View

Please explain why you agree or disagree.

Productive Places

Figure 13 – Spatial Strategies: Productive Places

Approach

  • supports a green economic recovery
  • supports the ability of businesses and industry to be flexible to respond to rapid or significant economic change
  • support the sustainable growth of the tourism sector
  • maximises the sustainable and inclusive growth of regional and local visitor economies
  • recognises and supports opportunities for jobs and investment in the creative sector, culture, heritage and the arts
  • seeks to ensure that an area’s full potential for electricity and heat from renewable sources is achieved
  • supports the circular economy
  • guides new aquaculture development to locations that reflect industry needs and takes into account wider marine planning. / in accordance with relevant national and regional marine plans and take into account SEPA guidance in its Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan
  • takes into account current and future improvements to digital connectivity

Identify

  • identify proposals to meet requirements for employment land, infrastructure and investment
  • identify and safeguard sites for any nationally important clusters of industries handling hazardous substances
  • identify appropriate locations for significant business clusters (Enterprise Areas, business parks, science parks, large and medium-sized industrial sites and high amenity sites)
  • identify land for new business and industrial development (range of sites)
  • identify opportunities for sustainable tourism development
  • identify areas viewed as potentially suitable for wind energy development
  • identify appropriate locations for new infrastructure to support the circular economy and meet identified needs
  • identify and safeguard existing waste management sites
  • identify a landbank of permitted reserves for construction aggregates of at least 10 years at all times in relevant market areas through the identification of areas of search (criteria based approach may be taken, particularly where a sufficient landbank already exists or substantial unconstrained deposits are available)
  • identify requirements for additional digital infrastructure

Encourage

  • opportunities for home-working, live-work units, micro-businesses and community hubs
  • additional onshore wind energy development
Land and Premises for Business and Employment

401. Plans should support a green economic recovery and recognise the significant job growth potential in low-carbon, circular economy and nature-based sectors. The Spatial Strategy should support the ability of businesses and industry to be flexible to respond to rapid or significant economic change.

402. Draft NPF4 Policy 16a states LDPs ‘should set out proposals to meet requirements for employment land, infrastructure and investment in a way which supports a greener, fairer and more inclusive wellbeing economy.’

403. The Spatial Strategy should identify sites for any nationally important clusters of industries handling hazardous substances within their areas. These should be safeguarded from development which, either on its own or in combination with other development, would compromise their continued operation or growth potential.

404. The Spatial Strategy should identify appropriate locations for significant business clusters. This could include sites identified in the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan, Enterprise Areas, business parks, science parks, large and medium-sized industrial sites and high amenity sites. The future risks arising from climate change should be taken into account when identifying major development sites and significant business clusters.

405. The Spatial Strategy should identify land for new business and industrial development. New sites should be identified where existing sites no longer meet current needs and market expectations. Where existing business sites are underused, for example where there has been an increase in vacancy rates, reallocation to enable a wider range of viable business or alternative uses should be considered, taking careful account of the potential impacts on existing businesses on the site. Flexibility and resilience for business and industry should be built into site allocation. Plans should allocate a range of sites for business, taking account of: current market demand; location, size, quality; infrastructure capacity and additional requirements; whether sites are serviced or serviceable within five years; the potential for a mix of uses; digital connectivity; and accessibility to transport networks by walking, wheeling, cycling and public transport and their integration with and access to existing transport networks.

406. Plans should encourage opportunities for home-working, live-work units, micro-businesses and community hubs. In the past industrial and business areas have tended to be located at a distance from residential areas. As our economy continues to evolve, there may be scope for greater integration of work and living as inter-related land uses which will also support our ambition for net zero. This can help to tackle inequalities by providing more accessible, local job opportunities which reduce the need to travel. The Spatial Strategy and site allocations should factor this in.

Sustainable Tourism

407. Draft NPF4 Policy 17a states LDPs should support the resilience of the tourism sector, including by identifying proposals for tourism development which reflect sector driven tourism strategies.

408. Opportunities for sustainable tourism development should be included within the Spatial Strategy. Sites for tourism uses should be allocated to reflect sector driven tourism strategies including the Covid-19 Tourism Recovery Programme and Scotland Outlook 2030. The Spatial Strategy should maximise the sustainable and inclusive growth of regional and local visitor economies.

409. In allocating sites for tourism proposals planning authorities should consider their resilience to change such as the ability to adapt to the effects of climate change. Plans should ensure that tourism proposals do not exceed the ‘carrying capacity’ of locations by avoiding adverse impacts on the host environment and communities including their access to housing and community facilities; and linking existing and future locations with infrastructure including physical and digital links and active travel or recreational routes. New tourism uses for redundant tourism facilities should be encouraged.

Culture and Creativity

410. Policy 18a of draft NPF4 states LDPs ‘should recognise and support opportunities for jobs and investment in the creative sector, culture, heritage and the arts.’

411. The benefits of culture, the creative industries and the historic environment to tourism and the economy as well as place, sense of community, identity, and health and wellbeing, should be recognised.

Green Energy

412. Draft NPF4 Policy 19a states LDPs ‘should seek to ensure that an area’s full potential for electricity and heat from renewable sources is achieved. Opportunities for new development, extensions and repowering of existing renewable energy developments should be supported.’

413. Plans should encourage additional onshore wind energy development. Plans should identify areas falling within National Parks and National Scenic Areas, where new wind farms will not be supported. The remainder of the area should be viewed as potentially suitable for wind energy development, recognising the sensitivity of other nationally and internationally important designated sites in line with wider policies set out in the National Planning Framework and subject to development management considerations.

Zero Waste

414. Draft NPF4 Policy 20a states LDPs ‘should identify appropriate locations for new infrastructure to support the circular economy and meet identified needs in a way that moves waste as high up the waste hierarchy as possible.’

415. Suitable sites for resource / waste management infrastructure include those which have been identified for employment, industry or storage and distribution, former mineral sites and derelict or degraded land. Support should be provided to resource/waste management facilities and/or industries that maximise the value of secondary resources to the economy and move waste as high up the waste hierarchy as possible. Planning authorities should work with industry stakeholders to help facilitate co-location and to integrate energy efficiency and waste innovations within the construction and business environments. Links with heat networks and the relationship with the relevant LHEES should also be taken into account.

416. Existing waste management sites should be safeguarded for current and future use unless the facility is no longer required or that the capacity can be met through an alternative facility or technology of equal or improved standard.

Sustainable Aquaculture

417. Draft NPF4 Policy 21 states LDPs ‘should guide new aquaculture development to locations that reflect industry needs and take account of environmental impact, including cumulative impacts, and wider marine planning.’

418. The Spatial Strategy should be in accordance with relevant national and regional marine plans and take into account SEPA guidance in its Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan.

Minerals

419. Draft NPF4 Policy 22a states LDPs ‘should support the 10 year landbank at all times in the relevant market areas, whilst promoting sustainable resource management, safeguarding important workable mineral resources which are of economic or conservation value and take steps to ensure these are not sterilised by other types of development.’

420. To support the sustainable extraction of minerals, plans should identify a landbank of permitted reserves for construction aggregates of at least 10 years at all times in relevant market areas through the identification of areas of search. Such areas can be promoted by developers or landowners as part of the plan preparation process or by planning authorities where they wish to guide development to particular areas. As an alternative, a criteria-based approach may be taken, particularly where a sufficient landbank already exists or substantial unconstrained deposits are available.

421. Plans should consider if those areas identified as being at development high risk by the Coal Authority are actually suitable for its proposed future development. Any suggested mitigation measures introduced to minimise the risk to human health, such as that from mine gas release, need to be fit for purpose.

Digital Infrastructure

422. Draft NPF4 Policy 23a states LDPs ‘should support the delivery of digital infrastructure, particularly in areas with gaps in connectivity and barriers to digital access.’

423. LDPs should take into account current and future improvements to digital connectivity in the Spatial Strategy. Plans should reflect the infrastructure roll-out plans of digital communications operators, community groups and others, such as the Scottish Government, the UK Government and local authorities.

424. Plans should help facilitate modern communications and requirements for additional infrastructure should be identified in the Spatial Strategy, taking into account options for:

  • mast or site sharing where they present the best option (consistent with the conditions set out in the Electronic Communications Code);
  • installation on buildings or other existing structures;
  • installing the smallest suitable equipment, commensurate with technological requirements;
  • installation of ground-based masts; and
  • where the local authority can make their own suitable property available to MNOs and WIPs

and siting and design considerations:

  • natural and historic environment, and visual and landscape character impacts; and
  • concealing or disguising masts, antennas, equipment housing and cable runs using careful design and camouflage techniques where appropriate.

Question 30

Do you agree with the proposed guidance on the Proposed Plan in relation to the section on Productive Places (paragraphs 401 – 424)?

Yes / No / No View

Please explain why you agree or disagree.

Distinctive Places

Figure 14 – Spatial Strategies: Distinctive Places

Approach

  • supports sustainable futures for city, town and local centres / provides a sustainable network of settlements
  • seeks to provide a proportion of housing land requirements in city and town centres
  • protects and enhances locally, regionally, nationally and internationally valued historic assets and places
  • encourages the re-use and adaptation of existing historic environment assets and places, through active regeneration
  • any changes to the boundary of the green belt should be considered during plan preparation, whether land releases to accommodate planned growth, or to extend, or change the area covered as green belt
  • redirects development pressure to the most appropriate sustainable locations, making effective use of land and supporting regeneration - prioritising the re-use or re-development of brownfield land first, before new development takes place on greenfield sites
  • seeks to re-use vacant and derelict land and redundant buildings as a priority
  • supports the sustainability and growth of rural communities and economies
  • actively promotes sustainable working and living in rural Scotland and the islands (where relevant)
  • seeks to manage rural development in accessible or pressured rural areas, where there is a danger of unsustainable growth in long-distance car-based commuting or suburbanisation of the countryside
  • supports new development in remote rural and island areas, where it can help support community resilience and sustain fragile populations
  • supports a strategic approach to nature - in which wildlife sites, corridors, and stepping stones, landscape features, watercourses, and green and blue spaces come together to form integrated nature networks, supporting ecological connectivity
  • in allocating land for future development, planning authorities should consider opportunities to safeguard and restore biodiversity and natural assets, and to use nature based solutions to support health and wellbeing
  • protects locally, regionally, nationally and internationally valued soils
  • considers how to adapt our coastline to the impacts of climate change

Identify

  • identify network of centres (city centres, town centres, local centres, commercial centres, emerging or new centres)
  • identify opportunities to support new housing in city and town centres
  • identify sites for, or requirements for, retail provision where a need is identified
  • identify all historic environment designations at the appropriate scale together with key issues/historic environment/cultural heritage projects such as Conservation Area Regeneration Schemes (CARS)
  • identify where appropriate, the detailed boundary of any green belt
  • identify how vacant and derelict land, together with existing properties that are not in use, can be used for future development
  • identify where site briefs or design guides can be prioritised and produced to proactively promote the development of vacant and derelict land
  • make provision for housing in rural areas (rural approach to 20 min neighbourhoods)
  • identify suitable sites for at a range of scales for the purposes of rural resettlement (small-scale housing, including crofts and woodland crofts, and other development which supports sustainable economic growth)
  • identify and protect locally, regionally, nationally and internationally valued natural assets, landscapes, species and habitats
  • safeguard land which is highly suitable for particular uses such as food production or flood management
  • identify and protect key ecological features, including priority species and habitats
  • identify existing woodland and potential for its protection, enhancement or expansion to avoid habitat fragmentation and improve ecological connectivity
  • identify areas of largely developed coast that are a major focus of economic or recreational activity; areas subject to significant constraints; and largely unspoiled areas of the coast that are generally unsuitable for development

Enhance

  • identify opportunities or proposals to enhance town centres
  • set out proposals and actions to protect, restore and enhance biodiversity, including through the promotion of wildlife corridors to support improved ecological connectivity, the creation of new, improved or extended habitats, and through other measures to increase and safeguard populations of priority species and habitats
  • identify and set out proposals as to the development of forestry and woodlands
City, Town, Commercial and Local Centres

425. Draft NPF4 Policy 24a states LDPs should ‘support sustainable futures for city, town and local centres and identify a network of centres. This should reflect the principles of 20 minute neighbourhoods and the town centre vision, and take into account how they are connected by public transport.’

426. The Spatial Strategy should identify a network of centres, which may be organised as a hierarchy, and is likely to include:

  • city centres;
  • town centres;
  • local centres;
  • commercial centres; and
  • emerging or new centres.

427. Plans should identify as town centres (including city centres and neighbourhood centres within cities) those centres which display:

  • a diverse mix of uses, including shopping;
  • a high level of accessibility;
  • qualities of character and identity which create a sense of place and further the wellbeing of communities;
  • wider economic and social activity during the day and in the evening; and
  • integration with residential areas.

428. Plans should identify as commercial centres those centres which have a more specific focus on retailing and/or leisure uses, such as shopping centres, commercial leisure developments, mixed retail and leisure developments, retail parks and factory outlet centres. The LDP should specify the function of individual commercial centres, for example where retail activity may be restricted to the sale of bulky goods.

429. Emerging or new centres may be designated within key new developments or land releases, or within existing neighbourhoods.

430. Whether centres are city, town or local centres is a matter of scale, to be determined by the planning authority. Plans should explain how centres in the network can complement each other. In remoter rural and island areas, it may not be necessary to identify a network of centres.

431. Using the findings of town centre audits, local authorities, should work with partners, including the local community and landowners, to develop town centre strategies for each centre included in the network. These should identify development opportunities including gap sites, brownfield land, re-use of empty properties (and redundant or vacant upper floors), buildings at risk, as well as ways to enhance the vibrancy of each town centre. The spatial elements of town centre strategies should can be included in the Proposed Plan.

432. The plan should set out a long term vision for the future of city centres within the plan area. City centres are a significant asset for Scotland’s economy, but they have experienced exceptional challenges that suggest that a broader mix of uses will be appropriate in the future. The Spatial Strategy should consider their future role and highlight the types of use that should be supported in city centres. A renaissance in city centre living, the night-time economy and cultural activities, tourism, recreation and hospitality, continuing but potentially restructured retail and expanded service provision together with enhanced community infrastructure are expected to be key considerations for creating future-proofed city centres within the Spatial Strategy.

433. Plans should set out how centres can address any significant changes in their roles and functions over time, where change is supported by a town centre strategy. LDPs should reimagine town centres and respond to challenges and opportunities arising for them to support social, economic and climate priorities. In addition to retail, LDPs should consider the broader role of town centres as important places that support an inclusive economy, our wellbeing and quality of life, and as key elements of the identity of our place. Plans should set out how centres can accommodate development.

434. Plans should identify opportunities or proposals to enhance town centres based on the relevant strategy. Plans should also promote the re-use of historic buildings, integration of blue-green infrastructure, such as urban trees and green roofs, in the design of centres to tackle problems such as air pollution, flood risk and urban heat island effects, helping to ensure centres are safe and pleasant places to live, work and visit.

435. Where a need has been identified for further retail provision, planning authorities should take a positive, proactive approach, in partnership with the private sector, in identifying sites which accord with the sequential approach, and are in line with the size, scale and format of new development needed. This could be where a retail study identifies deficiencies in retail provision in terms of quality and quantity in an area; or when allocating sites for housing or the creation of new communities, in terms of the need for neighbourhood shopping, and supporting town centre first and the 20 minute neighbourhood principle. Where a need is identified, suitable sites, or the requirement for such provision should be identified in the plan, or masterplans brought forward to coordinate development in an area.

436. Draft NPF4 Policy 27a states ‘Town centre living should be encouraged and supported. Planning authorities should seek to provide a proportion of their housing land requirements in city and town centres and be proactive in identifying opportunities.’

437. Based on town centre audits and strategies development plans should identity opportunities for living in city and town centres. A mix of unit types, sizes and tenures should be promoted to ensure there is variety of town centre living accommodation, catering to a range of needs. Where family housing is incorporated in the plan, provision should be made to ensure there are sufficient equitable opportunities for children to play safely, meet friends and relax.

Historic Assets and Places

438. Draft NPF4 Policy 28a states LDPs ‘and their spatial strategies should identify, protect and enhance locally, regionally, nationally and internationally valued historic assets and places.’

439. All historic environment designations in the plan area should be identified at the appropriate scale together with key issues / historic environment / cultural heritage projects such as Conservation Area Regeneration Schemes (CARS).

440. Planning authorities should encourage the re-use and adaptation of existing historic environment assets and places, through active regeneration, in support of delivering the Spatial Strategy. This includes taking into account as a priority, Buildings at Risk identified within their area.

441. Historic environment assets and cultural heritage assets are a vital contributor to placemaking. LDPs should take account of the capacity of settlements, their surrounding areas and landscapes to accommodate development without significant impact to their cultural significance. This includes both direct impacts on historic environment assets or places, their setting and the character of existing settlements as well as identifying, where appropriate, opportunities to enhance all elements of the historic environment and contribute to place making objectives.

Urban Edges and the Green Belt

442. Green belts can be used as a settlement management tool around towns and cities to help to direct growth to the most appropriate, sustainable locations. Green belts can have a role in protecting and enhancing the character, landscape and natural setting and identity of settlements, providing outdoor access to green networks which link urban and rural areas and supporting nature networks. A green belt will not be necessary for most settlements, as other policies can provide an appropriate basis for directing development to the right locations, and protecting landscapes and green networks.

443. Draft NPF4 Policy 29a states LDPs ‘should consider using green belts where appropriate in some of the most accessible or pressured rural or peri-urban areas, where there is significant danger of unsustainable growth in car-based commuting or suburbanisation of the countryside. In such circumstances green belts can provide a more restrictive approach to development, to benefit quality of life and environment in our cities and towns, increase urban density and minimise the need to travel using unsustainable modes.’

444. LDPs may use green belts as a settlement management tool, around a city, town or village to support the Spatial Strategy by:

  • redirecting development pressure to the most appropriate sustainable locations, making effective use of land and supporting regeneration (prioritising the re-use or re-development of brownfield land first, before new development takes place on greenfield sites);
  • protecting, enhancing and providing access to multifunctional blue and green networks and open space;
  • helping address climate change mitigation and adaptation e.g. safeguarding and enhancing natural capital that can support carbon capture (tree planting) and water management and storage (e.g. safeguarding floodplain capacity and areas that do or could provide key flood risk management services to safeguard communities); and
  • protecting and enhancing the character, landscape setting and identity of existing settlements.

445. Draft NPF4 Policy 29a also states ‘Green belts should be identified or reviewed when preparing plans with detailed boundaries clearly identified’. Any changes to the boundary of the green belt should be considered during the preparation of the Spatial Strategy, whether land releases to accommodate planned growth as part of the Spatial Strategy, or to extend, or change the area covered as green belt.

446. LDPs should show the detailed boundary of any green belt, giving consideration to:

  • the form of the green belt, which should be appropriate to the location - it may encircle a settlement or take the shape of buffers, corridors, strips or wedges;
  • excluding existing settlements, major educational and research uses, major businesses and industrial operations (including existing mineral extraction operations), airports and Ministry of Defence establishments; and
  • establishing clearly identifiable visual boundary markers based on landscape features such as rivers, tree belts, railways or main roads. Hedges and field enclosures, or back gardens will rarely provide a sufficiently robust boundary.
Vacant and Derelict Land and Empty Buildings

447. Draft NPF4 Policy 30a states LDPs ‘should seek to re-use vacant and derelict land and redundant buildings as a priority including in proposals to creatively and sustainably re-purpose buildings and structures.’

448. The Spatial Strategy should aim to help regenerate areas blighted by vacant and derelict land and buildings by prioritising development on these sites. Planning authorities should prioritise the use of vacant and derelict land and buildings, in line with circular economy principles and the NTS2 investment hierarchy ahead of greenfield land through a ‘brownfield first’ approach.

449. Potential redevelopment uses of brownfield land could include renewable energy, green infrastructure / naturalisation, leisure and recreation, community growing or city farms, employment and investment and housing. Temporary and permanent uses should be considered to achieve long term positive outcomes.

450. The Spatial Strategy should identify how this land, together with existing properties that are not in use, can be used for future development. Decisions about the Spatial Strategy should avoid creating redundancy in the system, for example town centre vacancies arising from out of town development such as retail or business parks. In line with the principles of a circular economy, the strategy should address ‘end-of-life’ buildings and sites. Priority should be given to establishing new uses for vacant and derelict land in, or adjacent to, areas where there are high levels of deprivation and/or disadvantage, for example: as identified in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.

451. LDPs should actively enable the reuse of vacant and derelict land. The LDP should identify where site briefs or design guides can be prioritised and produced to proactively promote the development of vacant and derelict land, including for either temporary or permanent uses.

Rural Places

452. Draft NPF4 Policy 31a states LDPs ‘should set out proposals to support the sustainability and growth of rural communities and economies. Plans should identify accessible, intermediate and remote areas across mainland and islands. The Spatial Strategy should set out an appropriate approach to development in areas of pressure and decline, including proposals for future population growth. It should also be informed by an understanding of population change over time.’

453. The Spatial Strategy should actively promote sustainable working and living in rural Scotland and the islands. It should support growth of the rural economy, by promoting economic activity, innovation, and diversification while ensuring that the distinctive character of the rural area, the service function of small towns and natural and historic environment assets and cultural heritage are safeguarded and enhanced. The Spatial Strategy should make provision for housing in rural areas, taking account of the different development needs of different rural areas and the local communities within those. The resource implications of the proposed pattern of development, including facilitating access to local community services and support for public transport, should be understood and used to inform a rural approach to the concept of 20 minute neighbourhoods. The Spatial Strategy should also seek to protect and enhance the services provided by the natural environment, safeguarding land which is highly suitable for particular uses such as food production or flood management. It should promote a regenerative approach to managing the natural assets which underpin Scotland’s rural economy and the wellbeing of communities, building stocks of natural capital.

454. The Spatial Strategy should seek to manage rural development in accessible or pressured rural areas, where there is a danger of unsustainable growth in long-distance car-based commuting or suburbanisation of the countryside. A more restrictive approach to new housing development may be appropriate in such locations, plans should generally guide most new development to locations within or adjacent to settlements. In some most pressured areas, the designation of green belts may be appropriate.

455. In areas of intermediate accessibility and pressure for development, plans should be tailored to local circumstances, seeking to provide a sustainable network of settlements that provide for additional housing requirements, economic development, and the varying proposals that may come forward, while taking account of the overarching objectives and other elements of the plan.

456. New development in remote rural and island areas should be supported by the LDP, where it can help support community resilience and sustain fragile populations. This should encourage sustainable development that will provide employment and connect dispersed communities through provision for appropriate development, especially housing, community-owned energy and digital infrastructure. Such development should seek to safeguard and invest in important environmental assets such as historic assets, landscape and wildlife habitats that underpin continuing tourism visits, local identity and quality of place. It should include provision for small-scale, housing, including crofts and woodland crofts, and other development which supports sustainable economic growth in a range of location taking account of environmental protection policies and addressing issues of location, access, siting, design and environmental impact; where appropriate, allow the construction of single houses outwith settlements in accordance with rural and environmental policies.

457. The Spatial Strategy should identify proposals based on the different development needs, with the aim of supporting repopulation. This will inform consideration of suitable sites at a range of scales including for the purposes of rural resettlement where areas have depopulated, and allocate sites that will support rural living and working.

Natural Places

458. Draft NPF4 Policy 32a states LDPs ‘should identify and protect locally, regionally, nationally and internationally valued natural assets, landscapes, species and habitats. These assets and areas should be safeguarded in the Spatial Strategy in a way which corresponds with the level of their statutory status. Strategies should also be designed to better connect nature rich areas through establishing and growing nature networks to help protect and restore the biodiversity, ecosystems and natural processes in their area.’

459. A strategic approach to nature - in which wildlife sites, corridors, and stepping stones, landscape features, watercourses, and green and blue spaces come together to form integrated nature networks, supporting ecological connectivity - is essential to protect and restore Scotland’s biodiversity and the natural services we all rely on. It is also essential to allow ecosystems and natural processes to adapt and respond to climate change and to support the role of natural habitats in reducing emissions and storing carbon.

460. The Spatial Strategy should identify and protect key ecological features, including priority species and habitats. It should prevent fragmentation or isolation of habitats and identify opportunities to restore and enhance links which have been broken, including as part of wider green networks and active travel routes. In allocating land for future development, planning authorities should consider opportunities to safeguard and restore biodiversity and natural assets, and to use nature based solutions to support health and wellbeing. Planning authorities should also identify existing woodland and potential for its protection, enhancement or expansion to avoid habitat fragmentation and improve ecological connectivity.

461. The Spatial Strategy should set out proposals and actions to protect, restore and enhance biodiversity, including through the promotion of wildlife corridors to support improved ecological connectivity, the creation of new, improved or extended habitats, and through other measures to increase and safeguard populations of priority species and habitats. It should identify which of the appropriate measures to enhance biodiversity as set out in national guidance are relevant in particular to the area as well as any additional measures to be considered.

462. LDPs should set out the circumstances in which developer contributions to enhancing biodiversity may be required, the likely levels of contribution and/or the methods for their calculation.

Peat and Carbon Rich Soils

463. Draft NPF4 Policy 33a states LDPs ‘should protect locally, regionally, nationally and internationally valued soils.’

Trees, Woodland and Forestry

464. Draft NPF4 Policy 34a states LDPs’ should identify and protect existing woodland and potential for its enhancement or expansion to avoid habitat fragmentation and improve ecological connectivity, helping to protect nature networks. The Spatial Strategy should identify and set out proposals for the development of forestry and woodlands in their area, in associated Forestry and Woodland Strategies, including; their development, protection and enhancement, resilience to climate change, and the expansion of woodlands of a range of types to provide multiple benefits to the physical, cultural, economic, social and environmental characteristics of the area, in accordance with The Right Tree in the Right Place guidance.’ In its preparation, the plan also should take into account the Control of Woodland Removal Policy.

Coasts

465. Draft NPF4 Policy 35a states LDP ‘spatial strategies should consider how to adapt our coastline to the impacts of climate change. Plans should recognise that rising sea levels and more extreme weather events resulting from climate change will potentially have a significant impact on coastal and islands areas, and that a precautionary approach to flood risk including by inundation should be taken. An appropriate strategy for development should be set out that reflects the diversity of coastal areas and communities. This should take account of opportunities to use nature-based solutions to improve the resilience of coastal communities and assets.’

Question 31

Do you agree with the proposed guidance on the Proposed Plan in relation to the section on Distinctive Places (paragraphs 425 – 466)?

Yes / No / No View

Please explain why you agree or disagree.

466. LDPs should identify areas of largely developed coast that are a major focus of economic or recreational activity; areas subject to significant constraints; and largely unspoiled areas of the coast that are generally unsuitable for development.

Delivery Programme

467. The Delivery Programme must be kept under review and updated at least every two years, or if the Scottish Ministers direct the authority to update it. Further guidance on the process for the preparation of the Delivery Programme is included within section 2 of this draft guidance (paragraphs 74 – 89).

Design, Quality and Place

468. The Delivery Programme should identify where more detailed design briefs, and design codes will be prepared to provide most benefit.

469. To encourage the reuse of vacant and derelict land the Delivery Programme should set out the sequencing and interventions required to support future development, and consider whether Masterplan Consent Areas will encourage the reuse of vacant and derelict land.

Infrastructure First

470. The Delivery Programme should address the infrastructure requirements for each allocation covering (see paragraph 82):

  • what the required infrastructure for each allocated site is;
  • indicative infrastructure costs;
  • planned timing / phasing of delivery;
  • who is responsible for delivery and what actions are required from different parties for its delivery;
  • funding sources / mechanisms to enable delivery, with relevant timescales and level of commitment;
  • where developer contributions are sought, details of the contribution mechanism being used; and
  • reference to how development viability has been factored into the funding approach.

Quality Homes

471. The Delivery Programme should link closely with the Housing Land Audit. They will both have important roles to play in monitoring the deliverable Housing Land Pipeline and supporting the delivery of homes. Whilst the Delivery Programme is to be updated at least every two years the Housing Land Audit should be prepared and published annually. A common approach to monitoring housing land will be established through national planning guidance.

472. The Delivery Programme should set out a clear pathway to facilitate the delivery of homes, particularly where action is needed to overcome identified constraints.

473. The Housing Land Audit should monitor the progress of the deliverable Housing Land Pipeline to achieve the HLR. It should demonstrate the land available for homes and the homes that have been built (see paragraph 84 of section 2).

474. Where monitoring identifies that land is developed (i.e. homes are completed by the developer) ahead of assumed programming, allocations programmed for later in the pipeline should be bought forward. Additional allocations should be considered by way of amendment or review of the plan.

475. Where monitoring identifies that land is not developed in line with assumed programming, planning authorities and development interests should work collaboratively in taking action to enable delivery. If this is not successful, de-allocation of the site should be considered by way of amendment or review of the plan. Draft NPF4 Policy 9b sets out that ‘Where sites in the deliverable Housing Land Pipeline do not progress to delivery as programmed and alternative delivery mechanisms are not possible, longer term deliverable sites should be bought forward. Site deallocation should be considered where they are no longer deliverable. The Delivery Programme and Housing Land Audit should be used to manage the development pipeline.’

476. There is an important link between the Local Housing Strategy (LHS) and the LDP. The LHS must be reviewed on a 5 year timescale, therefore the LHS will be reviewed at some point within the LDP timeframe and will be a useful sense-check on whether the HLR remains appropriate and deliverable.

Sustainable Transport and Travel

477. The deliverability of new transport infrastructure or public transport services, and by whom it will be delivered are key and should be considered at the earliest stage possible, and feed into to the consideration of the Spatial Strategy and its options.

478. The Delivery Programme should be informed by the Transport Appraisal. The Transport Appraisal will also be important in underpinning a developer contribution strategy for the infrastructure identified in the plan. Not having this risks the outcomes of the plan being achieved.

479. Consideration should be given to potential funding mechanisms and sources for capital and revenue funding, for transport infrastructure in the plan, including developer contributions.

480. The Delivery Programme may also identify where a Masterplan Consent Area may be brought forward to facilitate the development of a transport interchange, improve capacity and use of the interchanges without the need for developers to apply for planning permission.

481. Where public transport services required to serve a new development cannot be provided commercially, a contribution from the developer towards an agreed level of service may be appropriate. The Delivery Programme should set out how this will be delivered, and the planning authority should coordinate discussions with the public transport provider, developer, Transport Scotland where appropriate, and relevant regional representatives at an early stage in the process.

Question 32

Do you agree with the proposed thematic guidance on the Delivery Programme (paragraphs 467 – 482)?

Yes / No / No View

Please explain why you agree or disagree.

482. In rural areas the plan should be realistic about the likely viability of public transport services and innovative solutions such as demand-responsive public transport and small-scale park and ride facilities at nodes on rural bus corridors should be considered.

483. Whilst section 3 expands on the national planning policies in draft NPF4, providing thematic, topic based guidance – a final important key message is that plans focus on their vital role as place-based documents with a strong delivery focus (see section 1). Plans should coordinate different policy agendas and apply them locally to translate and show what they mean on the ground in different places in their area, to secure positive outcomes for people and places.

Annex A – Examples of Place-Based Plans

General Principles

LDPs are expected to be place-based, visual plans. Pages 26 and 27 of the best practice guide Designing for a Changing Climate: Planning Reform by Architecture & Design Scotland outline general principles for content and graphic communication for development plans.

Examples of Place-Based Plans

The plans below are examples of the graphic form that LDPs could take. It is the illustrative, place-based content that is highlighted as good practice, the content of the plan will be a matter for each planning authority to determine of their own accord, in line with the guidance in full.

The Highland Council

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority

North Ayrshire Council

Aberdeen City

City of Edinburgh

Moray Council

Argyll & Bute Council

Glasgow City Council

West Dunbartonshire Council

Tower Hamlets Council

Annex B – Section 15(5) Matters

The list below is of those matters identified in section 15(5) of the 1997 Act, as amended, which the planning authority must set out their view on in the Evidence Report and which must be taken into account when preparing the LDP’s Spatial Strategy.

  • the principal physical, cultural, economic, social, built heritage and environmental characteristics of the district;
  • the principal purposes for which the land is used;
  • the size, composition, health and distribution of the population of the district;
  • the housing needs of the population of the area, including, in particular, the needs of persons undertaking further and higher education, older people and disabled people;
  • the availability of land in the district for housing, including for older people and disabled people;
  • the desirability of allocating land for the purposes of resettlement;
  • the health needs of the population of the district and the likely effects of development and use of land on those health needs;
  • the education needs of the population of the district and the likely effects of development and use of land on those education needs;
  • the extent to which there are rural areas within the district in relation to which there has been a substantial decline in population;
  • the capacity of education services in the district;
  • the desirability of maintaining an appropriate number and range of cultural venues and facilities (including in particular, but not limited to, live music venues) in the district;
  • the infrastructure of the district (including communications, transport and drainage systems, systems for the supply of water and energy, and health care and education facilities);
  • how that infrastructure is used;
  • any change which the planning authority thinks may occur in relation to any of the matters mentioned above.

Annex C – Local Development Plan Process

Evidence Gathering

Key Stage - Early Preparation

Local Development Plan

Development Plan Scheme (DPS):

  • Prepared at least annually (or when directed by Scottish Ministers)
  • Includes Participation Statement
  • Adopted by planning authority

Invitation to local communities to prepare Local Place Plans

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Programme for work on SEA set out in DPS

Other Appraisal / Assessment

DPS sets out programme for work on assessments including:

  • Public Sector Equality Duty Assessment
  • Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment
  • Island Communities Impact Assessment (where relevant)
  • Habitats Regulations Appraisal

Key Stage - Evidence Report

Local Development Plan

Gather and collate appropriate evidence

Seek views of key agencies, children and young people, and the public at large in the preparation of the Evidence Report.

Prepare Evidence Report

Approval of Evidence Report by full Council

Submission to Scottish Ministers

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Scoping workshop

Collect Environmental Baseline

Prepare Scoping Report

Submit Scoping Report to Consultation Authorities

Other Appraisal / Assessment

DPS sets out programme for work on assessments including:

  • Public Sector Equality Duty Assessment
  • Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment
  • Island Communities Impact Assessment (where relevant)
  • Habitats Regulations Appraisal

Key Stage - Gate Check

Local Development Plan

Scottish Ministers appoint person to assess Evidence Report

Gate Check of Evidence Report

Requests for further information and / or hearings (where appropriate)

If evidence considered sufficient, appointed person informs planning authority and Scottish Ministers

If evidence not sufficient, appointed person prepares “assessment report”.

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Scoping workshop

Collect Environmental Baseline

Prepare Scoping Report

Submit Scoping Report to Consultation Authorities

Other Appraisal / Assessment

DPS sets out programme for work on assessments including:

  • Public Sector Equality Duty Assessment
  • Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment
  • Island Communities Impact Assessment (where relevant)
  • Habitats Regulations Appraisal

Plan Preparation

Key Stage - Proposed Plan

Local Development Plan

Preparation of Proposed Plan, including Spatial Strategy

Call for Ideas

Site Assessment

Delivery Programme:

  • Consult with key agencies, Scottish Ministers and anyone named in the Programme during preparation
  • Approved by full Council before publication

Proposed Plan approved by full Council.

Publish Proposed Plan, Evidence Report and Delivery Programme together.

Consultation:

  • 12 weeks statutory minimum
  • consult with key agencies and Scottish Ministers
  • consult with Central Scotland Green Network Partnership (where appropriate)

Modification of Proposed Plan (where appropriate) and preparation of Modification Report

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Site assessment

Identification of reasonable alternatives

Assess any local policies

Prepare Environmental Report

Consultation on Environmental Report alongside Proposed Plan

Other Appraisal / Assessment

Transport Appraisal prepared and published with Proposed Plan

Required Assessments:

  • Public Sector Equality Duty Assessment
  • Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment
  • Island Communities Impact Assessment (where relevant)
  • Habitats Regulations Appraisal

Key Stage - Examination

Local Development Plan

Publish Proposed Plan and Modification Report (where appropriate)

Preparation of summary of unresolved issues (Schedule 3)

Where unresolved representations, appointment of person to examine plan

Examination of Proposed Plan

Preparation of Examination Report and Recommendations

Modification of LDP (where necessary)

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Amend Environmental Report as required following Examination

Submit amended Environmental Report to Scottish Ministers

Other Appraisal / Assessment

Transport Appraisal prepared and published with Proposed Plan

Required Assessments:

  • Public Sector Equality Duty Assessment
  • Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment
  • Island Communities Impact Assessment (where relevant)
  • Habitats Regulations Appraisal

Delivery

Key Stage - Adoption

Local Development Plan

Adoption of LDP by planning authority.

Publish LDP

Publish Report on Modifications or ‘Recommended Modifications Statement’ (where applicable)

Adopt and publish Delivery Programme within 3 months of LDP being constituted

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Prepare Post Adoption Statement

Publish Post Adoption Statement

Key Stage - Monitoring & Delivery

Local Development Plan

LDP kept under review – monitor changes in Annex B characteristics, monitor impact of policies / proposals.

Delivery Programme:

  • kept under review and updated at least every 2 years, or if the Scottish Ministers direct the authority to update it

Housing Land Audit:

  • prepared annually by each planning authority
Strategic Environmental Assessment

Monitoring


Contact

Email: LDPRegsandGuidance@gov.scot