Local place plans: literature review and final report

Literature review and research report on community-led planning in Scotland, providing the evidence for the development of a draft ‘how to’ guide for the preparation of community-led local place plans.

1. Introduction and background

1.1 Legislative Context

In November 2020 Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) and Nick Wright Planning were commissioned by the Scottish Government to develop a draft 'How to' Guide for Local Place Plans in Scotland. The Planning (Scotland) Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2019. The Act defines a statutory part Local Place Plans can play within Scotland's planning system; being proposals by community bodies about the development or use of land and setting out why those bodies think Local Development Plans should be amended. In this legislation Local Place Plans were formally introduced with a key objective being to "significantly enhance engagement in development planning, effectively empowering communities to play a proactive role in defining the future of their place". Further arrangements for the preparation and use of Local Place Plans will be set out in regulations, on which the Scottish Government will be consulting.

1.2 Practice context

There is a strong recent history of community-led action planning in Scotland (historically a separate activity from land use planning with little crossover except for isolated recent examples) as well as a range of other local planning initiatives including charrettes, local spatial masterplans, and community land use plans. All of this provides a rich context for the development of Local Place Plans. This context is also informed by how people have engaged with local planning processes and their experiences of this over the past few years and longer.

In the absence of regulations (due later this year) and statutory guidance the study team has, to some extent, had to make reasonable assumptions about the scope and possible impact of Local Place Plans. These are described in the 'defining characteristics' of Local Place Plans in Section 1 of the draft 'How to' Guide, and are founded on good practice in community-led planning and the Scottish Government's community empowerment and local governance agendas.

1.3 About this report

This report describes how we undertook the process and the range of evidence we drew on in producing the draft 'How to' Guide (the Guide) to Local Place Plans.

In it, we explore the key elements of the desk research that have underpinned the literature review, the process of engaging with key informants, and working with the external reference group as we developed the Guide. It will outline the draft structure and key content of the Guide which has been produced, along with the thinking behind this and key reference sources.


Email: Chief.Planner@gov.scot

Back to top