National Planning Framework 3: monitoring report

Progress of the 30 key actions and 14 national developments listed in the third National Planning Framework.

6. Looking ahead to National Planning Framework 4

The National Planning Framework is a long term strategy. There has been good progress in implementing National Planning Framework 3 since it was published in 2014. While some of the actions have been completed, others continue to progress. Some national developments have already been delivered, whilst for others the agenda has changed, and new challenges and opportunities have begun to emerge.

Planning Reform - a New Agenda for the National Planning Framework

Planning reform is opening up new opportunities for a stronger and more integrated approach to strategic development and infrastructure planning and delivery. The Planning (Scotland) Act, which received Royal Assent on 25 July 2019, underlines our commitment to strategic planning, including the National Planning Framework. It also sets out changes to strategic planning, including new, more flexible and collaborative working arrangements. 

Now the Act is finalised, work will commence on preparing the National Planning Framework 4. Over the coming months we will continue to explore and develop a fresh approach to preparing the National Planning Framework 4 based on the principles of collaboration, transparency and inclusion. The National Planning Framework 4 will be developed in response to a very different context, with new policy priorities, changing economic and social circumstances, and an unprecedented opportunity to link planning with development delivery at both the national and regional scales. The National Planning Framework 3 was prepared alongside a review of the Scottish Planning Policy. Under the new legislative arrangements, Scottish Planning Policy and the National Planning Framework will be a single suite of policies in the future, rather than the two documents as at present. 

The Place Standard could also help to shape engagement with people on the National Planning Framework 4. We are considering ways in which research carried out into scaling up the Place Standard can support regional and national decision-making that adopts a place-based approach. Our national performance indicators have recently been updated and the refreshed indicators will frame the discussion on the outcomes from the strategy. We will also explore how the context of the global climate emergency and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals can guide and inform the development of criteria for national developments and the wider spatial strategy. 



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