Annex A – NPF4 Outcomes Statement
Summary of representations
Some of these expressed their support for the overall policy direction and development measures set out by the Draft NPF4, and agreed that these will contribute to the delivery of statutory outcomes. However, most of those commenting raised issues or suggested amendments to better support delivery of such outcomes.
This included views that the policies set out in the Draft NPF4 will not result in a significant change in the character of development in Scotland, and specific concerns that it does not give sufficient weight to climate change and biodiversity. Stronger emphasis on the delivery of sustainable development was requested. While there was support for what was described as a positive policy framework, respondents suggested that the policies set out in the document are open to interpretation, and do not include sufficient detail to ensure effective delivery.
There were also calls for this part of NPF4 to be expanded to include other relevant outcomes and targets. Specific suggestions included reference to relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals and their targets, National Performance Framework outcomes, and other duties under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.
It was also suggested that the delivery of statutory outcomes should be integrated with other NPF4 components, such as the four spatial strategy themes (Sustainable places, Liveable places, Productive places, and Distinctive places) and the six spatial principles for Scotland 2045. This reflected concern around a perceived lack of integration across other parts of NPF4, such as between the Action Area regional priorities and National Developments. Some respondents wished to see the outcomes section expanded to map the relationship between all components, and how these address delivery of the statutory outcomes.
Respondents also reiterated concerns raised at earlier questions that delivery against the statutory outcomes will require significant resources and investment. This included concern around the required resourcing of the planning system (with reference to Heads of Planning Scotland's estimate that 700 additional planners will be required over the next 15 years), and investment in infrastructure. There was also reference to the need for coordinated action across a range of stakeholders to ensure delivery of NPF4's ambitions, and a view that more work is required to provide clarity on the role of various stakeholders. Overall, it was suggested that there is a delivery gap between ambitions and policies, and realisation of the statutory outcomes.
Detailed comments were provided about each of the six outcomes as set out the Analysis Report.
Overview of changes
The outcomes section within the Draft sat in an Annex, outcomes have been moved upfront within the document and are now clearly profiled within Part 1 the national spatial strategy, with explicit links to show which policies will help deliver each of the outcomes. There are now six clear sections on each of the outcomes prescribed in the Act
- Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions - to meet greenhouse gas emissions targets.
- Improving Biodiversity - to secure positive effects for biodiversity.
- A Fair And Inclusive Planning System – that helps to eliminate discrimination and promote equality.
- Homes That Meet Our Diverse Needs - in particular, the housing needs for older people and disabled people.
- Rural Revitalisation – to help increase the population of rural areas of Scotland.
- Lifelong Health And Wellbeing - to improve health and wellbeing
|Concerns that NPF4 does not give sufficient weight to climate change and biodiversity. Stronger emphasis on the delivery of sustainable development was requested.||Enhanced sections on the outcomes including those on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Improving Biodiversity. Revised NPF4 Policy 1 'Tackling the climate and nature crises' amended to clarify that significant weight is to be given to the climate emergency and nature crises.||To respond to stakeholder views and provide clarity of message to deliver the outcomes. The nature crisis, together with the global climate emergency, underpins the spatial strategy as a whole.|
|Add details of other relevant outcomes relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) and their targets, National Performance Framework outcomes, and other duties under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.||Added new Table 1 schematic which shows the connections of each of the national outcomes to the UNSDGs and how it fits with the wider policies and themes. The introduction to each theme also ties in the relevant UNSDG and national outcomes.||To respond to stakeholder views.|
|Calls for integration with other NPF4 components, such as the spatial strategythemes.||Moved the outcomes upfront to be profiled within the Spatial Strategy.||To respond to stakeholder views, giving greater prominence to the outcomes.|
|Call for the outcomes section to be expanded to map the relationship between all components, and how these address delivery of the statutory outcomes.||Expanded sections on each of the statutory outcomes – which refers to the policies, and spatial principles, and proposals within the action areas that contribute to the outcomes.||To respond to stakeholder views and provide clarity of message to deliver the outcomes.|
|Seeking amendments and further detail to support effective delivery of the outcomes.||Revised sections on Outcomes have closer links to the policies to support delivery of the outcomes though the policy framework.||To respond to stakeholder views.|
|Seeking commitment to an annual evaluation of NPF4 against outcomes set in the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act, 1997.||No change.||LGHP Committee request. Not for NPF4 content. We are committed to working with stakeholders including the High Level Group on Performance.|
|Consider how benchmarking in local government could be used to ensure that the ambitions of NPF4 can be delivered.||No change.||LGHP Committee request. Not for NPF4 content.|
|Need for resources to deliver on the outcomes.||No change.||Not for NPF4 content. The relationship between NPF4 and broader SG prioritisation and capital spending plans is in the Delivery Programme. It also includes details on Skills & Resources.|
|Need for coordinated action across a range of stakeholders to ensure delivery of NPF4's ambitions. Call for clarity to be provided on the role of various stakeholders.||No change.||Not for NPF4 content. Expectations around (and need for) collaborative working are set out in Delivery Programme.|
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