NPF4 call for ideas: analysis of responses - executive summary

Summary of responses to the call for ideas to inform the preparation of a new National Planning Framework (NPF), launched in January 2020.



The National Planning Framework (NPF) is a long-term plan for Scotland that sets out where development and infrastructure is needed to support sustainable and inclusive growth. The current framework - NPF3 - was published in 2014 and the Scottish Government has now begun a process of review and preparation of a new framework – NPF4. The Scottish Government's Transforming Planning website[1] provides a wide range of resources to support the NPF4 development process, including the early engagement stage.

NPF4 will also incorporate Scottish Planning Policy so that, for the first time, spatial and thematic planning policies will be addressed in one place. It will have the status of the development plan for planning purposes. This is a change to the current position and will mean that its policies will have a stronger role in informing day-to-day decision making.

A Call for Ideas on NPF4 was launched on 9 January 2020 and closed on 30 April 2020.

Profile of respondents and responses

In total, 328 respondents made a submission to the Call for Ideas. The majority of respondents were organisations (259 respondents) with Energy-related respondents (49 respondents), Local authorities (33 respondents) and Development or property management related respondents (30 respondents) being the largest groups. There were also submissions from 69 individual members of the public.

The submissions received were very diverse, with variation based on focus, structure and length. They ranged from relatively brief statements primarily addressing one issue, through to very extensive submissions.

All responses to be published are available from the Scottish Government's website[2].

This summary

While any ideas could be submitted, the Scottish Government noted that they were particularly interested to hear thoughts on five key issues namely:

  • What development will we need to address climate change?
  • How can planning best support our quality of life, health and wellbeing in the future?
  • What does planning need to do to enable development and investment in our economy so that it benefits everyone?
  • What policies are needed to improve, protect and strengthen the special character of our places?
  • What infrastructure do we need to build to realise our long-term aspirations?

This summary gives an overview of the themes raised at these five key issues questions.

The full analysis report, which also includes an analysis across 32 planning policy themes, of comments on the Housing Technical Discussion Paper and provides an overview of National Development submissions, can be found on the Scottish Government's website.



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