Places, people and planning: update on proposal 4

Update on actions relating to proposal 4: Stronger local development plans.

Proposal 4: Stronger local development plans

We believe that local development plans should be based on robust evidence, should be about places, rather than about policy, should be relevant to people and should provide confidence that they will be delivered.

Why we are making a change

There is strong support for a plan-led system in Scotland but the current system would benefit from further streamlining and strengthening. We want to improve the preparation process to make it more accessible and help to ensure that it produces better plans for people and places.

What we are doing

  • We are bringing forward changes to procedures for local development plans as part of the Planning Bill - flowcharts have been produced to show how the new system may operate in practice.
  • This includes removing the Main Issues Report and supplementary guidance.
  • Guidance will be produced to support local authorities in bringing forward their new style local development plans, building on development plan exemplar work. This will advise on include how community planning and local place plans can be integrated.
  • Guidance will include how a 10 year timescale could operate, including through provisions for plans to be amended or updated between full review cycles.

How we will deliver change

  • Primary legislation – The Planning Bill makes various changes to the requirements for local development plans
  • Secondary legislation – existing regulations will be revised or replaced to reflect new system
  • guidance – yes
  • non-legislative action – sharing of exemplar findings

Next steps

  • Research: We have indicated we will investigate what information should be provided to planning authorities to assist their understanding of site deliverability, prior to allocation in a plan. This work is now underway and will report in Spring 2018.
  • Exemplars: We are looking to test a number of the planning review proposals to help shape their future implementation and help inform future guidance.


Telephone: 0131 244 7059

Area 2-H (South)
Planning and Architecture Division
The Scottish Government
Victoria Quay

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