Planning Circular 6/2013: development planning

Guidance on the legislative procedural requirements relating to the preparation of development plans in Scotland.

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130. Section 21 of the Act and regulations 25 and 26 deal with Action Programmes. Action Programmes set out how the authority proposes to implement the plan, and SDPAs and planning authorities are required to prepare them for SDPs and LDPs. They must set out:

  • a list of actions required to deliver each of the plan's policies and proposals;
  • the name of the person who is to carry out the action; and
  • the timescale for carrying out each action.

131. As such, the Regulations do not attempt to specify particular types of action that should be included, though these may be expected to include the delivery of key infrastructure and the preparation of supplementary guidance. Actions are not limited to those by the planning authority. Where appropriate similar actions may be grouped together for example where similar actions are to be carried out by the same person. While the Action Programme will reflect progress with particular development proposals Scottish Ministers expect Action Programmes to also be a key tool in instigating action and co-ordinating the activity of a range of agencies and organisations.

132. It would be good practice to consider the scope and style of the Action Programme at an early stage in plan preparation to ensure that deliverability guides the content of the plans themselves.

133. In preparing Action Programmes, authorities are to consult and consider the views of:

  • the key agencies;
  • the Scottish Ministers;
  • anyone the authority proposes specifying by name in the Action Programme.

134. Proposed Action Programmes must be published and submitted to Scottish Ministers alongside proposed SDPs and LDPs. Then they are to be adopted and published within three months of the plans to which they relate being approved/adopted. Thereafter, the authority are to keep them under review and update and republish them at least every two years. Whenever an Action Programme is published, the authority are to send two copies to Scottish Ministers, place copies in local libraries and publish it electronically.


Email: Scottish Government Planning

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