Planning Circular 6/2013: development planning

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

This document is part of a collection


11. There are a number of general duties set out in legislation with which planning authorities must comply when preparing development plans, these include:

Sustainable Development & Climate Change

12. Section 3E of the Act requires planning authorities to carry out their development planning functions with the objective of contributing to sustainable development. In doing so they must have regard to any guidance Scottish Ministers issue for this purpose. This guidance is included within Scottish Planning Policy.

13. Section 44 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 [12] sets out that public bodies (which includes planning authorities) must, in exercising their functions, act in the way best calculated to contribute to the delivery of the climate change targets set out in that Act. They must also operate in the way best calculated to help deliver any Programme for adaptation to climate change laid before the Scottish Parliament and in a way that they consider is most sustainable.

14. Section 72 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 introduced section 3F into the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997. Section 3F requires LDPs to include policies requiring all developments in the plan area to be designed so as to ensure that all new buildings avoid a specified and rising proportion of the projected greenhouse gas emissions from their use. This is calculated on the basis of the approved design and plans for the specific development, through the installation and operation of low and zero-carbon generating technologies.


15. The Act requires Scottish Ministers and planning authorities to perform their functions in a manner which encourages equal opportunities. In addition, the Equality Act 2010 introduced the public sector equality duty (often referred to as 'the general duty') requiring Scottish public authorities to have 'due regard' to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations. Regulations [13] place specific duties on Scottish public authorities to enable the better performance of the public sector equality duty. These include a duty to assess [14] and review the impact of policies and a duty to publish in a manner that is accessible.


Email: Scottish Government Planning

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