Publication - Research and analysis

Rural Planning Policy to 2050: research findings

Findings from research commissioned to inform preparation of the next version of Scotland’s National Planning Framework, NPF4.

148 page PDF

3.3 MB

148 page PDF

3.3 MB

Contents
Rural Planning Policy to 2050: research findings
Annex A Online Survey

148 page PDF

3.3 MB

Annex A Online Survey

This annex contains the content of the survey as published online:

Introduction

Thank you for taking part in this survey for the project Rural Planning Policy to 2050: Research to Inform NPF 4. The research has been commissioned by the Scottish Government. It is being undertaken by the Scottish rural planning team at Savills[206] and by Inherit[207], an independent charity and research institute.

The research is being undertaken to provide an evidence base to inform the future preparation of the National Planning Framework (NPF) and Scottish Planning Policy (SPP). NPF is a long-term strategy of the Scottish Government that provides a framework for spatial developments and other strategically important development opportunities in Scotland. SPP is Scottish Government policy on how land use planning matters should be addressed across the country.

The Planning (Scotland) Bill is currently being considered by parliament. It proposes that NPF and SPP are combined and have a statutory status in decision making on planning applications. Preparation of NPF4 will not begin until after the content of the Bill has been agreed by Parliament. At present, it is expected that NPF4 will look ahead to 2050. At this early stage ahead of the review process commencing, to inform the evidence base for NPF4. we are:

  • drawing together a national picture of communities across rural Scotland;
  • seeking to identify the future needs of rural communities and businesses, as relevant to planning;
  • exploring how these future needs are likely to translate into development on the ground over the next 30 years or so;
  • looking at future opportunities to support the diversification of land use in rural areas;
  • asking whether there are particular types of development that will act as a catalyst and generate wider positive change for rural communities and businesses.

It is important that the research is informed directly by rural communities and businesses, by the organisations that represent them and by others with a particular interest. Your response to this survey will help to achieve that.

There are 17 questions in the survey in four sections: About you; Types of ‘rural’; Future needs of rural communities and businesses; and Supporting positive change for rural communities and businesses.

With the exception of the questions in the initial ‘About you’ section of the survey, you can skip a question if it is not relevant to you. ­­

Section 1: About you

To allow us analyse the responses to the survey, please provide some information about you and your organisation. If you wish to answer the questions from both a personal point of view and on behalf of an organisation, please submit two separate responses:

1. Are you taking part in the survey as an individual or on behalf of an organisation?

If you are taking part on behalf of an organisation, please provide the name of the organisation:

2. What is your/your organisation’s primary sector or area of interest?

We may wish to use quotes from the responses to this survey in our research report, which will be published by the Scottish Government. Quotes will be anonymised unless we have your permission to attribute them to you or your organisation by name.

3. Are you happy for any responses you give to be attributed by name to you/your organisation in any publications relating to this research?

  • Yes/no

If ‘yes’, please tell us your name/the name of your organisation as you would like it to appear:

At a later stage in the research, we may wish to contact a number of those taking part in the survey to conduct a short interview over the phone.

4. Are you/your organisation willing for us to contact you for that purpose?

  • Yes/no

If ‘yes’, please provide contact details:

Section 2: Types of ‘rural’

There are a number of different classifications or typologies which can help to provide a picture of rural areas in Scotland. Some of the main examples are:

The Scottish Government ‘Urban Rural Classification’. This defines ‘Rural Areas’ as those with less than 3,000 people. It distinguishes between:

  • ‘Accessible Rural’ settlements/areas with a population of less than 3,000 and within a 30 minute drive time of an urban area;
  • ‘Remote Rural’ settlements/areas with a population of less than 3,000 people and a drive time of over 30 minutes but less than 60 minutes to an urban area;
  • ‘Very Remote Rural’ areas with a population of less than 3,000 people and a drive time of over 60 minutes to an urban area.

Scottish Planning Policy broadly distinguishes between 3 categories of rural area:

  • pressurised rural areas that are easily accessible from Scotland’s cities and main towns;
  • remote and fragile rural and island areas lying outwith defined small towns;
  • intermediate rural areas, in terms of their accessibility and degree of pressure for development.

The RESAS classification of local authority areas according to their degree of rurality:

  • urban with substantial rural areas;
  • mainly rural;
  • islands and remote rural.

The James Hutton Institute’s classification of rural areas and small towns according to their varying ‘socio-economic performance’ (SEP). The SEP index classifies areas on a scale of 1 to 10, with higher values indicating better socio-economic performance.

The James Hutton Institute’s classification of Sparsely Populated Areas, which are rural areas and small towns where less than 10,000 people can be reached within 30 minutes travel using roads and ferries.

Highlands & Islands Enterprise’s identification of ‘fragile areas’, which are areas characterised by declining population; under-representation of young people within the population; lack of economic opportunities; below average income levels; problems with transport and other issues reflecting their geographic location.

5. Are you are aware of or have you used any of the above classifications?

  • Yes/No

If ‘yes’, which one(s) were you already aware of, or which one(s) have you used and for what purpose?

6. How well do you think the above classifications of rural areas describe communities across rural Scotland?

Not at all well Very Well

[In the online survey, participants answered this question by sliding a gauge along a 5-point bar between ‘Not at all well’ and ‘Very Well’.]

7. If you think that current classifications and typologies do not adequately describe communities across rural Scotland, please tell us why:

8. Do you use any other classifications, evidence bases or data sources not listed above to describe communities across rural Scotland?

Section 3: Future needs of rural communities and businesses

We are gathering information on the future needs of rural businesses and communities. Specifically, we are looking to identify those needs that are relevant to the planning system, in that they may result in construction, engineering or mining works or changes in the use of land or buildings.

9. From your point-of-view, what will be the main challenges facing rural communities and businesses over the next generation?

10. Do you believe that the challenges you have identified affect all rural areas, or only certain types of rural area?

  • all rural areas
  • certain types of rural area only
  • unsure

If you selected ‘certain rural areas only’, please indicate which types of area:

11. From your perspective, what will be the main opportunities open to rural communities and businesses over the next generation?

12. Do you believe that the opportunities you have identified affect all rural areas, or only certain types of rural area?

  • all rural areas
  • certain types of rural area only
  • unsure

If you selected ‘certain rural areas only’, please indicate which types of area:

Section 4: Supporting positive change for rural communities and businesses

13. Over the next 30 years, to what degree will the different types of development listed below be important in helping to support rural communities and businesses?

  • more affordable housing
  • alternative housing e.g. retiral, adapted, workers, crofts
  • private housing
  • diversification away from traditional farming and land based practices
  • tourism facilities and accommodation
  • retail development
  • transport infrastructure
  • industrial development
  • production support facilities e.g. abattoirs or processing plants
  • small business start-up units
  • digital & communications infrastructure
  • renewable energy generation facilities & transmission infrastructure
  • community and health facilities

[In the online survey, participants answered by giving each of the 13 options above a number in the range 1 to 5, where 1 was ‘Not at all important’, 3 was ‘Important and 5 was ‘Very important’]

14. Over the next 30 years, to what degree will changes in the pattern of development be important in helping to support rural communities and businesses?

  • growth of existing settlements
  • shrinkage of existing settlements
  • no change to existing settlements
  • new settlements
  • other changes to the pattern of land use (please specify in the box below).

[In the online survey, participants answered by giving each of the 13 options above a number in the range 1 to 5, where 1 was ‘Not at all important’, 3 was ‘Important and 5 was ‘Very important’]

15. Do you think that the changes you have identified in answering questions 13 and 14 are needed widely across rural Scotland or only in particular types of rural areas?

  • All or many rural areas
  • Certain types of rural area only

In the box below:

  • If you selected ‘certain types of rural area only’, please indicate which types of area, and/or;
  • Please expand on your answers to questions 13 and 14, providing additional information on the nature of the development needed.

16. We would like your views on whether there are certain types of development that might be particularly important in generating wider positive change for rural communities and businesses. Please read the following three questions and answer using the box below.

Are there particular types of development that help to generate wider positive change for rural communities and businesses?

Are there any examples of developments that have changed your community or local area and supported the local economy/community? Could these be implemented elsewhere?

Are there any developments planned/upcoming that you feel will be particularly important in supporting the local economy/community?

17. Do you have any final comments on opportunities to generate positive changes for rural communities and businesses?


Contact

Email: chief.planner@gov.scot