Scotland 2045: fourth National Planning Framework - draft: integrated impact assessment - environmental report

Environmental report setting out the findings of the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) undertaken to inform preparation of Scotland's draft National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4).

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Introduction

1.1.1 The Scottish Government is reviewing its National Planning Framework (NPF), a long term plan for Scotland to 2045. As part of the preparation of the NPF4, the Scottish Government is undertaking a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). This Environmental Report details the SEA process and presents the findings from the assessment.

1.2 Purpose of this Report

1.2.1 The purpose of this Environmental Report is to:

  • Provide information on the draft NPF4;
  • Identify, describe and evaluate the likely significant effects of the draft NPF4 and the reasonable alternatives; and
  • Provide an opportunity for the Consultation Authorities and the public to offer views on any aspect of this Environmental Report.

1.3 The National Planning Framework 4: Context and Overview

1.3.1 The current National Planning Framework (NPF3) was published in 2014 and will remain in place until a fourth NPF (NPF4) is adopted by Scottish Ministers. The NPF4 spatial strategy will set out where the Scottish Government wants to see development located in the future, and will explore how each part of Scotland can play to its strengths to contribute to a shared national vision. It will also include national planning policies to guide local development plans and decisions on planning applications across Scotland. Finally, NPF4 will also designate certain developments or classes of development as 'national developments', for which the Scottish Ministers have established a need in principle.

1.3.2 NPF4 will align with the Scottish Government's wider programmes and strategies, including on infrastructure and economic investment, and will address 6 statutory outcomes set out in the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019. See Figure 1.1 below.

Figure 1.1 NPF4 Outcomes
Diagram of NPF4 alignment with statutory outcomes the Planning Scotland Act 201 which are as follows: Equality, Biodiversity, Climate Action, Health and Wellbeing, Housing, Re-population

1.4 The Relationship of NPF4 with Other Plans, Programmes and Strategies

1.4.1 NPF4 will have the status of the development plan for planning purposes. This means that its policies should inform day to day decision making in the planning system. It will also guide local development plans and will be relevant to regional spatial strategies and important for communities as they develop their Local Place Plans. The draft NPF4 takes into account indicative regional spatial strategies prepared by local authorities ahead of new provisions in the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 on regional spatial strategies coming into effect.

1.4.2 Additionally, a wide range of existing and established objectives for planning and environmental protection are set out in relevant legislation, plans, programmes and strategies at the international, UK and Scottish levels. Further information is set out in section 3 of this report and in Appendix B.

1.4.3 In preparing the revised NPF, the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 requires the Scottish Ministers to have regard to relevant policies and strategies, including specifically those set out in Figure 1.2.

Figure 1.2 Legislative requirements as outlined in the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019
Diagram summarising legislative requirements from the Planning Scotland Act 2019: Housing to 2040, Infrastructure Investment Plan, National Transport Strategy 2, National Transport Strategy 2, Strategic Transport Projects Review 2, Getting the best from our land, Scotland’s Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019-2024, Cleaner Air for Scotland, Any national strategy or action plan for the ownership or of land, Land rights and responsibilities statement, National Marine Plan

1.4.4 The NPF4 will also align with wider Scottish Government plans, strategies and policies including the Update to the Climate Change Plan 2018 – 2032;[1] Scotland's Environment Strategy;[2] the National Islands Plan[3] as well as with City Region Deals and Growth Deals, and will support the delivery of many of Scotland's National Outcomes under the National Performance Framework[4].



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