Information

Scotland 2045: fourth National Planning Framework - draft: partial business and regulatory impact assessment

This report considers the likely cost and benefits to businesses and the third sector of introducing the draft National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4).


Appendix B. Draft National Planning Framework 4: National Planning Policies

Sustainable Places

Plan-led approach to sustainable development

Proposed policy change

All local development plans should manage the use and development of land in the long term public interest.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Continues to ensure that planning decisions reflect the Scottish Government's high level priorities.

Cost

No significant change from existing policy, so no additional costs envisaged.

Climate emergency

Proposed policy change

A new policy requiring planning authorities to give significant weight to the Global Climate Emergency when considering development proposals.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Ensures that greater weight will be given to climate change as a crucial factor influencing decision making on future land use.

Cost

Design changes may be required that incur additional development costs. Whole life assessments and offsetting measures may also incur additional costs for developers proposing national, major and EIA developments.

Nature crisis

Proposed policy change

A new policy responding to the nature crisis, requiring plans and proposals to contribute to the enhancement of biodiversity.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Positive effects for biodiversity are secured from development, helping to address the global challenge of biodiversity loss in line with the new statutory outcome for NPF4.

Cost

New requirements to conserve and enhance biodiversity may introduce additional evidence requirements for developers which will also require consideration by planning authorities. New requirements may also lead to additional costs for developers relative to the impact, and scale of the development.

Human rights and equality

Proposed policy change

Confirmation that planning should respect, protect and fulfil human rights, seek to eliminate discrimination and promote equality.

A revised policy that parties have a responsibility to consult and engage others collaboratively, meaningfully and proportionately.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Ensures that the full range of policies in NPF4 will work together to support a fairer, more inclusive and equalities-based approach to planning.

Cost

No significant change from existing policy so no additional costs envisaged.

Community wealth building

Proposed policy change

A new policy on community wealth building, including a requirement for national and major developments to contribute to community wealth building.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Ensures that the planning system considers how major developers can address fairness and tackle inequality and injustice in the places they build.

Cost

Additional costs to developers proposing national and major developments may arise as a result of them being asked to contribute to community wealth building objectives.

Design, quality and place

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on design, quality and place requiring plans and proposals to reflect the six qualities of successful places.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Continues to ensure that place making and quality development are key outcomes for the planning system.

Cost

Policy is updated but changes are unlikely to result in significant costs

Liveable Places

20 minute neighbourhoods

Proposed policy change

A new policy on local living, requiring plans and proposals to support the principle of 20 minute neighbourhoods.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Ensures that people have access to everyday local infrastructure so that the need to travel is reduced and the places where they live and work are more resilient and sustainable.

Cost

These policies will impact on locational choices for development and are unlikely, in themselves, to generate significant costs.

Infrastructure First

Proposed policy change

A new policy requiring local development plans and delivery programmes to be based on an infrastructure-first approach. Proposals must also reflect the Scottish Government Infrastructure Investment Hierarchy to use existing infrastructure capacity first, and mitigate their impact.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Puts in place an infrastructure-first approach, involving infrastructure providers, developers and other public bodies to ensure an integrated and coherent outcome-based approach to land use planning,

Cost

The views of businesses is being sought on any likely cost implications of the proposed updated and expanded policy approach.

Quality homes

Proposed policy change

An updated approach to providing quality homes. This requires authorities to set out a deliverable housing land pipeline, encourages affordability and choice, recognises the accommodation needs of Gypsy/Travellers, and expects proposals for larger scale housing developments to be supported by a statement of community benefit. Proposals should be in sustainable locations and will only be supported if allocated in the local development plan, unless it is for affordable homes, small scale or rural development, or where there is evidence that build-out is exceeding the timelines set out in the delivery programme.

Sector and groups affected

Housebuilding Industry, Registered Social Landlords, Housing Associations, Planning Authorities, Key Agencies

Benefits

Draft NPF4 takes a new approach to planning for housing policy. It aims to address issues of current policy, and limited resources being focused on debates over calculations and methodologies of housing numbers. It looks to support delivery of homes over a longer timeframe of 10 years, enabling a more co-ordinated and considered approach, aligned with key drivers of social justice, infrastructure provision and climate change. Resource capacity in future should therefore focus on the quality, location and delivery of new homes and places.

Cost

Some housebuilders raised concerns about possible impacts in their consultation responses. Such concerns related to possible changes to existing housing policies and to other policy areas, including net zero and brownfield land. The views of businesses will be sought further on these issues.

Sustainable transport and travel

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on sustainable transport and active travel. This aims to reduce the need to travel by discouraging applications for significant travel generating uses at locations which rely on the car. Provision of active travel is actively encouraged.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Refocuses existing transport policies to specifically draw out how land use planning can build in sustainable travel choices.

Cost

There may be additional costs to developers around some of the updated policies, such as those relating to active travel. The views of businesses are being sought on the likely cost implications of the proposed updated and expanded policy approach.

Heat and cooling

Proposed policy change

An updated and expanded policy on heat and cooling requiring LDPs to take into account the area's Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy. Proposals should be designed to connect with existing or future heat networks. Where there is no effective solution available, an alternative low or zero emissions heating system should be provided. Passive or natural solutions to cooling are encouraged.

Sector and groups affected

Developers and housebuilders, Planning Authorities, Key Agencies

Benefits

Ensures that the planning system supports development that connects to heat networks so that they can achieve zero emissions from heating and cooling buildings and adapt to changing temperatures.

Cost

The views of businesses are being sought on the likely cost implications of the proposed updated and expanded policy approach.

Blue and green infrastructure, play and sport

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on blue and green infrastructure, play and sport requiring assets to be safeguarded and seeking opportunities for enhancement. New policies also protect children's outdoor play provision and design-in new opportunities for play in the built environment. Maintenance of blue-green infrastructure should also be addressed in development proposals.

Sector and groups affected

Developers and housebuilders, Planning Authorities, Key Agencies

Benefits

Ensures that the planning system continues to support and enhance blue and green infrastructure and provides good quality local opportunities for play and sport.

Cost

The views of businesses are being sought on the likely cost implications of the proposed updated approach.

Sustainable flood risk and water management

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on flooding which aims to build resilience to future climate change. Proposals on the Future Functional Floodplain will not be supported other than in limited circumstances. New infrastructure must build in flood risk mitigation. Impermeable surfaces are discouraged, and proposals must use blue and green infrastructure where practicable for drainage of surface water.

Sector and groups affected

Developers and housebuilders, Planning Authorities, Key Agencies

Benefits

Ensures that the planning system strengthens future resilience to flood risk by reducing the vulnerability of existing and future development to flooding.

Cost

The views of businesses are being sought on the likely cost implications of the proposed updated approach.

Lifelong health, wellbeing and safety

Proposed policy change

A new policy on lifelong health and wellbeing which aims to create healthier places and require a Health Impact Assessment of any proposals considered likely to generate significant health effects, plus national development proposals. Development that will significantly adversely affect air quality or generate unacceptable noise is not supported. Local food growing is encouraged. An updated policy on safety setting out requirements to take into account potential impacts of new development on major-accident hazard sites.

Sector and groups affected

Developers and housebuilders, Planning Authorities, Key Agencies

Benefits

Ensures that the planning system supports health, wellbeing and safety, and strengthens the resilience of communities.

Cost

The views of businesses are being sought on the likely cost implications of the proposed new policy approach.

Productive places

Land and premises for business and employment

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on business and employment requiring development plans to identify employment land in a way which supports a greener, fairer and more inclusive wellbeing economy. Supporting proposals for home-working, live-work units and micro-businesses.

Sector and groups affected

Developers involved in delivering development for the business sector, Planning Authorities, Key Agencies

Benefits

Ensures that the planning system supports new and expanded businesses and investment, stimulates entrepreneurship and promotes alternative ways of working in order to achieve a green recovery and build a wellbeing economy.

Cost

Proposals to support home-working, live-work units and micro-businesses may have positive benefits for small businesses.

Sustainable tourism

Proposed policy change

A new policy on sustainable tourism supporting growth of the sector in a way which manages impacts on local communities. A new policy to manage short term holiday letting is introduced, and existing facilities which have a viable use are protected.

Sector and groups affected

Tourism industry, Planning Authorities

Benefits

Ensures that the tourism sector can grow sustainably whilst ensuring that impacts on local communities and the environment are addressed.

Cost

Additional costs may arise for businesses wishing to locate in areas where existing tourism provision is having adverse impacts and for businesses that wish to change the use of a tourism facility away from a tourism use.

Culture and creativity

Proposed policy change

A new policy on culture and creativity which recognises the importance of the sector, requires proposals to make provision for public art, encourages creative and cultural uses, protects existing venues, and reflects the agent of change principle.

Sector and groups affected

Culture and creative sectors,

Developers involved in delivering development that will impact on these sectors

Benefits

Ensures that the planning system supports the culture and the creative sectors in recognition of their contribution to Scotland's health and wellbeing and cultural, social, economic and environmental prosperity.

Cost

Additional costs may arise for developments proposed in public spaces and for businesses that wish to change the use of their premises away from an arts and culture use. The Agent of Change principal is already applied to decision making so is unlikely to generate additional costs.

Green energy

Proposed policy change

Updated policies on green energy which support renewable energy development other than in national parks and national scenic areas, subject to an assessment of their impacts on a case by case basis. Repowering of wind farms, small scale generation, negative emissions technologies and solar energy should be supported. Criteria for assessing proposals are set out.

Sector and groups affected

Renewables industries, Planning Authorities, Key Agencies

Benefits

Ensures that the planning system continues to support the expansion of low carbon and net-zero energy technologies as a key contributor to net-zero emissions by 2045.

Cost

The views of businesses is being sought on the likely cost implications of the proposed updated policy approach.

Zero waste

Proposed policy change

An updated and expanded policy on zero waste requiring plans to identify locations for new infrastructure and supporting development in line with the waste hierarchy. Landfill and energy from waste proposals will only be supported where there is a demonstrable need and waste heat and / or electricity generation is included.

Sector and groups affected

Waste management industries, Planning Authorities, Key Agencies

Benefits

Ensures that the planning system continues to support development which reflects the waste hierarchy, prioritising the reduction and re-use of materials, and facilitating the delivery of new infrastructure required to achieve this.

Cost

The views of businesses is being sought on the likely cost implications of the proposed updated and expanded policy approach.

Sustainable aquaculture

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on sustainable aquaculture which reflects industry needs whilst taking into account wider marine planning. Requirements to assess impacts are set out including operational effects, siting and design of cages and land based facilities.

Sector and groups affected

Aquaculture industry, Planning Authorities, Key Agencies

Benefits

Ensures that the planning system continues to support the sustainable growth of the finfish, shellfish and seaweed sectors, including by guiding new development to locations that reflect industry needs and take into account wider marine planning.

Cost

Policy is updated but changes are unlikely to result in significant costs.

Minerals

Proposed policy change

Extraction of fossil fuels is not supported other than in exceptional circumstances that are consistent with national policy, and we confirm our position of no support for the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland.

Sector and groups affected

Mineral extraction industries, Planning Authorities, Key Agencies

Benefits

Ensures greater consideration is given to the extraction of fossil fuels and only supports extraction where it can be demonstrated that it can be aligned with national policy.

Cost

Policy on fossil fuels is strengthened so that extraction will only be supported in exceptional circumstances. The views of businesses are being sought on the likely cost implications of this approach.

Digital infrastructure

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on digital infrastructure which requires proposals to incorporate appropriate, universal and future-proofed digital infrastructure. New services and technology in areas with no or low connectivity are supported.

Sector and groups affected

Construction industry

Telecommunications and broadband providers, Planning Authorities

Benefits

Ensures that the planning system continues to support the roll-out of digital infrastructure across Scotland, ensuring that policies recognise the importance of future-proofing infrastructure provision whilst addressing impacts on local communities and the environment.

Cost

No significant change from existing policy so no additional costs envisaged.

Distinctive places

City, town, commercial and local centres

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on city, town, commercial and local centres which aims to support lower carbon urban living.

Out-of-town development including new retail is not supported and the policy supports development which diversifies and strengthens city, town and local centres, whilst seeking to avoid the clustering of certain developments that can have negative impacts on communities.

A town centre first assessment is required for all uses that generate significant footfall.

Town centre living is supported provided residential amenity can be achieved and commercial uses are demonstrated to be no longer viable.

Sector and groups affected

Retail and commercial industries, Housebuilders, Planning Authorities, Key Agencies

Benefits

Ensures that development is directed to the most sustainable locations to provide communities with easy access to the goods and services they need, whilst supporting the need for urban centres to diversify as a result of the challenges that they are facing.

Cost

The views of businesses are being sought on the likely cost implications of the proposed updated and expanded policy approach, including the withdrawal of support for out of town developments.

Historic assets and places

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on historic assets and places aims to safeguard valued historic assets and places including listed buildings, conservation areas, scheduled monuments, historic gardens and designed landscapes, battlefields, and World Heritage Sites. Demolition of buildings with historic value is not supported. Proposals to sensitively repair, enhance or bring back into use buildings at risk are supported.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Ensures appropriate recognition is given to the need to protect and enhance historic environment assets and places in recognition of their important cultural, social, and economic value.

Cost

No significant change from existing policy so no additional costs envisaged.

Urban edges and the green belt

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on urban edges and the green belt aims to protect countryside around cities and towns, and limits the circumstances where green belt development can be acceptable to specific uses.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Ensures continued recognition of the role of green belts as a settlement management tool around Scotland's towns and cities.

Cost

No significant change from existing policy so no additional costs envisaged.

Vacant and derelict land and empty buildings

Proposed policy change

An updated and expanded policy on vacant and derelict land and empty buildings which encourages re-use of land and buildings and discourages greenfield development unless there are no suitable brownfield alternatives.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Greater emphasis on using vacant and derelict land and buildings has the potential to deliver significant benefits including sustainable, inclusive growth and reduced emissions. There will likely also be wider health benefits as there is a potential relationship between poor health, inequality and disadvantage, and proximity to vacant and derelict land.

Cost

The shift towards a greater emphasis on using vacant and derelict land, including remediation, may have implications on the locational choices of business. This may result in additional costs and the views of businesses will be sought on these.

Rural places

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on rural places which aims to support the sustainability and growth of rural communities and economies. Resettlement of previously inhabited areas is supported where it is consistent with climate change mitigation targets. Proposals for development outwith rural settlements in more remote rural areas are supported in certain circumstances. Proposals in more accessible rural areas are not supported where they would contribute to rural suburbanisation or car-based commuting.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Ensures that policies on rural development will positively encourage development that helps to repopulate and sustain rural areas and stimulate rural economic growth and sustainability.

Cost

Policies have been updated to strengthen support for rural businesses, particularly small businesses. The views of businesses are being sought on the likely cost implications of the proposed updated policy approach.

Natural places

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on natural places which aims to protect biodiversity and landscape, including protected sites and species. Development in areas of wild land should only be supported where there are no other reasonable locations, or proposals are small scale and impacts on the qualities of the area are assessed and mitigated.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Continues to ensure that natural assets are managed in a sustainable, regenerative way so they can continue to provide the essential benefits and services upon which people and businesses rely.

Cost

A requirement around reasonable locations may introduce the need for additional assessments for development on wild land that may result in additional costs for businesses. The views of businesses are being sought on the likely cost implications of the proposed updated policy approach.

Peat and carbon rich soils

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on peat and carbon rich soils which protects peatland, carbon rich soils and priority peatland habitat from development other than for essential infrastructure, renewable energy where it will maximise the function of the peatland during its operational life and in decommissioning, small scale rural development or peatland restoration. Proposals for new commercial peat extraction are not supported other than in exceptional circumstances.

Sector and groups affected

Peat extraction industry,

Whisky industry, Planning Authorities, Key Agencies

Benefits

Ensures greater protection is given to peat and carbon rich soils in recognition of the role they play in carbon sequestration and climate change adaptation.

Cost

The greater protection afforded to peatland may result in additional costs for businesses. The views of businesses are being sought on the likely cost implications of the proposed updated policy approach.

Trees, woodland and forestry

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on trees, woodland and forestry which requires local development plans to link with Forestry and Woodland Strategies, and does not support any loss or adverse impact on Ancient woodland, ancient or veteran trees, or adverse impacts on native woodlands, hedgerows and individual trees of high biodiversity value. Proposals for sustainably managed woodland are supported.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Recognises the role that trees and woodland will play in helping to achieve net zero by 2045 through sequestering and storing carbon and providing essential ecosystem services for nature, people and the economy.

Cost

Greater protection afforded for irreplaceable habitat may result in additional costs for businesses. The views of businesses are being sought on the likely cost implications of the proposed updated policy approach.

Coasts

Proposed policy change

An updated policy on coasts which requires plans to consider adaptation to future climate impacts, supports development in areas of developed shoreline provided coastal protection measures are not required, and minimises development in undeveloped coastal areas unless it supports the blue economy, net zero, the economy or communities.

Sector and groups affected

All stakeholders involved in delivering development

Benefits

Policies confirm how the future development of coastal areas and communities can be achieved in a way that helps them adapt to long term challenges, such as climate change.

Cost

No significant change from existing policy so no additional costs envisaged.

Contact

Email: Chief.Planner@gov.scot

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