Fourth National Planning Framework: position statement

This Position Statement sets out the Scottish Government's current thinking on the issues that will need to be addressed when preparing Scotland's fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4).

Next steps

This position statement sets out our current thinking, drawing on the ideas and evidence we received from a broad range of people and organisations through our early engagement programme. We very much see this statement and any conversations that follow as an additional opportunity in the process, between our earlier Call for Ideas and the formal consultation with parliamentary process to come next year, to advance thinking towards the draft NPF4. Whilst we have intended that the Position Statement provides an idea of the direction of travel, there is still a lot of work to be done as we continue to shape and refine our thinking before we set out a full draft NPF4 for further consultation and scrutiny.

Sharing your thoughts with us

We would welcome any thoughts on this position statement. We appreciate that stakeholders may not have much capacity to do so in the current climate, particularly if they have already shared ideas with us, and may prefer to reserve further input for the fuller consultation draft in autumn 2021. There will be no need to restate points made through the Call for Ideas process – we continue to use that evidence source as we take forward our policy development. We will continue to update our Programme for Engagement as work progresses towards a draft NPF4, ensuring opportunities for all to be involved.

If you would like to comment now, we have set out these questions which will help to sense check the position statement.

1. Do you agree with our current thinking on planning for net-zero emissions?

2. Do you agree with our current thinking on planning for resilient communities?

3. Do you agree with our current thinking on planning for a wellbeing economy?

4. Do you agree with our current thinking on planning for better, greener places?

5. Do you have further suggestions on how we can deliver our strategy?

6. Do you have any comments on the Integrated Impact Assessment Update Report, published alongside this position statement?

7. Do you have any other comments on the content of the Position Statement?

Should you wish to comment, please can you do so by 19 February 2021 through the Scottish Government’s consultation hub at or via email to



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