Transforming Planning in Practice: updated planning reform implementation programme

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 sets the future structure of Scotland’s planning system and forms an important part of our wider planning reforms. The 2019 Act includes a broad range of changes to be made across the planning system.

Community Engagement

It is vital that people have the opportunity to engage meaningfully and have a positive influence in the future planning of development in their areas. Despite the difficulties during the pandemic, we have sought to progress this aspect of reform as a priority.

We have published guidance on the promotion and use of mediation in planning within the 2-year timescale required by the Act.

We are making changes to pre-application consultation in relation to major developments, now being scheduled to come into force in April 2022. The timing of this has been closely linked to temporary changes made to the requirement to hold public events under coronavirus legislation, now extended to the end of March 2022.

Earlier this year we consulted on regulations and guidance for Local Place Plans. Drawing on the outcomes from that, we have recently laid new regulations in the Scottish Parliament and will continue to develop the guidance to support them and to encourage communities to take advantage of this new opportunity to influence the development of their areas. The regulations are expected to come into force in January 2022.

Work to prepare new guidance on effective community engagement is ongoing and we are now expecting to produce this in draft during 2022, alongside finalisation of the new regulations and guidance on development planning.

Masterplan Consent Areas

We have recently worked with several planning authorities to pilot the new provisions of the Act on Masterplan Consent Areas, using the existing Simplified Planning Zone mechanism. Work to implement Masterplan Consent Areas through new regulations was paused during the pandemic. We will take this forward again during the course of 2022, drawing on experiences from the pilots, to ensure new powers are in place to support the delivery of NPF4, once approved and adopted, and the new system of local development plans. Advertisement consent regulations will be updated to make provision for Masterplan Consent Areas at the same time.

Short term lets

We have put in place new regulations enabling the designation of Short-Term Let Control Areas, effective from April 2021, as part of a cross-government approach to regulating short term lets.



Back to top