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Benefits and opportunities

Digitally transforming the Scottish planning system brings a number of potential benefits and opportunities for everyone involved in the planning system, including but not limited to communities, businesses and planning authorities.



The strategy provides an overview of the high-level benefits that this programme can help to realise for the people and places across Scotland. These potential benefits cut across policy areas and show the wide-ranging impact which planning has on our economy, infrastructure, environment and places.

Opportunities from transformation

Scotland’s Digital Strategy for Planning identifies a number of benefits and opportunities which will result from digital transformation of the Scottish planning system. Delivery of the five missions within the strategy should enable us to:

  • Build confident, empowered communities that actively shape their places
  • Increase inward investment and Scotland’s role in the international community by reducing risk and uncertainty
  • Build a sustainable and highly skilled workforce now and for the future
  • Deliver high quality, future-proofed public services that are continually improving
  • Deliver inclusive economic growth, building the housing and infrastructure Scotland needs, and creating jobs
  • Drive the digital economy by opening up data services and opportunities
  • Deliver sustainable development, connected places and ensure progress towards climate change targets
  • Unlock the power of digital innovation

Socio-economic benefits

Development of the strategy was supported by a suite of research into the potential socio-economic benefits of transformation, carried out by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) 

This suite of research consisted of:

  • A summary document setting out the key findings across the papers.
  • An economic impact analysis, which was undertaken by KPMG, to assess the potential efficiencies that could be provided from a digital planning service.
  • A user and customer impact analysis setting out the benefits for planning authorities, planning applicants and communities.
  • A policy impact analysis setting out the range of policy ambitions that rely upon a digital planning service.
  • Case studies written by KPMG, analysing the impact that digital planning could have on Scottish Government aspirations on its net zero carbon targets, in tackling health inequalities and as part of post Covid-19 recovery.

Last Updated: 25 Mar 2021