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Finding and viewing sites

A 'finding and viewing sites' prototype has been designed by the Scottish Government's Digital Planning team, created to support Scotland's Digital Strategy for Planning

Mapping and site data

This prototype has been developed to show some of the possibilities around how data, particularly mapping and site information, can help stakeholders across the planning sector. This could include identifying sites for development, findings sites to make comments on a proposed development, or simply finding out more about a site. These issues have been highlighted in our user research and the horizon scanning work. 

Who is it for:

  • Communities
  • Developers
  • Planners

What it does:

  • Shows how a shared data platform can assist communities, investors, and planners, amongst other people, could search for sites.
  • Shows how this could be used to find out more about a site and how the use of data is central to this.

Informed by:

  • User research
  • eDevelopment service
  • Horizon scanning

These prototypes help to illustrate what change could look like. What ultimately is developed could look very different but they give an early opportunity to explore the future of planning.

Mapping platform

Key features of the prototype:

  • View everything on a map
    This approach could help communities have a greater understanding of what is happening in their area, whether that be new planning applications, major developments or finding more opportunities to engage.
  • Browse an area for plans
    Could be linked to development planning, making it easier for all to understand what is included in a Local Development Plan and how this might affect developers and communities alike.
  • Turn layers on and off
    Allowing users to toggle between different layers of data and view specific types of applications. The power would be in the user’s hands to control the level of detail they want to see.


Key features of the prototype:

  • Search for a specific site
    A user could search for a specific site and view information about it, regardless of which local authority it is in or the status of the site.
  • Refine results
    Browse for a site using different parameters to suit what they want to do (e.g. size, class, potential land value, etc.).
  • Compare sites
    A user could compare different sites by a number of key parameters to help find the right site for them.

Site profile

Key features of the prototype:

  • Detailed data
    Data from multiple sources could be collated and consolidated onto a site's "profile page". This could allow potential applicants, communities, and developers to view the same information all in one place.
  • Trackable status
    Could allow a user to better understand the status of a site that they’ve identified as it moves through the planning process.
  • Clear actions
    Providing a better understanding of the available actions that can be taken for a particular site, whether that is submitting an application or commenting on an application.

Draft NPF4 logo

National Planning Framework 4

Read the adopted NPF4 on

Last Updated: 07 Jun 2023