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Producing Plans

A 'producing plans' prototype has been designed by the Scottish Government's Digital Planning team, created to support Scotland's Digital Strategy for Planning

Real-time data

This prototype has been developed to show some of the opportunities around how real-time data could directly inform the development planning process, and vice versa.

Who is it for: 

  • Planning authorities.

What it does: 

  • It shows how authorities could take advantage of real-time open data to create dynamic planning policies when writing local development plans.

Informed by: 

  • User research.
  • 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.

For planners

Key features of the prototype:

  • Designed for planners
    Planners could have access to the tools and data designed for them to prepare plans and policy.
  • Relevant sections
    The Evidence Report, Proposed Plan and Assessments could be laid out and compared to assist in the creation of the Local Development Plan.
  • Collaborative
    Rather than sending the Proposed Plan to others to assess, there could be the potential to invite the relevant parties to view, comment or make changes on a single version. For example what you might expect from a cloud based platform.
  • A connected planning system
    Development planning and development management could be closer linked, allowing policies, goals, and monitoring data to inform both.
  • Real-time open data
    Real-time open data could allow for better, more accurate, evidenced policy and decisions. This data could also be used outside planning where appropriate.
  • Cross border planning
    A shared digital planning system could make it easier for different authorities to collaborate on developments in more than one authority area. In particular, to facilitate more efficient sharing of information, resources, and best practices.

Interactive policy

Key features of the prototype:

  • Easy to understand
    Standardised objectives, goals, or policies could help to create a more straightforward and easy to manage planning system.
  • Measure and monitor
    Users could track the progress of a goal as real-time data moves through the service. For example, powerful analytics could be used to see how many times a policy was used to approve or deny planning permission to inform future policy.
  • Place based
    Objectives, goals, or policies could have links to other data sources; for example, Place Standard Assessment categories.

Digital policy

Key features of the prototype:

  • Consistent format
    A consistent approach and format could allow planners to focus on planning. This could help make planning goals, plans and policies more consistent and easier to understand for people.
  • Codifying policy 
    Having a geospatial policy element could link to the planning application process and enable rules to dynamically change for applications in specific locations.
  • Access to shared data
    Having a focus on data could make it easier for planners to more readily access the information that they need to reach a decision.

Draft NPF4 logo

National Planning Framework 4

Read the adopted NPF4 on

Last Updated: 07 Jun 2023