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Draft NPF4

The Draft Fourth National Planning Framework (Draft NPF4), which details our long term plan for what Scotland could be in 2045, was laid in Parliament on 10 November 2021. 

This is a significant milestone in the development of Scotland’s Fourth National Planning Framework, and we encourage feedback from everyone across the country to reflect the values and aspirations of the people of Scotland. 

The consultation on Draft NPF4 closed on 31 March 2022. Following the consultation and the end of the Parliamentary scrutiny process, we will analyse the responses and produce a final NPF4.

Draft National Planning Framework 4 front cover.

View Scotland 2045 - Our Draft Fourth National Planning Framework

"The challenges that we are facing today demand a change in the way we plan our places for tomorrow... we will need to future proof places, be more innovative, and involve a wider range of people in planning."
Tom Arthur MSP, Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth

Scotland 2045

Draft NPF4 comprises five parts:

  • Part 1 - National Spatial Strategy
    The national spatial strategy sets out a shared vision where each part of Scotland can be planned and developed to create: Sustainable, Liveable, Productive and Distinctive places. Underpinning the national spatial strategy are a series of spatial principles. The spatial strategy also highlights five action areas.
  • Part 2 - National Developments
    National developments are significant developments of national importance that will help to strongly support the delivery of the spatial strategy. Designation as a national development establishes the need for it, but does not remove requirements for relevant consents to be obtained before development can begin.
  • Part 3 - National Planning Policy
    The fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4) will incorporate Scottish Planning Policy which will contain detailed national policy on a number of planning topics. For the first time, spatial and thematic planning policies will be addressed in one place.
  • Part 4 - Delivery
    Delivering the NPF4 strategy and realising collective ambitions will require collaborative action from the public and private sectors and wider communities. Actions will range across different scales and include a mix of strategic and project investments. This section will be developed into a standalone, live delivery programme once NPF4 has been approved and adopted.

To inform this, the Scottish Futures Trust is leading a collaborative workstream on delivery, which will bring together stakeholders as part of our engagement programme to consider how the national developments in particular can be supported by a shared delivery programme. This will also build on previous work including the Infrastructure Investment Plan; test recommendations from the Infrastructure Commission Scotland and related Place good practice principles, that are most relevant to NPF4; and work with the Infrastructure Delivery Group which was established as part of our ongoing programme of planning reform. The outcomes from this project will inform the basis of a delivery programme to accompany the finalised NPF4 once approved and adopted. 

If you are interested in contributing to this work please email -

  • Part 5 – Annexes
    Annexes provide information on how statutory outcomes are being met, Minimum All-Tenure Housing Land Requirement (MATHLR) for each planning authority in Scotland, along with a Glossary of terms.


Alongside Parliamentary scrutiny of the draft, we ran a public consultation, which closed on 31 March 2022.


Draft NPF4 logo

The Draft National Planning Framework 4

Read the draft on

Last Updated: 26 Apr 2022