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National Planning Framework 3 and Scottish Planning Policy remain in force until National Planning Framework 4 is adopted.

National Planning Framework 3

National Planning Framework 3 Monitoring Report

Scottish Planning Policy

National Performance Framework


We asked planning stakeholders to provide think piece contributions on Scotland 2050 to stimulate discussion and debate during the early engagement period and to help stakeholders to think about priorities for NPF4. 

Martin Valenti - Environmentally Responsible Economic Growth 

Emma Ritch - Gender Inclusive Places

Fiona Garven - Community Development

Russell Jones - Healthy Places 

Steven Tolson - A Plan to Grow More Food

Diana Findley - Places for Older People

Aedan Smith - Scotland's Environment

Dr Ruth Lightbody - Community Engagement

Anna Beswick and Joseph Hagg - Adaptive Places

Jim Valentine - Our Cities

Diarmid Hearns - Nature on a National Scale

Stephanie Conesa - Our Renewable Energy

Vincent Goodstadt - Scotland 2050: Lessons from Our Spatial Planning Heritage

John Lauder - Our Active Travel Networks

Professor Chris Speed - Our Arts and Cultural Environment

Rona Gibb - Our Active Travel Networks

Calum Macleod - A Thriving Rural Scotland

Tim German - Our Energy Systems

Deryck Irving - Future Green Networks

Liam Fowley MSYP - Report on #WhatsYourTake

Angus Hardie - Empowered Communities

Susie Fitton - Places for Disabled People

Grant Carson - Building a More Accessible World for us all

Jim Birrell - Future Chief Planning Officers

Sally Thomas - Our Future Homes

Phil Prentice - Town Centres of The Future

Riddell Graham - Our Tourist Industry

Elaine Fotheringham - Our Flood Risk Management

Tammy Swift-Adams - Enjoying The Fruits of Collaboration

Dr Matthew Lane - Self and Custom Build

Andy Milne - Rebalancing and Regenerating Planning for People and Places

Professor Iain Docherty - An Accessible Scotland

Anne Johnstone - Our Vacant and Derelict Land

Jo O'Hara - Forestry and Woodland

Andy Kerr - Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions


National Planning Framework - Housing Technical Discussion Paper

This discussion paper sets out current thinking on the methodology that could be used for setting ‘targets for the use of land for housing in different areas of Scotland’.  Comments can be made on this discussion paper until 30 April 2020.

For the first time, Scottish Planning Policy will be incorporated into the National Planning Framework. We have prepared background information notes on the policy topics that will need to be addressed when preparing draft NPF4.

Views on these notes should be submitted through the Call for Ideas which is open until 30 April.

Existing Scottish Planning Policy remains in place until NPF4 is adopted.

Scottish Planning Policy

Research on the Effectiveness of Scottish Planning Policy

Research on the Effectiveness of Scottish Planning Policy - Database

Research on Rural Planning Policy to 2050 

Background information notes on SPP policies
People Work Place
Community Facilities
Culture and the Arts
Green Infrastructure
Gypsy Travellers
Housing – Affordable
Housing – General
Housing – Specialist
Business / Employment
Energy – Electricity
Energy - Heat
Mineral Extraction
Rural Development
Town Centres

Air Quality
Climate Change
Coastal Planning
Green Belts
Historic Environment

Land Assembly and Compulsory Purchase
Natural Environment
Vacant and Derelict Land


Within our ‘Call for Ideas’, we are inviting your suggestions for projects to be considered for ‘National Development’ status in the draft NPF4 by 30 April 2020.

The Planning Act allows the Scottish Ministers to identify national developments to include in NPF4.  This could include single, large-scale projects or several smaller scale developments combined. Once designated, the question of whether a national development is needed does not have to be debated in later consenting processes.


See more information, including the assessment criteria for assessing potential national developments and how to make a suggestion, here:

National Developments - Factsheet

National Developments - Invitation

National Developments - Online Response Form

National Developments - Response Form

Please also fill out a Respondent Information Form to send back to us with your completed proposal forms.

*The online form works with many web browsers, but if it is not supported by your browser please use the forms in the alternative links above.

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 establishes a duty for a planning authority, or authorities acting jointly, to prepare and adopt a regional spatial strategy. The review of the NPF presents an opportunity for early thinking on regional spatial strategies to help inform NPF4.

Regional Spatial Strategies - Factsheet

NPF4 will be subject to a number of impact assessments. We will ensure that key stakeholders and the public are properly consulted at key stages in the process and that a statement on how these assessments have affected the development of the policy is included with the final Framework. Our Integrated Assessment Scoping Report is available below. Comments are invited by 30 April 2020.

NPF4 Integrated Impact Assessments Easy Read Guide

NPF4 Integrated Impact Assessment - Scoping Report

NPF4 Integrated Impact Assessment - Scoping Report - Appendix A - Environment - Baseline Information

NPF4 Integrated Impact Assessment - Scoping Report - Appendix B - Society and Equalities

Last Updated: 18 May 2020

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Planning’s practical help with the covid-19 crisis, our recovery – and beyond


Social distancing rules make traditional ways of consulting the public impractical. We share examples of digital solutions partners are using to reach people and gather their views.

Digital Planning: Our latest upgrades to eDevelopment are now LIVE!


We have released our latest upgrade package to the service. – Open for Business


During this period, the service will continue to operate 24/7 as usual.