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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


The following materials were provided to help stakeholders get involved in our Call for Ideas which ran from January to 30 April 2020. Stakeholder responses to the Call for Ideas as well as evidence gathered through are roadshow are available to view here.

Have your say on the National Planning Framework 4

Respondent Information Form

Programme For Engagement

Programme For Engagement Update - April 2020

Self Read Presentation - NPF4 Overview

Community Fund - Application Form (closing date 8 March 2020)

How to hold a NPF4 community workshop

Workshop Resource - Doodle Map

Workshop Resource - Ideas Postcard

Blog – NPF 4 The Essentials (October 2019)

NPF4 overview video

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


Current consultation: Scottish Planning Policy and Housing – Proposed Policy Amendments

This consultation paper sets out Scottish Ministers’ proposals to clarify specific parts of the Scottish Planning Policy that relate to planning for housing. Assessments of the impact of the proposals are available.

These are draft proposals and in the meantime the existing policy remains in place and should continue to be taken into account in decision making.

Views on the proposals are now welcome and should be submitted by 9 October 2020.


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 on this paper were invited through our Call for Ideas.

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.

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 Aquaculture Air Quality
Culture and the Arts Business / Employment Climate Change
Digital Energy – Electricity Coastal Planning
Green Infrastructure Energy - Heat Flooding
Gypsy Travellers Mineral Extraction Green Belts
Health Rural Development Historic Environment
Housing – Affordable Tourism Infrastructure
Housing – General Town Centres Land Assembly and Compulsory Purchase
Housing – Specialist   Natural Environment
Waste   Peatland
    Vacant and Derelict Land



As part of our Call for Ideas, we invited suggestions for projects to be considered for ‘National Development’ status in the draft NPF4.

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 (For information - Call for Ideas now closed)

National Developments - Response Form (For information - Call for Ideas now closed)

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.

We invited comments on our Integrated Assessment Scoping Report as part of our Call for Ideas.

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: 07 Sep 2020

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