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What is the National Planning Framework?

The National Planning Framework (NPF) is a long term plan for Scotland that sets out where development and infrastructure is needed. 

Scotland’s fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4) will be a long term plan looking to 2045 that will guide spatial development, set out national planning policies, designate national developments and highlight regional spatial priorities.

It will be part of the development plan, and so influence planning decisions across Scotland.


The current National Planning Framework (NPF3)and Scottish Planning Policy (SPP), both published in 2014, will remain in place until NPF4 is adopted by Scottish Ministers. 

In 2020, we started work on the preparation of NPF4.

NPF4 will be different to NPF3. It will have increased status and be part of the statutory development plan, meaning that its policies will have a stronger role in day-to-day planning decision making.

NPF4 will incorporate updated 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.

Draft NPF4 logo

The Revised Draft National Planning Framework 4

Read the revised draft on

Last Updated: 20 Dec 2022