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How we got here

The independent panel reported in May 2016, making 48 recommendations designed to rationaliseimprove and modernise planning.

Following substantial stakeholder input – including close engagement with six working groups – the Scottish Government published consultation papers in January and June 2017 to inform the way ahead for changes to Scotland’s planning system.

Drawing on the work of the independent panel and stakeholder views, the Planning (Scotland) Bill was produced by the Scottish Government and introduced in the Scottish Parliament in December 2017. Following detailed scrutiny of the Bill’s provisions, the Scottish Parliament passed the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 in June 2019.

This site sets out and provides updates on the work involved in implementing the Act, along with other actions to transform our planning system.


Key documents charting the progress from the independent panel’s review of planning through to the passage of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019:


July 2019

These impact assessments were also produced to accompany the Planning (Scotland) Bill:

June 2019

December 2017

  • Planning (Scotland) Bill – introduced in the Scottish Parliament. Link to the Scottish Parliament's page on how the Bill progressed, including accompanying documents and Committee reports.

October 2017

January 2017

May 2016

Draft NPF4 logo

National Planning Framework 4

Read the adopted NPF4 on

Last Updated: 16 Nov 2023