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How we got here

In September 2015 an independent panel was appointed by Scottish Ministers to review the planning system. The panel reported in May 2016, making 48 recommendations designed to rationalise, improve 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 updates on the work involved now in implementing the new Act, along with other actions to transform our planning system.


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

May 2016:

July 2016:

January 2017:

June 2017:

October 2017:

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.

June 2019:

July 2019:

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


Draft NPF4 logo

The Draft National Planning Framework 4

Read the draft on Take part in the consultation

Last Updated: 23 Nov 2021