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Community Engagement

The Community Engagement work package includes implementation of Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 provisions relating to:

  • Local place plans
  • Effective community engagement
  • Mediation guidance
  • Pre-application consultation

Community Engagement Working Group

December 2019 meeting slides - PDF (1.03MB)

December 2019 meeting discussion Summary - PDF (390kB)

October 2020 meeting discussion Summary - PDF (240kB)

Local Place Plans

Local Place Plans (LPPs) form part of the Government’s wider work on planning reform and implementation of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 (the 2019 Act), including steps to reduce conflict, improve community engagement and build public trust in planning matters.

Local Place Plans are a way for communities to bring forward their own proposals and suggestions for the development and use of land that reflect National and Local Outcomes. Once registered with the planning authority, Local Place Plans will be taken into account when the Local Development Plan for the area is being prepared.

Local Place Plan regulations

The 2019 Act provides the framework legislation for the delivery of LPPs. Following on from a consultation paper on regulations setting out the arrangements for the preparation, submission and registration of LPPs, the Scottish Government made the Town and Country Planning (Local Place Plans) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 and the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 (Commencement No. 8) Regulations 2021 , which came into force on 22 January 2022.

Planning Circular 1/2022: Local Place Plans sets out Scottish Government guidance on the implementation of the legislation.

Sections 14 (1), (2), and (4) of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 were brought into force on the 19 and 20 May by The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 (Commencement No. 12 and Saving and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2023. These relate to the local authority invitation to prepare Local Place Plans and the taking into account of Local Place Plans in the Local Development Plan were brought into force on 20 May 2023 by The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 (Commencement No. 12 and Saving and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2023.

Section 14(6) of the 2019 Act relates to taking account of Local Place Plans in amending Local Development Plans. The legislation for amending Local Development Plans is not yet in force but Section 14(6) will be included when it is

Work is also ongoing on the development of Local Place Plan registers and on further versions of a ‘How to’ Guide.

Further information on LPPs is available in the Local Place Plan section of the Our Place website

Draft ‘How to’ Guide

We commissioned the Scottish Community Development Centre and Nick Wright Planning to undertake a review of community-led planning in Scotland and to distil that learning into a draft ‘How to’ Guide aimed at supporting communities to prepare Local Place Plans. See the research report and draft ‘How to prepare a local place plan’ Guide. Whilst we are not consulting formally on the draft ‘How to’ Guide, we are keen to hear people’s views on its contents. We are currently considering the responses and further actions to finalise the ‘How to’ Guide.

Effective community engagement

Draft guidance on effective community engagement in local development plans has been prepared. It focuses on the levels of engagement that could be applied at different stages of preparing a local development plan. It does not focus on methods of engagement.

The draft was available for comment until 13 September. We thank everyone for their responses and we will consider these as we work towards finalising the guidance. The draft guidance and impact assessments are available to view from the Scottish Government’s consultation hub, Citizen Space

Section 16C of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (introduced by the 2019 Planning Act) enables Scottish Ministers to prepare guidance on effective community engagement in local development planning. The Act identifies the guidance as being for planning authorities but communities and others interested in being involved in the preparation of a local development plan may also find it useful. When the guidance is prepared, planning authorities must have regard to it.

Mediation in Planning

As introduced by Section 40 of the 2019 Planning Act, the Scottish Ministers have issued guidance on the promotion and use of mediation in planning. This followed consultation in early 2021. See also the consultation analysis report.

The associated impact assessments are listed below: 

Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment 

Island Communities Impact Assessment

Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment

Equality Impact Assessment – Results

Pre-application Consultation

To keep up-to-date with changes to Pre-application consultation (PAC) requirements head over to our Development Management page


Draft NPF4 logo

National Planning Framework 4

Read the adopted NPF4 on

Last Updated: 10 Oct 2023