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Work programme

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 was passed by the Scottish Parliament in June 2019. This sets the future structure of the modernised planning system.

The new Act includes a broad range of changes to be made across the planning system such as: 

  • arrangements for the preparation of development plans
  • proactive masterplanning
  • development management procedures and considerations
  • strengthening enforcement
  • a focus on improved performance and positive outcomes

The detail of how the new Act’s provisions will work in practice will be contained within secondary legislation and guidance, which we are developing now and over the coming months. This extends beyond implementing the provisions of the new Act. It also includes our review of a range of permitted development rights; as well as the preparation of Scotland’s fourth National Planning Framework and progressing the digital transformation of the planning system.

We want people to be involved as we develop and implement these crucial improvements to our planning system. We will engage widely and consult our stakeholders throughout to make sure everyone has the opportunity to influence the future of planning in Scotland.

Our original Transforming Planning in Practice work programme aimed to implement most of the Act and other aspects of our reform programme by 2021. However, much of this work has been paused as both the Scottish Government and our stakeholders have focused on responding to the Covid-19 emergency. We are now developing a revised work programme which will be published here when we are able to do that.

A more detailed work programme for the development planning and housing policy strands will also be revised.


Last Updated: 07 Aug 2020

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