Development planning

Land use planning in Scotland is a "plan-led" system. Therefore, our engagement in development plans is our highest priority.

As a key agency, we engage with planning authorities at the following stages:

  • the compilation of the main issues report;
  • the preparation of the proposed plan;
  • the preparation of action programmes and proposed action programmes.

To facilitate a plan-led system, we wish to engage pro-actively early in development plan preparation. We wish to provide clear, helpful consistent advice to planning authorities from the outset to ensure we can support development plan proposals and aid the implementation of a genuinely plan-led system. Full and early engagement at all stages, including the production of supplementary guidance, allows our interests to be fully considered when the plan is formulated so that we can support development proposals at the planning application stage. This will avoid any unnecessary delays to planning processes by ensuring that our interests are given due consideration from the outset.

In order to assist and to facilitate early discussion with planning authorities on local development plans, we have developed a series of information sheets which provide details of the issues that we expect to see addressed. These information sheets are available in a series of tables at the rear of our Development planning guidance pdf link (305k).

The following topic based guidance provides an overview of our requirements and recommendations for SDPs and LDPs:

In our capacity as a Consultation Authority in Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), we also advise on the significant environmental effects that may arise from implementing development plans. To augment the information sheets, we have also prepared Standing Advice for Responsible Authorities on SEA scoping pdf link (283k).  This advice will help Planning Authorities focus their assessments on the significant issues early on in the SEA process.