Planning policy to support sustainable and inclusive growth across all of our regions

A photograph of the waterfront in Glasgow at night

Key points:

  • We will ensure that the planning system develops to support inclusive economic growth and delivers for investors and communities

We will use the National Planning Framework 4 to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth across all of our regions, and to create high-quality, diverse and sustainable places that promote wellbeing and attract investment.

On 30 September we published our post Planning Bill work programme, Transforming Planning In Practice. This sets out our proposed timetable for implementing the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 and taking forward other aspects of the reform of Scottish planning.


Our investment in affordable housing will, on average, leverage £1.4 billion per year economic output supporting around 10,000 to 12,000 jobs in construction

The work programme outlines how we will now move quickly to bring forward proposals for substantial changes to the fees structure, with the aim of having early clarity around costs and resources, and the new fee arrangements in place in the second quarter of 2020. This will require careful assessment of the impacts on both planning authorities and applicants, to ensure that there are no unforeseen consequences from the combination of changes. The consultation will also include the introduction of the principle for a developer to pay a higher planning application fee for an accelerated service from the planning authority in its handling of the application.

The 2019 Programme for Government includes a commitment to launch a programme of digital transformation to make better use of digital technologies and data, including a digital mapping prototype to support co-ordinated and sustainable development. In Summer 2020 we will launch a Digital Strategy for Planning. The strategy will outline the future projects and services we will seek to deliver to help facilitate a planning system that is more inclusive, efficient and a key enabler of economic growth.

Future transport investment through Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2), will be aligned with the National Planning Framework, creating well connected places for the people of Scotland.

The 2019 Programme for Government includes a commitment to launch a programme of digital transformation to make better use of digital technologies and data, including a digital mapping prototype to support co ordinated and sustainable development. In Summer 2020 we will launch a Digital Strategy for Planning. The strategy will outline the future projects and services we will seek to deliver to help facilitate a planning system that is more inclusive, efficient and a key enabler of economic growth.

Support and promote the Place Principle which asks that all those responsible for providing services and looking after assets in a place need to work and plan together, alongside local communities, to improve the lives of people, support inclusive growth and create more successful places.

Through the Local Governance Review, we will consider proposals for alternative governance arrangements at local council / Community Planning Partnership level, or more regionally. A key objective will be to help drive inclusive growth in those places.

Key resources:

Scottish Government: National Planning Framework 3

Strategic Transport Projects Review

Scottish Government: Building, Planning and Design

Scottish Government: Local Governance Review

Transport Scotland: The Future of Transport Infrastructure