Planning reform continues to attract lots of interest. There was a very high turnout at our seminars in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh - many thanks again to our expert panel members for their insights.

"How we move on now"

Royal Assent - the Bill becoming the Act - encouraged a discussion about the future - "how we move on now".

Key points included:

  • Reform is a continuing journey
  • Scottish Government are still preparing their programme - for producing NPF4, reviewing regulations, providing new guidance, and progressing digital planning
  • A high performing planning system is about everybody
  • The importance of collaboration
  • Changing behaviours (a more helpful term than culture change - everyone can, and should, take responsibility for changing their behaviour)
  • It remains a plan-led system, but with fundamental changes to the hierarchy of plans
  • Lots of interest in the timing and scope of the new regional spatial strategies - no answers yet
  • Plans - difficult to identify the critical path and dependencies - unclear which plan comes first - eg. will the new RSSs precede NPF4?
  • 10 year cycle for NPF and LDPs might give less opportunity for participation, scrutiny and intervention
  • Local place plans - lack of formal role for key agencies such as Transport Scotland
  • Not everybody is happy with the Act - how do we address the dissatisfaction of some communities?


Neil Collar