Call For Ideas – National Planning Framework

The Scottish Government has begun the process of creating a new National Planning Framework (NPF). The NPF is the long-term national strategy that sets out where development is needed to support sustainable and inclusive growth in Scotland. The current Framework, NPF3, was published in 2014 and sits alongside the Scottish Planning Policy (SPP); together these documents form the national planning context for new development in Scotland.

Traditionally, the NPF has been a spatial planning strategy informing where development should take place, while the SPP has included the detailed planning policies of how development should take place and the principles that should guide planning decisions in Scotland.

Under the Scottish Planning Reform, an ongoing process that now has some clarity following the passing of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 in July 2019, the new NPF will incorporate the SPP to create one singular spatial and policy document to guide planning in Scotland.

As part of the process of forming the new NPF (dubbed ScotPlan 2050), the Scottish Government is currently running an open consultation on the themes and principles that should guide the new strategy. The consultation is to allow stakeholders to provide input on what they want Scotland to be like in 2050, and the changes needed to get there. Comments and ideas can be submitted on any topic, but the Government is particularly focused on 5 key issues:

  1. What development is needed to address climate change?
  2. How can planning support quality of life, health, and wellbeing?
  3. How will planning enable development and investment in the economy to benefit everyone?
  4. How can planning improve, protect, and strengthen the special character of places?
  5. What infrastructure is needed to realise long-term aspirations?

This is a rare opportunity to comment on nation-wide planning policy and guidance and the Scottish Government is accepting responses on this consultation until the 31st March 2020.

If you would like more information about the National Planning Framework and would like to discuss getting involved in this consultation please contact a member of our Planning and Development Team at