National Planning Framework NPF4

The Scottish Government have now adopted 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 new Framework, NPF4, sits alongside the Scottish Planning Policy (SPP); together these documents form the national planning context for new development in Scotland.

Some of the key headlines from the the NPF include;

Policy 1 gives weight to encouraging, promoting and facilitating development that addresses the global climate emergency and nature crisis and ensures LDP’s address the Global Emergency Climate and Nature Crisis. The outcomes of this policy should be Net Zero and Nature Positive Places.

Policy 11 supports all forms of renewable, low carbon and zero emissions technologies on and off shore, allowing for an expansion of these technologies. Examples include Wind farms for repowering, expanding or extending the life of existing Wind farms.

Policy 15 establishes that all development proposal where relevant will contribute to 20-minute neighbourhoods. This is for the intention of creating connected and compact neighbourhoods to meet the majority of peoples daily needs while reflecting the local circumstances.

Policy 27 adopts the new provision that Drive-thru developments will only be supported where they are specifically supported within the LDP. This is to ensure development is directed to those locations deemed the most sustainable for that use.

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Transition Agreements

On the 8th of February advice was been provided on the transition to the new development plan system and a variety of policy considerations. The advice set out how to apply NPF4 Policies along with specific advice of Policies 1, 2, 3, 16, 23 and 27 (b). Link below;

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In addition, NatureScot have also provided a full update and advice here.


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