It’s all in the planning

Public consultation on the Scottish Government's review of its National Planning Framework begins in mid February - get involved

Common carder bee on dead nettle detail

Opportunities to get involved in the Scottish Government’s review of its National Planning Framework (the long-term spatial planning strategy for Scotland known as NPF4) start on 13 February with a series of Scottish Government-led public engagement events throughout the country. 

The 'NPF4 ScotPlan 2050 Roadshow' will offer general drop-in sessions, where you can come along to speak to the Government’s NPF team, as well as facilitated workshops to take a closer look at some of the issues that are up for discussion.

This is a great opportunity for you to speak up - alongside us - for the benefits of wildness and the need to protect it, and the potential for the planning system to deliver multiple public benefits, such as revitalised rural communities and reduced carbon emissions. We are also interested in how the planning system could better support opportunities to create deeper connections between people and place.  

Big five

The Scottish Government is seeking early input to five “big” questions at this early stage – asking for your ideas about what Scotland will be like in 2050 and the changes needed to get us there. This isn’t the formal consultation on NPF4, but is about stimulating early debate on key issues. The questions being asked are as follows (this doesn’t mean you can’t contribute wider thoughts and ideas!):

  1. What development will we need to address climate change?
  2. How can planning best support our quality of life, health and wellbeing in the future?
  3. What does planning need to do to enable development & investment in our economy to benefit everyone?
  4. How can planning improve, protect and strengthen the special character of our places?
  5. What infrastructure do we need to plan and build to realise our long-term aspirations?

We will be sharing our response to these questions and, if you want to support us in making those points to the Scottish Government, the consultation will be open until 31 March.

NPF4 timeline

The full evolution of NPF4 is a long process – consultation on the proposed document itself is expected in the autumn, over a three month period. During this time we will provide detailed guidance on how you might wish to respond. Due to the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2021 the final version of NPF4 is not anticipated until later in 2021, following a period of Parliamentary scrutiny.

In addition to work we are doing on aspects of NPF4 that are of particular relevance to the Trust, we are working closely with other environmental organisations through our membership of Scottish Environment LINK. We’ll be advocating for the importance of this document in ensuring the planning system is fit for purpose at a time of heightened public concern about climate change, the biodiversity crisis and development pressures on the places in which we live and which are important to us.

Next steps