Consultation launched on national planning framework

A CONSULTATION has been launched on a draft national planning framework that – if adopted, in whatever format – “will become part of the statutory development plan and will directly influence planning decisions”.

Says the draft fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4) – here: “The amended Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 directs that the National Planning Framework must contribute to a series of six outcomes: improving the health and wellbeing of our people; increasing the population of rural areas; meeting housing needs; improving equality and eliminating discrimination; meeting targets for emissions of greenhouse gases; and securing positive effects for biodiversity.”

Introducing the document, the Scottish Government minister, Tom Arthur MSP, Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth, begins: “This, our fourth National Planning Framework, sets out how our approach to planning and development will help to achieve a net zero, sustainable Scotland by 2045.”

At the time of writing, the draft had yet to be converted into a digital format, to allow people to answer several dozen questions about the plan’s proposals.

An accompanying media release from the Scottish Government, here, begins: “Planning applications will have to show how they help meet Scotland’s ambitious targets to cut emissions to net zero by 2045 to get approval under new proposals.

“Applications that create more town centre homes or help re-use vacant and derelict land will be more likely to succeed, under the draft fourth National Planning Framework which has been published for consultation today.

“These proposals promote the creation of ’20-minute neighbourhoods’, where services are easily accessible on foot or by bicycle, across cities and towns. Tighter restrictions will be imposed on out-of-town retail development.

“The Framework will support developments which contribute to nature restoration, drive population growth in rural Scotland, create more homes to meet local needs and encourage green investment.

“Proposals for renewable energy, including increasing the power of existing wind farms, will be supported by planners – helping make Scotland an energy exporter.”

It proposes 18 national developments, including:

  • a national walking, wheeling and cycling network promoting active travel;
  • mass and rapid transit networks for cities to significantly reduce congestion and reliance on the car;
  • sustainable drainage and water management solutions to protect cities from future flood risk;
  • masterplanned regeneration and investment along the Clyde and waterfronts in Dundee, Edinburgh and Stranraer;
  • supporting transition of key industrial sites to net zero as well as helping to sustain rural and island communities in transitioning to a net zero society; and
  • pumped hydro-electric storage, large scale renewable energy generation and investment in the electricity grid.

The media release continues: “The draft National Planning Framework 4 is being publicly consulted on and will be scrutinised by the Scottish Parliament for up to 120 days.”

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland