NPF4 set to be enacted by middle of next month

THE date, February 13 this year, is expected to see the latest national planning framework for Scotland formally put into action.

Says a notice from Scotland’s chief planner, Dr Fiona Simpson, and Scottish Government minister for public finance, planning and community wealth, Tom Arthur MSP, the framework has still a journey to complete before becoming law.

Last week, on the 11th, a majority of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament gave the framework (now in its fourth edition – hence the acronym, NPF4), their approval, as reported, here.

Says the notice, here: “It is important to note that the Scottish Parliament’s approval is not the end of the process and that NPF4 is not yet part of the statutory development plan. 

“The next step is for the commencement of provisions of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 which amend the composition of the development plan, in particular section 13, which will make the National Planning Framework part of the development plan.

“This is expected to happen on February 12 2023. Thereafter, our intention is that Scottish Ministers will adopt and publish NPF4 on February 13 2023 at 9am, meaning that it is in force and National Planning Framework [third edition] and Scottish planning policy are superceded from that date and time.”

The note continues: “In advance of NPF4 adoption, we will issue advice on transitional arrangements for local development plans, which will also cover implementation of housing policies and some other considerations during the changeover period, including for decision-making. We anticipate regulations coming into force and publication of related guidance for the new local development planning system this spring.

“Whilst approval of NPF4 is a significant milestone, this is just the beginning of a new phase for planning in Scotland. We are now ready to focus our efforts and resources on delivery and look forward to working with all to realise the aspirations of NPF4.”

Pictured: Scottish Government building, Leith, Edinburgh, Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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