Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 - National Planning Framework

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Planning (Scotland) Act 2019  - National Planning Framework

Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 - National Planning Framework

Nicola Woodward 30 Aug 2019
The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 was placed on the statute book at the end of July and this made provisions for the National Planning Framework to be part of the development plan and therefore a consideration when determining planning applications.  The current NPF was adopted in June 2014 and the Act requires Scottish Ministers to review it no later than 23 June 2024 and thereafter every 10 years.  Following the review they must either revise the NPF or make a statement as to why they haven’t.

In preparing a revised framework Scottish Ministers must publish their participation statement and in making the plan must have regard to relevant polices and strategies of Scot Gov including relating to housing, infrastructure investment, transport, climate change, air quality, land and the national marine plan. In addition, the NPF must consider resettling depopulated areas, preserving disused railway infrastructure and preserving peatland.

In preparing the framework Scottish Ministers can direct a planning authority or 2 or more planning authorities to provide information on:

  • the principal physical, cultural, economic, social, built heritage and environmental characteristics of the area;

  • land use;

  • population;

  • housing needs generally and the housing needs of older people and disabled people within the area;

  • the capacity of education services and health services;

  • the health needs of the population;

  • the desirability of allocating land for the purposes of resettlement;

  • the infrastructure and how it is used (including communications, transport and drainage systems and systems for the supply of water and energy); and,

  • any other matters as are prescribed.
In revising the NPF Scottish Ministers must have regard to any adopted Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS).  RSSs will replace Strategic Development Plans and are to be prepared without delay once that provision of the Act comes into force.  RSSs will be prepared by one or more planning authority working together; they will sit outside the development plan and so will not directly influence development management decisions; and, interestingly, Scottish Ministers can direct a planning authority/ies to prepare and adopt an RSS for a particular region or direct a review on an adopted RSS.

Scottish Ministers must consult on their draft NPF and have regard to any representations made within 120 days.  If changes are made there must be a re-consultation.  A statement of consultation is required setting out the representations and any changes made as a result.

Also, there is a new duty that requires Scottish Ministers to report on how the planning system is meeting the needs of older people and disable people every 2 years.

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