Implementing the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019

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Implementing the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019

Implementing the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019

Gordon Thomson 30 Sept 2019
The Scottish Government has today published its timetable for implementing the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 in its post-bill work programme to 2021. This indicates where aspects of the Act will be commenced for the purpose of enabling ministers to prepare regulations, with many sections commencing in just over one month’s time. Thereafter, it is expected that the majority of the Act will be implemented by the second quarter of 2021. Some of the key timescales are set out below:

National Planning Framework

The Act affords until 2024 (10 years post NPF3) to prepare a new National Planning Framework (NPF4). The work programme indicates that the Scottish Government intends to move much quicker. An NPF team has been assembled, led by Assistant Chief Planner Dr Fiona Simpson, and work is underway. Consultation will take place in Qs 1 & 2 2020 with a draft NPF4 in Q3 2020. The final NPF4 is anticipated in Q3 2021 for approval in Q4 2021.

Regional Spatial Strategies

The Act requires that review of the NPF is to take account of any adopted RSSs and that RSSs are to be prepared as soon as practicably possible following implementation of that part of the Act. Conventional wisdom implied that the first tranche of RSSs would be prepared, to inform and be followed by NPF4 then the first tranche of new LDPs. This update implies otherwise.
Scottish Government proposes that guidance on RSSs will be published in Q4 2021, so preparation of RSSs will presumably follow this date.

Local Development Plans

Guidance and regulations on LDPs are anticipated to be published in Q4 2021, shortly before the majority of current generation LDPs will be adopted. Transitional arrangements will be announced shortly.

Community Engagement

Regulations and guidance in relation to Local Place Plans, effective community engagement when preparing LDPs, mediation in planning and changes to Pre-Application Consultation will be brought forward by Q1 2021.

Other dates of note

Agent of Change Principle – Q4 2019
Short Term Let Control Areas – Q4 2020
Duration of Permission and Completion Notices – Q1 2021
Guidance on “similar applications” and “significant change” – Q1 2021
Decision on whether to include a requirement to consult music venue representative body – Q1 2021
Delegation of decisions and local reviews – Q3 2021
Health impact assessment – Q4 2021
Masterplan Consent Areas – Q4 2021


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