Policy & Lobbying
Planning Policy

 The overall aim of the Scottish Planning System is delivery of a planning service that is efficient, inclusive, fit for purpose and sustainable.

There are three main parts to the planning system:

  • Development Plans
    which set out how places should change and also set out the policies used to make decisions about planning applications.
  • Development Management
    the process for making decisions about planning applications.
  • Enforcement
    the process that makes sure that development is carried out correctly and takes action when development happens without permission or when conditions have not been followed.

Each council area in Scotland is covered by a local development plan, which sets out where most new developments are proposed and the policies that will guide decision-making on planning applications.

If you live in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow or any of the following council areas - Aberdeenshire, Angus, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Fife, Inverclyde, Midlothian, North Lanarkshire, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, South Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire or West Lothian - there will also be a strategic development plan covering all or part of your area. The strategic development plan sets out the long-term development of the city region and deals with region-wide issues such as housing and transport.

Councils can also prepare supplementary guidance. A wealth of information on the planning system is available on the Scottish Government website. 

After significant representation by Scottish Land & Estates, local authorities across Scotland are adopting the positive messages set out with the consolidated Scottish Planning Policy. Supportive planning policy is critical to rural development whether for housing or business and diversification.

Scottish Land & Estates can provide advice and support to members on planning policy issues but is unable to advise on individual planning applications.

Scottish Land & Estates Responds to Amendments to the Modernised Planning System

Scottish Land & Estates recently responded to the Scottish Government's consultation entitled Amendments to the Modernised Planning System. Scottish Land & Estates is supportive of the majority of the proposals contained within the consultation, although has advised that the proposed amendments will not address the issues being experienced  in relation to neighbour notification and bare land.
Letter from Chief Planner on Affordable Housing  

The Scottish Government's Chief Planner, Jim Mackinnon, has written to all local authorities regarding affordable housing policies and the importance of these reflecting the current economic climate.

    Information Sheets

    • 16/06/2017 - Planning 11 - EIA Directive
      This information sheet outlines the main changes to Environmental Impact Assessment regulataions following the transposition of European Directive 2014/52/EU.
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    • 02/06/2017 - Planning 10 - Raising Planning Fees
      This information sheet provides guidance regarding the increases in planning fees for full applications and planning permission in principle for certain categories that take effect 1 June 2017.
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    • 05/08/2015 - Planning 09 - Demolitions
      This information sheet provides guidance on the planning regulations related to the demolition of buildings.
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    • 10/03/2015 - Planning 06. SDP and LDP Timetable
      This infomation sheet provides an overview of the progress of Strategic Development Plans and Local Development Plans.
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    • 09/07/2013 - Planning 08: South Ayrshire Council Planning Service
      There have been a number of recent changes in the planning service at South Ayrshire Council and there are more changes planned in the near future which will impact on the planning process.
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    • 09/07/2013 - Planning 02: Promoting Land for Development
      Development Plans in Scotland are undergoing significant changes at present and the new system is slowly beginning to take effect. For many people their main experience of the planning system is through the planning application process. However by the time you reach that point, the dye is usually cast by the Development
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    • 09/07/2013 - Planning 01: Climate Change and Planning
      Climate Change and Planning Both businesses and the planning system often have to cope with new priorities and procedures. One key priority is climate change. Climate change and the need to both mitigate and adapt to its effects on land, property and business is a key priority for rural businesses, landowners and Estates
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    • 16/01/2012 - Planning 07: Fishing Huts – What requires planning permission?
      This Information Sheet highlights the importance of ensuring that the correct procedures have been undertaken when determining whether planning permission is required to erect a fishing hut and addresses the implications for huts constructed without the necessary permission in place.
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    • 21/06/2011 - Planning 03: Development Plan Changes
        The new Planning Act will continue to place a very strong legal presumption on planning decisions being taken in accordance with "development plans". New regulations made under the Act have changed the structure and process behind the creation of these development plans, with the result that are changes to the way applicatio
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    • 22/06/2009 - Planning 05: Planning Appeals
      As part of the Scottish Planning Reform the Planning Appeals process is changing - and the regulations come into effect on 3 August 2009. 
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