Home > Policy > CONSULTATION RESPONSE: National Planning Framework 4

22 February 2021 | Infrastructure

CONSULTATION RESPONSE: National Planning Framework 4


CONSULTATION RESPONSE: National Planning Framework 4 Position Statement

The Scottish Government has set out its current thinking on proposed reforms to the planning system in its Position Statement on the National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4), which is still under development.

The Position Statement addresses important issues such as climate change, resilience and wellbeing and discusses potential policy ideas which are under consideration. A full draft NPF4 will be published for further consultation and scrutiny in Autumn 2021.

SCDI’s response on behalf of our members builds on our Clean Growth Manifesto and Green Recovery Plan and includes the following key points:

  • Planning for Net Zero by 2045 should be an essential and overarching priority for NPF4
  • NPF4 should support productivity, inclusive growth and inward investment (e.g. supply of affordable, sustainable housing to retain and attract talent and for key workers)
  • NPF4 should deliver positive effects for biodiversity and ensure all plans and developments are aligned with Scotland’s emissions targets
  • NPF4 should recognise a new ‘presumption in favour’ (within the context of plan-led development) for developments which are essential to achieve Net Zero (e.g. active travel freeways, onshore wind farms)
  • We support plans to embed the sustainable travel hierarchy into development proposals and their appraisal
  • We support the ’20-minute neighbourhoods’ agenda and welcome the commitment to embed it within NPF4
  • Levelling the digital playing field across Scotland should be a key priority for NPF4 as part of a Green Recovery and Just Transition
  • NPF4 should help revitalise our town and city centres by building more diverse and resilient urban economies with office, commercial, industrial, residential and natural space
  • Scotland’s towns and cities should develop ‘Green Town/City Plans’ with support from the Scottish Government and local partners to reduce emissions, improve transport and increase sustainability
  • NPF4 should ultimately deliver a more efficient, streamlined, ambitious and appropriately resourced planning system across Scotland. There is an urgent need for greater investment in the capacity and skills of the workforce to meet higher and more complex demand, especially in local authorities

You can download our full response below.