Reforms to planning

Reforming the planning system

A high quality planning system is essential to create quality places with the homes, infrastructure and investment that people need.

The Scottish Government has reformed the planning system with the stated aim: "To improve Scotland's planning system, to strengthen the contribution planning can make to inclusive growth, to delivering housing and infrastructure and to empowering communities."

Transforming planning in practice

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 was passed by the Scottish Parliament in June 2019. This  determines the future structure of the modernised planning system.

The detail of how the new Act’s provisions will work in practice will be contained within secondary legislation and guidance, which are being developed.  

This programme also includes preparation of the Government's fourth National Planning Framework, reviewing a range of permitted development rights and progressing the digital transformation of the planning system.

The Scottish Government wants people to be involved as they develop and implement these crucial improvements to the planning system. 

You can find more information and resources about the planning transformation programme, including how to keep up-to-date and to be involved, at

The ways that can be used by communities to participate in all aspects of this planning agenda can be found in the Community Place Plans section of this website. 

Related Resources

The Planning Journey: 10 Junctions A Town Planners Perspective

This guide seeks to help you think creatively about how to engage in the planning process. It looks at real circumstances or possible examples which may help communities think of alternative ways to be involved in the planning process, to secure benefits through development which may not otherwise be available to them.
In this webinar, Sheila Hobbs, Planning Director from Scott Hobbs Planning discusses different strategies to provide solutions to problems faced throughout the planning process.