News In Focus
Ministers confirm national planning strategy
Scottish ministers have published the final versions of the documents that will shape long term economic development and local planning policy across the country.
Previously consulted on in draft, the National Planning Framework 3 and Scottish Plannng Policy will govern areas such as transport, town centres, energy and infrastructure, aiming to balance economic growth with protection of the environment.
NPF3 confirms the Government’s support for 14 large-scale national developments, including major regeneration schemes at Dundee Waterfront and Ravenscraig, carbon capture and storage schemes in Peterhead and Grangemouth, and support for improvements at Scotland's airports.
The SPP sets out national planning policies which reflect ministers' priorities for operation of the planning system, and for the development and use of land. It directly relates to the preparation of development plans; the design of development, from initial concept through to delivery; and the determination of planning applications and appeals.
While reaffirming the Government's commitment to renewable energy, the documents place a ban on windfarm development in the 19% of Scotland identified as national parks and national scenic areas, and extend "significant protection" to sensitive areas of land identified in Scottish Natural Heritage’s Wild Land Areas Map 2014, also newly published.
Tighter controls on onshore oil and gas developments have been introduced, including new requirements for buffer zones in relation to hydraulic fracturing, to protect communities and the environment, and for operators to consult with communities on their proposals.
Launching the documents, Planning Minister Derek Mackay said: “Our ambition is to create great places that support economic growth across the country, and together, NPF3 and the SPP set out a shared vision for Scotland as a place which benefits from a positive planning system that protects our unique environment.
“NPF3 confirms our support for 14 national developments that will drive economic growth, champion our most successful places, and support changes in areas where, in the past, there has been a legacy of decline.
“This strategic focus will support the regeneration and reindustrialisation of Scotland, as well as improving transport and connectivity links, and ensuring sustainable development through support for green networks and low carbon energy supply.”