Why it’s more important than ever to participate in Local Development Plans before they get set in stone

Why it’s more important than ever to participate in Local Development Plans before they get set in stone

28 Nov 2023

The sweeping changes initiated by The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 are now becoming more concrete as the reforms and policies take shape in the form of Scotland’s Local Development Plans (LDPs). These are currently being scoped, developed and refined by all 32 of Scotland’s local authorities, in line with the new National Planning Framework (NPF4), and will be rolled out over the next few years.

Some local authorities are progressing theirs faster than others, and there are eight that are currently leading the field. These include: Western Isles, Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire, Glasgow, West Lothian, Aberdeen City and Falkirk.

If you have land or development proposals which you would like to be included in these plans, it is imperative that you act now to ensure your ideas are considered especially as these new LDP’s are now ten-year plans rather than five-year plans. Missing the opportunity to influence them now could prove costly.

Giving your ideas the greatest chance of success

Part of the consultation process for each LDP is a new “Call for Ideas.” This is the point where landowners, developers and communities can submit their suggestions and proposals and potentially influence zoning decisions and influence land use diversification. An in-depth understanding of the strategies and priorities laid out in NPF4 will clearly be invaluable in making the case for whatever you are proposing.  Understanding the policy direction in NPF4 enables us to adopt key principles of good planning that will support proposals and future projects. 

Many of the policy directives contained in NPF4 are new, including requirements to address the climate emergency, the nature crisis, community wealth building, human rights and equality, and delivering localism across a variety of urban, suburban and rural places.

Incorporating these new considerations will be a real challenge for local authority planning teams but they present real opportunities for landowners, developers and communities to bring forward innovative and progressive approaches. To make the most of these opportunities, it is vital to work with a planning team with a real depth of understanding of the challenges facing local authorities and the imagination to develop ideas and proposals that inspire planning officials and help to answer their needs and aspirations.

Deadlines are looming, so now is the time to get plans onto the table.

Western Isles and Renfrewshire have scheduled their Calls for Ideas for November 2023. North Ayrshire have scheduled theirs for April 2024, Glasgow and West Lothian’s are both for July 2024 and Aberdeen City and Falkirk’s is scheduled for October 2024. Scotland’s other 25 local authorities will be following suit in due course, and we’ll be keeping a close watching brief on developments so we can advise our existing clients across Scotland on deadlines for their land and development proposals.

Selecting the right planning consultancy is essential.

An in-depth understanding of Scottish local authority planning landscape will be invaluable if you are to maximise the potential of your land holding and development prospects over the coming years. Your planning consultants should also be fully conversant with the policy direction contained within NPF4 and the goals that local authorities will be seeking to achieve in their LDPs. They should also have a very clear picture of the nuanced requirements of each individual Scottish local authority, so they can react swiftly to meet the forthcoming consultation deadlines.  

Halliday Fraser Munro’s planning team benefit from a wealth of experience right across Scotland, working both within planning departments and as planning and masterplanning consultants. Consequently, we can deliver real insights for clients and landowners looking to influence strategic and policy planning. We have also been heavily involved with groundbreaking projects in Scotland and further afield and, as a result, we have the expertise and breadth of knowledge to generate the kind of innovative ideas that will inspire local authority planning departments and facilitate new land use and diversification strategies.

To discuss how we can ensure your aspirations for landholdings and development opportunities are built into the relevant LDPs, get in touch: planning@hfm.co.uk.