Significant changes are being made to the Scottish planning system as the Government continues to implement the 2019 Planning Act.

Most notable is the move to have the housing land supply set nationally, by Scottish Ministers, through the Draft Fourth National Planning Framework (Draft NPF4) which was laid in Parliament on 10 November 2021. 

The Draft NPF4, once approved by the Scottish Parliament and adopted by the Scottish Ministers (expected during 2022), will become part of the statutory development plan, and will directly influence planning decisions. While this is still subject to change, it does begin to provide an indication of the areas where additional land will probably be required for housing in the short, medium, and long-term.

The Housing Land numbers set in NPF4 will inform each Local Authority’s Local Development Plans and the allocation of sites for housing across Scotland. This is particularly important as Scotland moves to 10-year development plans, where there will likely be fewer short-term opportunities to promote new sites for housing.

The Draft NPF4 sets out a “Minimum All-Tenure Housing Land Requirement” for each Local Authority. Within South Lanarkshire, for example, this would require the allocation of land for 7,850 houses in the next Local Development Plan (LDP) and in East Lothian the LDP would have to provide land for at least 6,400 homes.

In light of this, we would recommend you seek specialist advice to establish how the Draft NPF4 will impact the promotion of your land for housing. Our Planning and Development Team has the knowledge and track record to ensure that the landowner’s interests are protected and optimised throughout the land promotion process.

An early lead-in will give landowners enough time to start the complex and time-consuming process of negotiating an Option/Promotion Agreement with either a housebuilder or land promotor before the preparation of new Local Development Plans commences.