Masterplan consent area regulations: consultation

Closed 22 May 2024

Opened 28 Feb 2024


This consultation relates to proposed regulations on the procedures to prepare Masterplan Consent Areas (MCAs). 

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 introduced MCAs, which will have expanded powers building upon Simplified Planning Zones. They will allow planning authorities to take a place leadership role, by proactively consenting the type and quality of development they wish to see in their places.  

Planning authorities will be able to prepare a MCA ‘Scheme’ setting out what they are giving consent for, through the scheme. These can also be prepared in collaboration with stakeholders. MCAs allow for frontloading scrutiny and streamlining consents, as MCAs will be broader in scope than SPZs, being able grant planning permission, plus roads construction, listed building and conservation area consent  – where provided for in the particular MCA scheme.

MCAs will help to facilitate investment in places, by providing certainty and direction to investors. Once the MCA is ‘made’ (adopted) development could be brought forward without the need for an application providing it is in line with the scheme. 

The 2019 Act establishes the principles for establishing MCAs, but regulations are required to set out the detailed procedures to enable planning authorities to use this new consenting mechanism.

This consultation sets out the proposed procedures and includes two sets of regulations: the first covering the main process for making MCA schemes and secondly separate regulations covering EIA provisions for MCAs.

Read the consultation paper and impact assessments

Why your views matter

Consultation is an essential part of the policymaking process. This consultation seeks feedback from those who will use the legislation, plus other interested parties and the wider public. The regulations will be finalised taking account of the views gathered through the public consultation.

What happens next

This consultation is now closed.

All responses will now be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us finalise the regulations. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. A consultation analysis report will also be made available in due course.



  • Building and Planning
  • Main hub