Local development planning - regulations and guidance: consultation

Closed 31 Mar 2022

Opened 17 Dec 2021

Feedback updated 5 Dec 2022

We asked

We asked for views on the Scottish Government's proposals on secondary legislative requirements in draft regulations and guidance on Local Development Planning . These will support the implementation of the future local development plan system,  a system which manages the development and use of land in the long term public interest. The consultation comprised 4 parts:

  • Part A, the Introduction;
  • Part B, the Proposals for Regulations, including draft regulations;
  • Part C, Draft Guidance (covering both procedural aspects and guidance on implementing thematic national planning policy through local development plans); and
  • Part D, Interim Impact Assessments.

We asked 32 consultation questions. These sought views on our proposed approach of keeping regulations to the minimum necessary, around detailed wording aspects of the draft regulations, the interim impact assessments and pre-screenings and on the draft guidance. We asked for responses by 31 March 2022, allowing around 15 weeks for comments.

You said

You provided us with 87 responses to our consultation questions. These included responses from 78 organisations and 9 from the category of community and individuals. Respondents included planning authorities, key agencies and the public sector, development, property and land management bodies, the energy sector, the third sector, professional and representative bodies as well as communities and individuals.

We commissioned Ironside Farrar to undertake an independent analysis of your comments, the report provides the detail of your comments and sets out some main conclusions.

Respondents were generally supportive regarding the proposed Guidance and Regulations, with a series of comments on the detailed wording.  Key recurring issues included:

  • Both the new Evidence Report and Gate Check stages attracted a significant volume of comments. There were calls for minimum evidence and consultation requirements to be applied to the Evidence Report. Regulations on the scope of the Gate Check regulations would be welcomed by respondents, to establish what can be re-visited at the point of Examination.
  • Local variation was a recurring concern for all sectors. Respondents sought clarity that policies can be varied from national level to suit local situations. A legal framework was suggested to provide security alongside additional regulatory provisions to define the circumstances which may require a different policy approach in LDPs, and the process by which Planning Authorities are to justify any such deviations from the NPF.
  • In terms of the draft guidance, the Thematic Guidance section of the consultation was subject to the highest level of engagement in the consultation process. Clarification was sought around the indicative and prescriptive elements of the guidance and on requirements such as evidence gathering. Guidance was requested to establish the level of output expected by a planning authority in conjunction with the requirements of the Act.
  • Multiple respondents noted that Planning Authorities are operating with minimal funding and resources to support good planning and delivery of development and related projects.

We did

We are taking account of the responses, which will inform the development of the final regulations and accompanying guidance.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


This consultation seeks views on the secondary legislative requirements and the draft guidance to stakeholders on implementing the future local development plan system.  There are 4 parts: Part A, the Introduction; Part B, the Proposals for Regulations, including draft regulations; Part C, Draft Guidance; and Part D, the Impact Assessments. 

Read the Consultation Papers: 

*Please note all the Consultation questions are included in Part A

Local Development Planning - Regulations & Guidance Consultation -  Part A -  Introduction 

Local Development Planning - Regulations & Guidance Consultation -  Part  B - Proposals for Development Planning Regulations

Local Development Planning - Regulations & Guidance Consultation -  Part C -  Draft Guidance on Local Development Planning

Local Development Planning - Regulations & Guidance Consultation -  Part D -  Interim 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 and guidance, plus other interested parties and the wider public. The regulations and guidance will be finalised taking account of the views gathered through the public consultation.


  • Building and Planning