Open Space Strategies and Play Sufficiency Assessments

Closed 31 Mar 2022

Opened 17 Dec 2021

Feedback updated 8 Nov 2022

We asked

In developing the proposals for secondary legislation in connection with the new duties on planning authorities to prepare open space strategies and to assess play sufficiency for children in their areas, Scottish Government has engaged with stakeholders from across Scotland to help shape the provisions in the two sets of Draft Regulations, which we published for public consultation on 17 December 2021. We asked 22 questions which included both closed and open sub-questions, and sought to gather views from stakeholders and the public with regards the proposed provisions in the draft Regulations and the associated partial / interim Impact Assessments.

In addition to the main public consultation, a children and young people’s (CYP) survey was designed and co-ordinated by Play Scotland. This included 8 questions for primary school aged children, and 14 questions for secondary school aged children. This element of the consultation sought to gather the views of children and young people on issues relevant to the subject of the main consultation, focussing mainly on gathering perceptions relating to the quality and quantity of open spaces and play areas that children and young people have access to in their local areas.

You said

Both the public consultation and the children and young people’s survey closed on 31 March 2022. A total of 68 responses were submitted to the public consultation from a range of stakeholders including local authorities, agencies, third sectors and individuals. If we received additional responses via different platform or after the closing date they do not feature in the analysis, but will be considered if relevant.

In addition, a total of 1066 primary and secondary school aged respondents were involved in the consultation through the CYP survey. Of these, 140 were individual responses to the survey, and 926 children and young people were involved in 36 group responses.

It is clear from the main consultation that, to varying degrees, there is consistent majority support on most aspects included in both sets of draft regulations. Where comments were made, they were generally about clarification and / or refinement. Some concerns were raised around potential resource and expertise implications within planning authorities in implementation. There were also calls for additional guidance and sharing of good practice that could help better understanding and support implementation.

We did

The responses to the main consultation and the children and young people’s survey have now been analysed and the consultation analysis report published on 8 November 2022.

All responses, together with the consultation analysis report will inform and shape the final Open Space Strategies Regulations and the Play Sufficiency Assessment Regulations. 

Published responses

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


Open spaces, green infrastructure and outdoor places to play are key components in successful placemaking, helping to create pleasant, liveable, healthy and resilient communities. Considering access to quality open space, green infrastructure, and play opportunities as a key part of placemaking can help realise our ambitions for delivering 20 minute neighbourhoods.

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 introduced new duties on planning authorities to prepare and publish an Open Space Strategy, and to assess the sufficiency of play opportunities in their area for children.

The Act outlines the purpose of Open Space Strategies and Play Sufficiency Assessments, and gives Scottish Ministers powers to prepare regulations, concerning a range of detailed aspects around their content and preparation and engagement requirements. This Consultation Paper discusses the proposed provisions and seeks views on both sets of draft regulations.

Read the consultation paper - Consultation on Open Space Strategies and Play Sufficiency Assessments Regulations

Open Space Strategies and Play Sufficiency Assessments Regulations -  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. Both sets of regulations will be finalised taking account of the views gathered through the public consultation.


  • Building and Planning