Green Belts Campaign

Green Belts Campaign

Green Belt in Renfrewshire. Photo: Kat Jones

APRS has been campaigning on Green Belts for over 90 years and we are still working to uphold and strengthen the protection of these vital spaces around our cities for nature and for people.

We support the presumption against development on designated Green Belt land and believe that permission for any development of Green Belt  should only be given in exceptional circumstances. Such planning decisions  should be democratically arrived at, through the Local Development Plan  process, rather than via speculative applications.

Walking the Green Belts

Follow APRS Director, Kat Jones, as she walks the Green Belts of Greater Glasgow, meeting campaigners, and learning about the importance of Green Belts.

Read the Blog

What is a Green Belt?

A Green Belt is a designated area of open land which is around, beside, or in an urban area. In a Green Belt, there is a presumption against development apart from specific uses, particularly for agricultural or renewable energy purposes. Scotland has 11 Green Belts designated by 21 local authorities.

Green Belts have many benefits. Their primary purpose is to ensure that urban growth is compact and that land around towns and cities is used sustainably. They can also give space to nature, enhance biodiversity, and provide green areas to benefit the physical and mental well-being of the local community.

However, Green Belts are often under threat of erosion and unsustainable development.

Where is my Green Belt?

Help finding your local Green Belt

This Green Belt map produced by The Spatial Hub shows Scotland’s Green Belts, except for North Ayrshire. To be certain of a completely current Green Belt map please check your Local Authority’s Local Development Plan

To see PDFs of each Green Belt please click button below. These were created from the Spatial Hub in 2020 so for the more up to date information please use the spatial hub, or the Local Development Plan

Green Belt Campaigning

We have been campaigning on planning issues for nearly a century, since we formed in 1926. the first Green Belts came to Scotland n the 1950s, and we have supported groups to protect their Green Belts ever since.

APRS offer advice for people who are opposing unsustainable and unallocated1 development in their green belts – we have lots of online resources people can use and some online training to watch to help get your head around the planning system.

Selected Resources on Green Belts and Planning

Is your Green Belt under threat from unsustainable development? APRS have prepared several resources to help you navigate the planning system and protect your Green Belt.

The new National Planning Framework (NPF4) section on Green Belts is vital reading as the NPF4 Policies now form part of the Development Plan for all parts of Scotland and are to be considered in every planning decision.

  • Green Belts Advice Note

    This advice note is intended to help individuals and communities understand and protect their local Green Belt.

  • NPF4 Green Belt Policies

    This is an extract from the Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework 4, Part 2 – National Planning Policy. It is the section of policies related to Green Belt. You can read the whole NPF4 online

  • Advice Note on the Planning System

    We regularly give advice on various topics relating to our work and objectives and also respond to many enquiries from our members and the general public. This document provides general information on the Planning System

  • Planning Case Studies 2009-2014

    These Case Studies provide examples of cases where we have provided advice and help local communities engage with landscape change in their areas.. They provide an insight into the type of work we do.

  • Planning Resources

    This resource provides information on strategic and local planning across Scotland and gives links to the websites containing planning information for particular areas.

The Wonders of your Green Belt

We believe that Green Belts, as well as performing the planning function of discouraging city sprawl and encouraging development of brownfield sites, have many other functions. They are important for reducing flood risk by absorbing runoff that would otherwise enter rivers and burns, they provide habitats for wildlife, land for food production and also opportunities for recreation in countryside close to where people live.

We want to help people find walks and activities in their local Green Belts and so we are starting to create a bank of walks.

Walk your local Green Belt

We are compiling a list of lovely circular and point to point walks in Scotland’s Green Belts.

The aim of our page of local walks is to provide information for people to enjoy the countryside close to where they live and to get people out in our Green Belts to see for themselves the value of these places.

We need your help – submit walks from your local Green Belt so we can share them.

The APRS Green Belts Alliance

APRS support groups and individuals campaigning to protect their Green Belt through our Green Belts Alliance. We create guidance, campaign, meet as a network and have a regular email newsletter on issues of interest.

If you’d like to join our Green Belts Alliance you can do so below.

Our recent Objections

We do not generally get involved ourselves in objecting to developments unless they are likely to be a key test case or nationally important for determining future policy, but in exceptional cases we do issue an Objection.

  • Objection to Europark

    This is an addendum to our original Objection to the proposed development at the edge of Calderbank known as Europark

  • Representation on Whitehall BESS  

    This letter is our Objection to the Battery Storage Facility application ECU00004982 on 29 Hectares of Land near Cochno which would impact access, green belt and an important set of Neolithic carved stones


Why are green belts so vital in a climate and nature emergency? Nikki Sinclair explains.

What is a Green Belt? A Green Belt is the designated open land around, beside or within an urban area

Green Belts and NPF4 Recorded : Wednesday 17th January 2024 This webinar will help resource those campaigning specifically to stop

Latest News on Green Belts


Given APRS and Green Belt Alliance advocacy on NPF4, it seems that the clearer policy protection against most developments on designated Green Belts is being supported by decisions.


We teamed up with Planning Democracy to run a series of webinars on different aspects of the new National Planning Framework 4 and the planning system. Watch the sessions now.


We are encouraging our supporters to object to the development of battery storage at Cochno in the green belt, which impacts on core paths and one of the densest and most accessible accumulations of pre-historic rock art in Scotland’s central belt.


APRS’s campaigning has lead to some key improvements for green belt protection in the latest planning law. In this blog Nikki Sinclair, our Green Belts Alliance Manager explains what the new planning framework means for communities campaigning on planning and for protection of green belts.

New Advice Note on Green Belts and NPF4

We have completely updated our Advice Note to help campaigners since NPF4 was published.

Read the Advice Note

Your local plan

Local Development Plans give a blueprint for development in your area for the next 10 years, many are being written now and communities should have a say.


This is an overview of the Scottish Planning System to help campaigners understand what can be a complex area of policy.

Other Useful Resources

There are some incredible resources available to help campaigners with planning

Planning Democracy

Planning Democracy has a whole set of resources for communities and individuals looking to

RSPB Scotland

RSPB Scotland has a webpage of useful information for people wanting to get involved in planning issues, this includes general information about the planning system, how to run a campaign and specific guidance for example protecting birds and wildlife, trees and woodland, and addressing climate change.

Local Place Plans Guidance

The Our Place website is devoted to promoting the benefits of place and place-based working, they have some guidance on Local Place Plans. You can see all their resources here

Join the Green Belts Alliance


APRS gratefully acknowledges the funding we have received for this project.

  1. Meaning unallocated in the Local Development Plan – ie sites that have been designated as green belt in the most recent local development plan ↩︎
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