APRS is working to uphold and strengthen the protection given to Scotland’s  Green Belts. 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.

Green Belts

A Green Belt is the designated open land around, beside or within an urban area where there is a presumption against development. Green Belts are designated by local authorities to: help protect countryside by containing urban sprawl; preserve and enhance the landscape settings of towns and cities; give urban residents access to open areas; and direct any necessary growth into more  appropriate locations within settlements. The paragraphs of Scottish Planning Policy (2014) that directly relate to Green Belts can be seen here.

  • We have established the APRS Green Belts Alliance – a new network of local organisations interested in protecting Green Belts
  • We published an Advice Note on Green Belts to raise awareness and inform members of the public who are concerned about developments in their area
  • When resources allow we provide tailored advice to APRS members on and very occasionally become directly involved in specific cases (see Planning Case Studies)
  • We press central and local government for better protection of designated Green Belts and for an equal right of appeal in the Scottish planning system
  • We encourage greater awareness of the benefits of Green Belts amongst decision-makers and the general public
  • We sent in a submission to the Scottish Government’s Call for Ideas for the forthcoming National Planning Framework 4, urging stronger protection for Green Belts and followed this up with a response to the NPF4 Position Statement in 2021.
  • We produced proposals for a manifesto on Green Belts in advance of the Scottish Parliament Elections in May 2021.

APRS Learning Resources

Where is your local Green Belt area?

Below are maps for all Green Belt (GB) areas in Scotland. Please click on the map to open it. For a PDF version, please contact Please note: GB boundaries shown on the maps were correct in 2020 according to the Improvement Service funded by Scottish Government. GB boundaries can change over time, so for current positions please contact your local Council.

Please see our new learning resources for more Green Belt worksheets and activities for use in the classroom or at home.

Image copyright Alex Berger

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