APRS Resources

Consultation on Amending NPF4 and LDP

National Planning Framework and local development plans – proposals for amending regulations: consultation 

deadline 22nd May

APRS response to a Scottish Government Consultation on proposals for the regulations on procedures to amend the National Planning Framework and Local Development Plans.

The stated aim by Government is to ensure the planning system is more responsive and streamlined, whilst balancing the need for robust justification, engagement and scrutiny.

Question 1: To what extent do you agree that it is appropriate to adopt a broad and high-level approach as to when a full review of the NPF is required?

Strongly Agree

Question 2: In cases where amendments would require changes to half or more of the contents of the NPF, to what extent do you agree that a full review of the NPF would be required? 

Agree

Question 3: In preparing an amendment to the NPF, to what extent do you agree that the Scottish Ministers should have the same considerations as they would for a full review of the NPF, where that is relevant to the proposed amendment?

Agree. Amending the NPF should be subject to scrutiny by the relevant committee, engagement with relevant stakeholders, and open to public comment.

Question 5: To what extent do you agree that a copy of the proposed amendment should be laid in the Scottish Parliament during the consultation period?

Agree – Amendments should be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny. They should be laid in the Parliament and subject to more in-depth scrutiny by the relevant Scottish Parliament committee.

Question 6: To what extent do you agree with the proposed minimum 6 week consultation period, understanding that the timescale may be extended when deemed appropriate given the significance and nature of the amendment? 

Agree

Question 7: To what extent do you agree that the Scottish Ministers be required to publish an Explanatory Report before the amended NPF is adopted? 

Agree

Question 8:

To what extent do you agree that all amendments to the NPF should have to be approved by a resolution of the Scottish Parliament? 

Agree

Question 9: To what extent do you agree that the amended NPF should take effect when it has been adopted by Scottish Ministers?

Agree

Question 10: To what extent do you agree that the full updated version of the amended NPF, incorporating the amendment, should be published as soon as practicable after it has been adopted by Scottish Ministers? 

Agree

Question 11: To what extent do you agree that planning authorities should be required to have regard to community engagement guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers under section 16C when amending a LDP?

Agree

Planning authorities should be required to have regard to community engagement guidance. How this engagement looks will vary by local authority and should be tailored to the needs of local communities, though Scottish Ministers should equip local authorities with proper tools and guidance to empower communities to understand and engage with the LDP amendment process. 

There should be a degree of proportionality as to how much resource a local authority should be required to input into consultations regarding LDP changes. In particular, those living near, or likely to be impacted by, changes to site allocations should be properly notified and given reasonable opportunity to respond to proposals and potentially influence the decision. With regard to changes in LDP policies, the local authority should identify and consult with groups deemed to be relevant to that policy, as well as hold an open call for views.

In applicable cases, engagement should go beyond the standard online and newspaper notification process, and should include guidance for in-person events and in empowering hard to reach groups to get involved. We recognise that many local authorities are currently under-resourced, particularly in planning departments, so tools like an engagement checklist or an advice hotline for planning authorities could really benefit community empowerment. It should also include guidance, in particular, on engaging with neighbours of any sites impacted by changes to the LDP.

Question 12: To what extent do you agree that planning authorities should be required to provide a statement outlining how they intend to engage with stakeholders on an amendment to a LDP?

Strongly agree – in a similar manner to producing a development plan scheme the planning authority should be required to publish this plan and consult the public on a draft participation statement.

Planning authorities should also take into account any Local Place Plan prepared for the relevant area in the time between the adoption of the LDP and the amendment. This would ensure that Local Place Plans prepared after the deadline for influencing the original LDP are still relevant and considered when amending the LDP. 

Question 13: To what extent do you agree that not every amendment to a LDP should require specific participation of children and young people?

Agree. 

Not every amendment should require specific participation of children and young people, if not engaging with children and young people, planning authorities should be required to set out in a statement why this decision was taken and how it was determined that specific participation of this group was not required. 

Question 14: To what extent do you agree that, when preparing an amendment, a planning authority must have regard to the information and considerations set out in regulation 9 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland)(Development Planning) regulations 2023?

Agree – in addition planning authorities should be required to take into consideration relevant upcoming legislation, namely the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy and National Adaptation Plan, once these are implemented. 

Question 15: To what extent do you agree that an authority should be required to collate relevant evidence to inform the proposed amendment and prepare a Justification of Amendment Statement?

Strongly agree

Question 16: To what extent do you agree that a Play Sufficiency Assessment should not be required for an amendment to a LDP?

Disagree?

In areas where sites or policies relevant to outdoor or play spaces are being altered, a Play Sufficiency Assessment should be required. 

Question 17: To what extent do you agree that an authority should not be required to have regard to the self-build list for every amendment to a LDP? See comment

Where relevant, it is sufficient for a LA to take into account information on self build.

Question 18: To what extent do you agree that approval by the full council is not always required before the publication of a proposed amendment to a LDP for consultation?
Question 19: To what extent do you agree that the proposed amendment to a LDP should be published for consultation, alongside the Justification of Amendment statement and any statement on the consequences for the Delivery Programme which are to be published for information?

Strongly agree – those living in areas surrounding allocated site changes should also be notified of any relevant changes. Members of the public should be given an opportunity to respond to proposed amendments, and these responses should be taken into consideration by the planning authority before the amendment is adopted.

Question 20: To what extent do you agree that planning authorities should be required to notify Scottish Ministers and to consult with the public at large and key agencies, alongside others they consider appropriate, when amending a LDP?

Strongly Agree

Question 21: To what extent do you agree with the proposed minimum 6 weeks consultation period, understanding that the timescale may be extended when deemed appropriate given the scale of the amendment? 

Agree – particularly that the period must be extended if the scale of the amendment is considerable. 

Question 23: To what extent do you agree that an amendment to a LDP should take effect when it is adopted by the planning authority? 

Agree

Question 24: To what extent do you agree that a full, updated version of the amended LDP, incorporating the amendment, should be published in the same way as the initial LDP?

Strongly agree. This should be published and publicised in the same way as the initial LDP.

Question 25: To what extent do you agree with our approach to the impact assessments for the proposed regulations? 

Agree

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