Scotland Policy Conferences

The future for planning in Scotland: the Planning Act, delivering reform, and next steps in the National Planning Framework

Morning, Wednesday, 9th October 2019

Central Edinburgh


The conference will be an opportunity to discuss the way forward following passage of the Planning (Scotland) Bill, which aims to strengthen the planning system so that it contributes more to economic growth, housing and infrastructure delivery and community empowerment.

Delegates will discuss the key elements of the Bill including the introduction of ‘local place plans’ drawn up by community bodies and which have to be taken in to account by local authorities (LAs) when they are taking planning decisions.

They will look at the likely impact of ‘local place plans’ on LAs and the decision making process, as well as which groups are likely to gain influence from their introduction amidst concerns that the Bill will lessen community empowerment and public trust in the planning system because of the removal of the right to appeal.

Looking towards National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4), meeting Scotland’s infrastructure needs and planning in rural Scotland

Further sessions will examine the future direction of the National Planning Framework and shaping future national strategic planning policy in Scotland.

It takes place as discussions begin on the development of ‘NPF4’ which is expected to be adopted next year. With The Scottish Government suggesting that NPF4 will be ‘radically different’ delegates will discuss how it will expand on the current framework and what more it should advocate.

Delegates will also look at how best to support Scotland’s infrastructure plans with the new framework aiming to develop a spatial plan for Scotland until 2050 and the Planning Bill making provision for the introduction of an infrastructure levy on land use payable to local authorities. There will be discussion on how to successfully introduce the levy following concerns surrounding its complexity for LAs in terms of rollout and the potentially limited funds it will raise following the introduction of a similar system in England.

There will also be discussion on the future of planning policy in rural Scotland following the launch of the rural planning research project, which will inform NPF4.

Keynote Speaker

John McNairney

Chief Planner, The Scottish Government

Keynote Speakers

John McNairney

Chief Planner, The Scottish Government

Petra Biberbach

Chief Executive, PAS


Linda Fabiani MSP

Convener, Cross-Party Group on Architecture and the Built Environment


David Leslie

Chair, Heads of Planning Scotland

Professor Brian Evans

City Urbanist, Glasgow City Council

Clare Symonds

Chair, Planning Democracy

Craig McLaren

Director of Scotland and Ireland, Royal Town Planning Institute

Tammy Swift-Adams

Director, Planning, Homes for Scotland

Sarah Baillie

Partner, Planning, Addleshaw Goddard

Debbie Mackay

Director, Planning, Savills

Councillor Greg Hepburn

Member, Glasgow City Council and Board Member, Clyde Gateway