MacKay Hannah

ONLINE CONFERENCE Implementing Scotland's New Planning Act: Where are we now and what happens next?

Tue 24th Nov 2020

OVERVIEW View Conference Agenda

This online conference examines the Scottish Government’s implementation of the new Planning Act, what needs to happen for the Act to meet its original objectives for planning in Scotland and which issues remain to be defined in order to give full effect to the content of the Act.

The intention of the new Planning Act for Scotland was to..."change planning's operation and its reputation from that of a regulator to a positive and active enabler of good quality development...". The Scottish Government has also stated that "We want to take forward these reforms in a collaborative way and it is vital that people are able and have the capacity to participate in the reshaping of their planning system."

The conference is timed to enable engagement with two key parts of the next stage in the Scottish Government Planning and Architecture Division's published 'Transforming Planning in Practice - Post-Bill Work Programme'.

The first is the engagement exercise on NPF4 prior to publication of a draft for public consultation in the autumn of 2020. The second is in two parts - how the range of measures such as fees and Chief Planner Officer roles will shape the quality of performance by planning authorities and then how coherence will be given to delivering effective national, regional and local plans together with meaningful community involvement.

The conference will interpret the content of the new planning laws and discuss how they will change the planning process and system. It will outline the implications of those changes for planners, developers, communities and the wider economy and also assess what is not specified in the Act and is yet to be brought forward in consequence of the legislation.

The conference will assess the impact of the new Planning Act, the consequences of the Act for all parties to the planning process, and the broader expectations of planning in playing a key role in addressing climate change and reducing emissions as set out in the Scottish Government's 2019-20 Programme for Government.


Key Points


  • Discuss the Act, NPF4 and getting the new system up and running
  • Examine the importance of delivering on plan led strategies - getting to spatial rather than appeal-based decisions
  • Assess the challenge of shaping coherent planning services - addressing internal and external drivers
  • Explore what an effective system of fees and performance should be
  • Learn about the role of the Chief Planning Officer under the Act
  • Focus on external determinants of planning quality - plans, plan absence, implementation timing and resources
  • Examine getting national to local coherence - national strategic, localised and local development planning
  • Find out what's not set out in the Act but will impact upon how the new system works - the issues still to be clarified within and beyond the Act
  • Look at how community involvement and local place plans will really work
  • Explore delivery on housing - an acid test for the new Act

KEYNOTE SPEAKER View All Speakers

Stefano Smith FRTPI

Director, Stefano Smith Planning

Diarmaid Lawlor

Associate Director - Place, Scottish Futures Trust

Petra Biberbach

Chief Executive, PAS

Dr John Boyle

Director of Research and Strategy, Rettie & Co

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Wide range of speakers at a key time of legislative change.

Jamie Macvie, Orkney Islands Council,
Planning in Scotland Conference, October 2017

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