MacKay Hannah

Understanding NPF4: what is in the draft, what do you need to know?

Fri 5th Nov 2021

OVERVIEW View Webinar Agenda

Planners, developers and communities are anxious to secure a well-balanced national planning framework for Scotland through NPF4.  However, no final decisions have yet been made and Scottish Government continues developing policy proposals with stakeholders.  This webinar explores the key themes emerging from the NPF4 development process and explores what all stakeholders need to know about what is coming next.

The Scottish Government’s most recent ‘Position Statement’ on NPF4 was issued in late July.  It states that NPF4 “will include national planning policies, providing a clear and coherent plan for future development and will have the status of development plan, informing day-to-day planning decisions.”  If NPF4 succeeds in informing daily planning decisions, then stakeholders need to continue to make their voices heard now before it is finalised. So what direction is the draft policy taking?

NPF4 is seeking to meet many objectives.  It is intended to reflect UN Sustainable Development Goals, Scotland's national outcomes and to have Place Principle as a key driver.  It is to address climate change. It is also to focus on four key outcomes: Net-Zero Emissions; Resilient Communities; A Wellbeing Economy; and Better, Greener Places. This webinar examines how the present direction of NPF4 will meet the development and place needs of communities, developers and planners while addressing strategic policy targets.

Stefano Smith will outline the key themes emerging in NPF4, giving insights from his role in the Scottish Government’s NPF4 policy development process.  Pam Ewen will discuss the interplay between local development plans and development management with NPF4 from her perspective as a local authority head of planning.  Petra Biberbach will reflect upon what meaningful engagement with communities in development planning could and should be, speaking from her experience in leading Scotland’s primary place and active citizenship charity for the last fifteen years.

Key points 

  • Understanding key themes emerging in NPF4
  • Local Development Plans and development management with NPF4
  • Engaging with communities
  • Identifying, funding and developing national infrastructure
  • New approaches to site determination and development
  • The opportunity of local place plans and the value of place
  • Will we have a more efficient and inclusive local development process?
  • What should developers, planners and communities be focussing on?



Stefano Smith FRTPI

Director, Stefano Smith Planning

Pam Ewen

Head of Planning, Fife Council

Petra Biberbach

Chief Executive, PAS

Donald Anderson

Director, Playfair Scotland

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"Well focused and relevant papers" "Good - wider-ranging than many similar events" "...a strong sense of purpose - there is a need to reconvene to keep up the momentum, which was a key outcome"

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