Scottish Government planning legislation round-up

Scottish Construction Now provides a brief round-up of legislation and other changes relating to planning in Scotland.

Coronavirus Acts: Duration of Planning Permission

The Scottish Government has announced its decision that, subject to the agreement of the Parliament, Part 1 of both Scottish Coronavirus Acts should be extended to 30 September 2021. On 24 February, it laid regulations in the Scottish Parliament which extend the provisions within the Coronavirus Acts relating to the duration of Planning Permission, including Planning Permission in Principle, Listed Building Consent and Conservation Area Consent. Those consents which are due to expire between now and 30 September will be extended to 31 March 2022. See the regulations


Planning (Scotland) Act 2019: Pre-application consultation regulations

Planning legislation to change the requirements for pre-application consultation has been laid before the Scottish Parliament. The new regulations are due to come into effect on 1 October 2021. The Scottish Government is preparing new guidance in advance of the changes.

The Town and Country Planning (Pre-Application Consultation) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 and Policy Note

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 (Commencement No. 6 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2021 and Policy Note

This follows a consultation carried out in autumn 2020 - see also the consultation responses and consultation analysis report.

A short note on the new legislation and the transitional arrangements will be published shortly at: 


Planning (Scotland) Act 2019: Designation of Short-Term Let Control Areas

On 24 February, the Scottish Parliament voted to approve the Town and Country Planning (Short-term Let Control Areas) (Scotland) Regulations 2021, which will come into force on 1 April 2021. The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 (Commencement No. 6 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2021 also bring the 2019 Act’s provisions on short-term let control areas fully into force from 1 April 2021. The Scottish Government is preparing guidance, drawing on support from the working group on short-term lets.


Permitted development rights relating to COVID-19 pandemic

The Scottish Government laid a development order in the Scottish Parliament introducing some additional permitted development rights relating to temporary developments (up to 18 months) by the Crown relating to the pandemic, and further extending the duration of permitted development rights for developments by local authorities and health service bodies to the end of 2021. These can be used for developments and uses such as temporary hospital facilities, testing centres, vaccination centres or other emergency-related purposes. See the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2021, which comes into force on 28 February 2021.


NPF4: First step towards a minimum all-tenure housing land requirement

The Chief Planner and Director for Housing and Social Justice have written to local and national park authorities on the next steps for meeting statutory requirements on land for housing in the National Planning Framework. The letter seeks the input of authorities and stakeholders and provides housing land figures that are a starting point for local considerations. See Information on this latest stage, as well as previous work.


Research: Skills in Planning

The Scottish Government is a member of the Partners in Planning network which, along with Skills Development Scotland, commissioned research by EKOS which gives timely and valuable insight into skills, capacity and gaps within the planning sector in Scotland. The research sets out tailored actions to promote planning as a career choice and make sure the workforce is equipped. We look forward to working with partners to take these forward. See the Skills in Planning research and key findings


Ongoing consultation

Guidance on the promotion and use of mediation in the Scottish Planning system - closing 12 March 2021