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PAS LogoWith core activities supported by a grant from the Scottish Government, PAS provides independent advice on planning and environmental matters.

The Planning System in Scotland

national planning framework 3 logo The planning system is used to make decisions about the future development and use of land in our towns, cities and countryside. It considers where development should happen, where it should not and how development affects its surroundings. The system balances different interests to make sure that land is used and developed in a way that creates high quality, sustainable places.

Scotland's planning system has undergone the most significant modernisation in over 60 years. The overall aim is delivery of a planning service that is efficient, inclusive, fit for purpose and sustainable.

Key Planning outcomes for Scotland:-

  • A successful sustainable place – supporting economic growth, regeneration and the creation of well-designed places

  • A low carbon place – reducing our carbon emissions and adapting to climate change

  • A natural resilient place – helping to protect and enhance our natural cultural assets and facilitating their sustainable use

  • A connected place – supporting better transport and digital connectivity

There are 3 main parts to the planning system:

  • Development Plans - The planning system in Scotland is plan led. The plans set out how places should change into the future.
  • Development Management - This is the process for making decisions on planning applications. Legislation requires that decisions on planning applications be guided by policies in the development plan.
  • Enforcement - This is the process that makes sure development is carried out correctly and which can be used to take action when it has not.


Guidance and Publications

Planning Decisions

Planning proposals under consideration 
Progress of Planning applications notified to Scottish Ministers by Planning Authorities.

Performance and Improvement


eDevelopment.scot is the new single landing page where users access the replacement ePlanning portal and the new
eBuilding Standards portal (due Summer 2016).

   edevelopment scotland logo                          

SAQP 2016

SAQP 2016
SAQP 2016 application period has now closed.
We look forward to reading your submissions.
Follow us to keep up to date on SAQP 2016 developments.