The National Planning Framework (NPF3) currently sets the context for development planning in Scotland and provides a framework for the spatial development of Scotland as a whole.  The 4 Key Planning outcomes for Scotland are:

  • 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

National Planning Framework 4 will set out a new plan for Scotland in 2050. The Position Statement issued in November 2020 significantly reframes the planning policy agenda through a climate change and net zero lens and focusses on a plan for: 

  • Net-Zero Emissions
  • Resilient Communities
  • A Wellbeing Economy
  • Better Greener Places

HOPS supports these key planning outcomes for Scotland and also supports the new National Outcomes announced by the Scottish Government, in particular the planning related areas:

  • We have a globally competitive entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy
  • We live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe
  • We are healthy and active
  • We value, enjoy, protect and enhance our environment

NPF4 will also embed the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals in planning policy.

HOPS Strategic Objectives

The planning system in Scotland is recognised internationally as an exemplar of best practice but it must continue to display a willingness to adapt and innovate if it is to retain its position of credibility and influence.

HOPS will continue to promote planning’s role as a strategic enabler in delivering a place-based approach to policy implementation, showing leadership on policy areas such as climate change, just transition to net zero, green economic recovery, strategic infrastructure investment and supporting and empowering communities.  It is therefore critical that the planning system is positioned to meet those challenges and is properly resourced, based on the principle of full cost recovery, and that there is investment in training, skills and the encouragement of new entrants into the profession. HOPS will promote changes to streamline the planning system that ensure a robust, trusted and efficient framework for decision making.

HOPS will continue collaborate with government and engage with other stakeholders, in shaping the planning system, in respect of the 3 strategic objectives set out below, which set out HOPS vision for the planning system:

In delivering on the specific purpose of HOPS, in terms of a positive and constructive contribution in making Scotland a successful, sustainable and well-connected place to contribute to the quality of life for its people, the objectives are:

  • Supporting sustainable economic growth
  • Protecting natural assets
  • Delivering quality places that are well connected
  • Developing a greater understanding of the community requirements for the planning service
  • Supporting the continued learning and training of staff
  • Promoting partnership working on improvement projects across local authorities and areas

The HOPS Business Plan aligns with the objectives set out in the following national and strategic documents produced by the Scottish Government summarised below:

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Updated 22/10/2021

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