Recently the Scottish Government published the consolidated Scottish Planning Policy (SPP). In line with the Planning etc. (Scotland) Act 2006, this consolidation of various planning policies into one document is an attempt to make the planning process more efficient, while also emphasising the importance of the development plan.

In total, the consolidated SPP replaces 17 separate policies on subjects as far-ranging as green belts, transport and minerals. The SPP does not simply replace the existing policies, it aims to make the policies clearer and more precise. It also, in some cases, adds further guidance, for example guidance on sustainable development and planning under Section 3E of the Planning etc. (Scotland) Act 2006.

Having all of these policies in one document will hopefully make the planning process that little bit easier for planning authorities and developers alike. The lost level of detail, however, will require a greater reliance on interpretation which can lead to some uncertainty and ambiguity.

The full SPP can be found by clicking here.