The Scottish Government has issued a consultation draft of the final part of the consolidated Scottish Planning Policy (SPP). In line with the broader objectives of rationalising and modernising the Scottish planning system, the idea behind a consolidated SPP is to provide proportionate and practical planning policies within a single document. The consultation draft is part two of the consolidation process, part one having been completed by the publication in October 2008 of the first part of the consolidated policy, covering core principles, aspirations and expectations for the planning system.

The consultation draft covers community engagement, sustainable development, the various topic-specific policies currently contained in 17 of the separate SPPs and NPPGs, and the outcomes of the planning process.

The consolidation process is one of rationalisation, not review of existing policy, which remains unchanged albeit that it will be expressed differently. Obviously the text will be more concise, and it is to be hoped that the Scottish Government's claims that it is also clearer and provides greater certainty will be well-founded.

The consultation draft can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/04/01132105/0 and the final date for submission of comments is 24 June 2009. Part one of the consolidated SPP can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/10/28115149/0. .