Deliverability of site allocations in local development plans: Scottish Government instructed research

This Scottish Government instructed research considers the types of proportionate information that will demonstrate a development site's deliverability.

The research confirms that deliverability has come into greater focus in Scottish planning policy. NPF3 and SPP2 advocate "a sharp focus on the delivery of allocated sites". The independent review of the Scottish planning system (May 2016), Empowering Planning to Deliver Great Places, confirmed the vital role which deliverability plays in successful planning.  Proposal 5: Making plans that deliver, in the Scottish Government’s consultation paper ‘People, Places & Planning’ (January 2017) advocated a focus on providing greater confidence on the effectiveness of sites and when they can be delivered, including appraisal of information before any site is allocated. Consultation responses agreed that plans would be strengthened by setting out the information required to accompany proposed site allocations. The Scottish Government’s Position Statement on ‘People, Places & Planning’ (June 2017) noted that establishing development viability is essential to securing greater certainty of delivery.

The recommended actions flowing from this research project are:

  • The Scottish Government should review the ‘staged and scaled’ approach to sites assessment set out here and consider the extent to which that approach can provide greater confidence in the deliverability of site allocations.
  • The approach requires to be tested in a pilot study, which should also consider integration of sites assessment information with the Action / Delivery Programme.
  • The staged and scaled sites assessment requires to be appraised against the emerging reforms to the planning system.
  • Further consideration is required of the protocols for requesting and using information from infrastructure agencies.

Author: Scottish Government

Date: February 2020 Date of publication

This item updates DCP section 4.2


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