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The National Planning Framework 4 – A pivotal point in Scotland’s planning system

13th February 2023

The National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) will be published and adopted on 13 February 2023. This will replace the previous iteration – National Planning Framework 3 and also Scottish Planning Policy (SPP), merging them into one. This will see long-term strategies for land use, development, and the environment sit alongside national-level planning policies in one overarching document.

NPF4 appears to align itself to support the Scottish Government energy, net zero, and circular economy policies. It sets out priorities to accelerate the journey of industry and community to net zero.

Throughout is increasing importance on supporting the development of renewable energy technologies across the country except in National Parks and National Scenic Areas. This should result in a more permissive renewables policy framework to focus the planning system on countering the climate emergency and achieving net zero targets and helping to deliver decarbonised, diverse, and secure energy generation.

For over 25 years, Mabbett has been working with clients to deliver net zero developments and solutions to include EIA, carbon footprinting, sustainability, circular economy, energy transformation, decarbonisation, land and flood management, peatland restoration, nature-based solutions, natural capital and biodiversity.  With the recent acquisition of G H Johnston we have added significant experience in Planning including Local Development Plan reviews, appeals, public engagement and Architectural Services.

Robert Grant – Senior Planning says: ‘The imperative to reduce carbon gas emissions and drive net-zero targets by 2045 is set out clearly within the renewed and reinvigorated national planning framework 4 now operational in Scotland, it is evident that the planning system must facilitate and encourage renewables.’


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