National development criteria
No. 3 Autumn 2007
John Swinney MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth has made a statement to Parliament on the considerations Minister's will take into account in identifying projects to be designated as national developments in the National Planning Framework ( NPF). The full statement on national developments and the debate on the statement can be viewed here or can be downloaded from the NPF webpage.
The purpose of National Developments
The Planning Act 2006 makes provision for the NPF to be used to designate certain projects as national developments. The purpose of designation is to facilitate the delivery of essential national infrastructure. The test in deciding whether a project is a national development will be whether it is of strategic importance to Scotland's development.
Essentially, identification in the Framework as a national development will be the mechanism for establishing the "need" for such developments. Any public inquiry in relation to a project which has been designated as a national development will therefore focus on matters such as location, size, design and environmental mitigation rather than the question of "need". Planning authorities will have to ensure that their development plans fully reflect any identified national developments. While designation in the Framework will establish the need for these projects, their incorporation into development plans and development consent procedures will ensure that communities are able to engage on the mitigation of any local impacts.
The statement made to Parliament indicated that the approach Ministers will take is that projects which may be identified as national developments are those which:
- make a significant contribution to Scotland's sustainable economic development;
- strengthen Scotland's links to the rest of the world;
- deliver strategic improvements in internal connectivity;
- make a significant contribution to the achievement of climate change, renewable energy or waste management targets;
- are essential elements of a programme of investment in national infrastructure; or
- raise strategic issues of more than regional importance.
Projects to be identified as national developments should further the Government's objective of creating a Scotland that is wealthier and fairer; healthier; safer and stronger; smarter and greener.
Potential National Developments
The statement did not identify specific national developments. These will feature in the consultative draft of the Framework to be issued for consultation at the end of the year.
National Developments are likely to be relatively small in number. They will be infrastructure projects which, in the Scottish Government's view, have a critical contribution to make to creating a more successful country. Major strategic transport, energy and environmental infrastructure projects may fall within this category of development..
A draft NPF, including projects proposed to be designated as national developments, will be issued for public consultation towards the end of the year. If you would like to be included in that consultation, please register here for regular e-mail newsletters on Planning and Building topics. Alternatively, pass your details to the NPF Team.
There will be a further major round of consultation on publication of the draft Framework, including a series of regional seminars in the new year. Where the draft Framework is able to be sufficiently specific about the location of a national development, additional targeted community engagement will be undertaken.
Proposals for national developments will be subject to scrutiny by Parliament as part of the statutory process of consultation, and there will be opportunity for scrutiny, comment and debate throughout the process.
- Awareness raising and initial engagement on scope and content - February to July 2007;
- Drafting in light of stakeholder comments- July to end of 2007; (Current stage)
- A draft NPF will be issued for public consultation at the end of 2007;
- Revision in the light of reaction to the consultative draft Early 2008;
- Scrutiny of a final draft in Parliament - Summer 2008; and
- Final considerations and publication of the NPF - Autumn 2008.
- The National Planning Framework webpage at www.scotland.gov.uk/topics/planning/national-planning, including the full Parliamentary Statement on National Developments will be refreshed as and when significant new information is available, so add it to your favourites list!
Should you require further information or clarification, please contact the NPF team:
- Email: NPFTeam@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
- Telephone: The NPF Helpline 08457 741741
- Write to:
National Planning Framework Team,
Area 2-H South,
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