Community engagement in spatial planning and community service planning processes are vital to achieving our vision of active and empowered communities. Here is more information on opportunities for local communities to engage with these planning systems, as well as changes brought about by the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019.
Local Development Planning
Local Development plans set out the long-term vision for where development should and shouldn’t happen in the places they cover. This is sometimes called ‘spatial planning’; it involves planning for social, economic, and environmental change to bring about certain ends, together with drawing up plans, maps, or diagrams that indicate where community activities should take place. Community engagement in spatial planning is a key component of the current Local Development Planning system and there is a duty placed on planning authorities to engage communities. As a planning authority, we try to ensure a broad range of voices are heard and engaged in the development of our Local Development Plan. When preparing our current Local Development Plan, we invited community members, businesses, landowners and partner organisations to get involved in a series of events, workshops and three formal consultations to help inform the final document.
20-Minute Neighbourhood Project
The 20-minute neighbourhood or place is not a new idea but one with renewed emphasis in Scottish Planning given the climate emergency we are facing. It’s about enabling people to live more locally by giving them the ability to meet most of their daily needs within a 20-minute walk from home, with safe cycling and local transport options. However we know there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach as every place and population profile is different, for example, rural or urban, places with many students or places with older people and young families.
In 2021/22 we funded Forth Environment Link to work with the Drymen community and its neighbouring villages to apply this concept in a more rural context. The project explored how residents currently access facilities or services, and what is needed to enable people in a rural village to live more locally. Here you can read the final report.
We hope communities across the whole of the National Park will learn from this project and consider applying this thinking, especially as they develop their Local Place Plans (see below) to help them identify what is needed to enable local living within their places.