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Community Planning and Local Development Planning

Community engagement in spatial planning and community service planning processes are vital to achieving our vision of active and empowered communities. We have further information on community development and support on this section of our website – Communities.

Community Planning Partnerships

Community Planning Partnerships are structures in each Council area that aim to help public bodies work together with local communities to design and deliver quality services, such as public transport, healthcare, social care, employment, skills and other community-based services. Each Partnership must produce a Local Outcome Improvement Plan and they have the choice whether to produce locality plans for places where people experience inequalities. Further information on Community Planning Partnerships is available from each of the four Local Authorities that cover the National Park area. (West DunbartonshireStirlingPerth & Kinross and Argyll & Bute).

In Stirling, there is a community planning structure, which delivers the Stirling Plan – visit the Stirling Plan webpage for further information.

In Argyll and Bute, there are community planning sub-groups and there the following sub-groups cover the Cowal and Lomond parts of the National Park. For further information visit the Argyll and Bute Community Planning Partnership webpage.

  • Bute and Cowal Community Planning Sub-Group
  • Helensburgh and Lomond Planning Sub-group

For West Dunbartonshire, please visit the council’s Community Planning Partnership webpage.

Locality Plans

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act also requires each Community Planning Partnership to develop plans at a locality level, targeting interventions to those communities most in need.

There are no Locality Plans in place that covers a part of the National Park except for this draft plan for Helensburgh and Lomond:

  • Helensburgh and Lomond Draft Locality Plan 2017-18

The Community Planning Partnership tend to focus on their deprived, urban areas and not the National Park area.

Community Planning Partnership will consider Local Place Plans and may ‘adopt’ them as their Locality Plan for your area. You would need to speak to your relevant Partnership about whether this would be possible.

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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.

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Living Well Locally

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. Please see the Living Well Locally Vision and Route Map. 

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.

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Community Action Plans and Community Led Plans

We have a long history of helping to facilitate community-led action planning and we are now engaging with communities on the new community-led planning model called Local Place Plans. Some communities have already developed Local Place Plans and these are included in the list of links below.

Local Place Plans were introduced by the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, which contains a new right for communities to produce their own plans as part of the new Scottish planning system. Local Place Plans contain the community’s proposals for the development and use of land, and provide a new opportunity for communities to feed into the planning system with ideas and proposals. To find out more about how to prepare a Local Place Plans, please go to our Local Place Plans webpage.

The previous Community Action Plans and the new Local Place Plans set out visions for how development can support sustainable, quality places for people to live, work and visit. They provide evidence that can be used by communities, public agencies or others to understand local priorities, attract funding and deliver service and spatial developments.

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