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National Planning Framework 4

The National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) was approved by the Scottish Parliament on 11 January 2023 and was adopted on 13 February 2023.

NPF4 is now part of the National Park’s development plan and – unless material considerations indicate otherwise – decisions on planning applications will now need to be made in accordance with both:

Section 13 of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 is now in force. This alters Section 24 of The Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 to state that in the event of ‘any incompatibility’ between a provision of the National Planning Framework and a provision of a local development plan, whichever of them is the later in date is to prevail.

In practice this is likely to mean that some of our Local Development Plan policies will no longer apply to the same extent and, in some policy areas, greater weight will be attached to NPF4 when making decisions on planning applications.

NPF4 is the fourth National Planning Framework for Scotland. It sets out the Scottish Governments priorities and policies for the planning system up to 2045 and how the approach to planning and development will help to achieve a net zero, sustainable Scotland by 2045. NPF4 supports the achievement of six overarching spatial principles through the planning and delivery of:

Sustainable places – Scotland’s future places will be net zero, nature-positive places that are designed to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change, whilst protecting, recovering and restoring our environment.

Liveable places – Scotland’s future places will have homes and neighbourhoods that are healthier, affordable and vibrant places to live.

Productive places – Our future places will attract new investment, build business confidence, stimulate GDP, export growth and entrepreneurship, and facilitate future ways of working.

NPF4 contains 33 policies, which along with the policies of the Local Development Plan (2017-2021) and related Supplementary Guidance, will help guide decisions on planning applications within the National Park.

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