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.
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However, Local Place Plans are more than just a plan: similar to Community Action Plans, they can help communities understand what they want their area to be like in the future and help to develop a positive community identity. They can help develop local connections and collaborations and develop community capacity and improve social capital. They can support community aspirations on the big challenges for a future Scotland, such as responding to the global climate emergency,the nature crisis, and tackling inequalities. They are an opportunity for real, community-based change.
Please visit our FAQ page, which provides more information about why a Local Place Plan is like a Community Action Plan; the main differences or additions are that a Local Place Plan must also include a map to help describe a community’s proposals about the development and use of land – and in legal terms, Planning Authorities must ‘take account’ of a valid Local Place Plan.
Regulations to support the preparation, submission and registration of Local Place Plans came into force on 22nd January, 2022.
The Scottish Government has published a Circular (Circular 1/2022: Local Place Plans) which provides guidance for both communities and planning authorities on the preparation, submission and registration of Local Place Plans. Once they have been registered by the planning authority, we have a legal responsibility to take them into account in the preparation of the Local Development Plan.
The Local Development Plan and Local Place Plans
The Park Authority is preparing a new Local Development Plan (LDP) and it will be shaped by the views and aspirations of communities across the National Park. The Plan will replace the current Local Development Plan adopted in December 2016 and will set out planning policies and proposals for the use and development of land across the National Park. We aim to adopt the new plan in 2024 and it will look ahead for 10 years from then (subject to change, please see our Development Plan Scheme).
Our new Local Development Plan will consider any registered Local Place Plans, to allow communities to have a more direct role in the decisions that influence their place. In July 2022 we invited communities to prepare Local Place Plans, so that they can play a proactive role in defining the future of their places.
Our Planning Team will be using all the existing Local Place Plans and Community Action Plans to inform our next Local Development Plan that we will be drafting next year (2023).
There will be other opportunities to engage with the Local Development Plan as we prepare, draft and consult on it; we will be saying more about these opportunities during 2022, but please see our FAQ webpage for more information. For further information on timelines, please see our Development Plan Scheme which sets out the detailed timetable including our participation statement (how we will engage).
When you submit your Local Place Plan we must validate and register the Plan. The Plan will be placed on a national register. We will check your plan against the official requirements set out in the Planning Act. The main requirements for a Local Place Plan are that it must:
be prepared by a community council or a community body (as defined by Community Empowerment legislation),
be a proposal as to the development or use of land, and
fulfill the legal requirements set out in the relevant legislation around (these are explained further within the Circular).
Below is a map of the Community Councils in and near the National Park. Please click on any area on the map to discover the Community Council representing that area, along with its contact details and the Local Authority responsible for providing governance support. Remember, the National Park Authority is the Planning Authority responsible for planning in the National Park.
There are lots of useful examples and ideas on how to prepare a Local Place Plan contained in a draft ‘How to’ Guide’, which has been published by the Scottish Government but is still to be finalised. Please visit our webpages on FAQ webpage and Helpful Links for more information and resources on how to prepare Local Place Plans.
The Park Authority cannot prepare Local Place Plans for communities, but we can help community groups establish themselves and help with some parts of the process. Depending on the number of requests for help, we may be able to offer limited support in the form of staff support, some funding, and signposting to sources of information and practical help.
Getting ready – funding
As you get yourself ready then we can help by discussing with you if a Local Place Plan is needed, what’s involved, the Steering Group role, what help you might need, and if there is any funding available. Funding either from ourselves, the council, or another funding source could help a community to:
buy-in specialist support e.g.: community/stakeholder engagement; neutral facilitation; technical expertise; fundraising, etc., or
pay expenses e.g.: events, digital/web platforms or mapping; printing/publishing
Developing Your Plan – Gathering Information and Engagement
As you move into preparing your plan then you will need to gather information and engage with your community. Our Helpful Links page is set up to help you with this. We may be able to offer in-kind staff support to help facilitate one of your workshops see below in relation to the mapping you might require for workshops.
Presenting Your Plan
We would suggest looking at how other communities have presented their plans (see links below and download the pdf, LPP Community Websites and Contacts) and they will be able to advise you on publishing costs. We can help you in terms of checking in with other stakeholders, a Delivery Plan, and ways to monitor the Plan. You could theme your proposals – such as ‘Community and Heritage’, ‘Transport and Roads’, ‘Health and Wellbeing’, ‘Economy and Community Wealth’, ‘Climate and Nature’, ‘Housing’, ‘Control/Autonomy and Community Enterprise’, etc. Have a look at the Our Themes on the Our Place Scotland Local Place Plans webpage (at the bottom) for further ideas and information.
Monitoring the Plan
The success of any action plan is reflected in the action rather than the plan. That means it’s important that you are able to define your vision, what you want to see happen (priorities), and how you’ll get there or the actions needed to deliver your priorities (Delivery Plan). Most importantly, you’ll need to keep on track of what’s happening with the plan, what is being achieved (and what isn’t), and the impacts on your community. It’s therefore important to make any proposal/outcome lists ‘SMART’ – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timetabled. This will help you monitor progress and adjust your thinking as you go along.
Maps area a key element (and requirement) of Local Place Plans. They are important when you start exploring the possible options for your proposals and ideas. Please come to talk to us about maps before you even start mapping as the way you collect and analyse information during your engagement is the first step to presenting good final maps for your plan.
We have worked with several communities since 2019 to support them with information gathering and mapping to test a few different approaches. We have our own in-house team who have provided this support known as our GIS (Geographical Information Systems) team.
On our Community Planning and Local Place Plans page, you will find examples of different style maps that we used for Lochgoilhead, Killin, Strathfillan, Aberfoyle, and Balquihidder/Lochearnhead/Strathyre plans. Some communities like Aberfoyle used their own consultant to prepare the maps. Our helpful links page highlights what these communities may be able to offer in terms of peer support.
You may have someone in your community steering group who can help you produce maps and there are a variety of free and fairly inexpensive tools available. We can provide advice on what tool will work best for your community and assist you in understanding what mapping data is available to use and any associated copyright and licensing requirements
If you are considering preparing a Local Place Plan, we’d love to hear from you and if you are able to then please highlight what type of support you might require – staff support, funding, or signposting. If you require staff support can you indicate if this is in relation to governance, planning information or legislation, or mapping and data?
If you are already in a position to submit a Local Place Plan to us, please contact us and we can talk you through the submission process.