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Local Place Plans

New planning legislation introduces a right for communities to produce their own plans, known as Local Place Plans, providing the opportunity for communities to feed into the planning system with their own ideas and proposals for the development and use of land.

These community-led plans will set out the aspirations of people for the place they live in and suggest solutions. By setting out priorities for future development in an area, Local Place Plans can also help communities to develop and deliver their own projects and bring about community-based change.

Once completed and then registered by the Council, a Local Place Plan will be considered by us in the preparation of the Local Development Plan.

Local Place Plans give communities a new way to have their ideas considered during the preparation of a Local Development Plan but are not part of the Development Plan. Proposals put forward in a Local Place Plan may be included in the Local Development Plan, but there may be other considerations which mean they are not. We will show why community proposals have or have not been included and there will be the opportunity for this to be independently assessed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Local Place Plans?

Local Place Plans are community-led plans setting out proposals for the development and use of land.

Examples of the issues that Local Place Plans might cover include:

  • proposals for new homes, including affordable homes, local employment or community facilities
  • proposals which support climate change mitigation and adaption, such as renewable energy and flood risk management.
  • initiatives for active travel and community growing
  • improvements to town or village centres
  • improvements to open space provision and quality, play and community facilities
  • the conservation of local wildlife or built environment

A local place plan may also identify land and buildings that the community body considers to be of particular significance to the local area​.

Does a community need to do a Local Place Plan?


There will be many other opportunities for individuals and communities to have their say and input into the preparation of the Local Development Plan. We are happy to discuss the best way for your community body to be involved in the process. For example we could work collaboratively with your community to map your aspirations for improved infrastructure, services and identify future development priorities.

We will also take into account other plans such as Island Development Plans or other partnership plans which reflect community aspirations that cover many of the same themes as a Local Place Plan.

Who prepares a Local Place Plan?

Local Place Plans must be prepared by – or on behalf of – a Community Council or a ‘community-controlled body’, as defined by the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. If you are unsure, we can help to advise what qualifies under these definitions. Preparing a Local Plan should be collaborative – involving as many people and organisations as possible with an interest in a place – and community-led.

How do you prepare a Local Place Plan?

The Planning Act and Local Place Plan Regulations require certain steps to be taken in preparing a Local Place Plan. These are summarised in the Circular and include setting out any reasons for considering that the Local Development Plan should be amended and a statement on the consultation carried out on the Local Place Plan.

The Scottish Government has also published a Draft How to Guide for Local Place Plans. The guide is split into four sections and is designed to help communities decide whether a Local Place Plan is the right thing for them and how to go about preparing one.

What area should a Local Place Plan cover?

There is no prescription as to the area covered by a Local Place Plan. It is up to the community to define this. It is expected that Local Place Plans could be prepared for a town, village or whole community council area.

When would a Local Place Plan need to be submitted?

In line with our current timetable for producing the next Local Development Plan, we have set a deadline for the submission of Local Place Plans of March 2025. This will allow us to review, register and take account of Local Place Plans in the preparation of the Local Development Plan.

What support can the Council offer?

The Council cannot prepare Local Place Plans.  The Council’s Development Plan team can help community groups by signposting to guidance and provide further advice on the process and requirements for Local Place Plans. We would be keen to discuss what other support needs that communities might require so if you are interested preparing a Local Place Plan then please email to discuss support needs further.

What consultation needs to be undertaken for a Local Place Plan?

Prior to submitting your Local Place Plan to the Council, a copy must be sent to each councillor for the Local Place Plan Area and any community council/s whose area is within or adjoins, the Local Place Plan area.

Evidence of engagement with the wider community must be provided in the form of a statement setting out the wider community’s support for the Local Place Plan and the basis on which that view has been reached, including a description of any consultation undertaken.

Are there other support tools?

The Community Map Scotland has been developed to help Scottish Community Councils create their Local Place Plans. The software is initially provided free for 1 year for any Community Council group. Community Councils can sign up to be part of the Community Map Scotland project free.

Useful links and support

  • Planning circular 1/2022: Local Place Plans– Scottish Government guidance on the preparation, submission and registration of Local Place Plans. The circular is useful in interpreting the legislation and regulations relating to local place plans.
  • The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019
  • The Town and Country Planning (Local Place Plans) Scotland Regulations 2022
  • Local Place Plans Draft ‘How to’ Guide– The Scottish Community Development Centre and Nick Wright Planning developed a ‘How to’ Guide aimed at supporting communities to prepare Local Place Plans. Please note, this draft guide pre-dates the Local Place Plan Regulations and Guidance. Updated guidance is expected to be published soon.  
  • Our Place – Local Place Plans– The Our Place website has been developed by the Scottish Government and partner organisations to support collaborative place-based working across Scotland. The website includes a range of information relevant to Local Place Plans, place-making principles and approaches.
  • PASis a charity which helps people and communities shape the future of their place and engage with the planning system in an open and inclusive way. They can provide advice, training and support, including for community organisations to develop and deliver their own aspirations for place through local place plans and other community-led plans.
  • Stromness Place Plan -
  • Scottish Community Development Centre are available to discuss how they can support capacity building that may help communities keen to prepare a local place plan

If you are a Community Council or community body interested in preparing a Local Place Plan, or you have any questions about Local Place Plans, please get in touch:

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