Technical Notes 2021, Issue 70 - Local Place Plan Regulations Consultation

Report by: 
Thomas Glen, Depute Chief Executive – Place, Neighbourhood and Corporate Assets
TN Number: 
Local Place Plan Regulations Consultation
Responsible Officer: 
Alison Laurence, Team Leader – Land Planning Policy, Land Planning and Development
This Technical Note will be published on the Council’s website following circulation to Member. Its contents may be disclosed or shared outwith the Council.
  1. The purpose of this technical note is to provide information on Local Place Plans and a copy of the Council officers’ technical response to a current consultation on Local Place Plan regulations.
  2. The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 (referred to as the 2019 Act going forward) introduced local Place Plans and the bulk of the provisions for Local Place Plans are to be found within this Act. The 2019 Act left a number of matters to secondary legislation and the Scottish Government is currently consulting on these matters, which relate to the preparation, content, submission and registration of Local Place Plans. The consultation period ends on 25 June 2021.
  3. Note that Local Place Plans differ from Locality Plans, which were introduced by the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 in order to tackle inequalities and to enable community bodies to participate in decision making at a neighbourhood level. East Dunbartonshire has four Locality Plans, which have been named Place Plans, covering Auchinairn, Hillhead and Harestanes, Lennoxtown and Twechar.

Local Place Plans

  1. The 2019 Act introduces a new right for communities to produce Local Place Plans for their places, with scope for these plans, or parts of them, to become a part of the Local Development Plan.
  2. Local Place Plans are community led plans providing proposals for the development and use of land. It may also identify land and buildings that the community body considers to be of particular significance to the local area. It is intended that these Plans will:
    • Set out a community’s aspirations for its future development.
    • Be community led, but collaborative, approach to creating great local places.
    • Allow local people to meaningfully engage and have a positive influence in the future planning of development in their areas.
  3. The aim is to significantly enhance engagement in development planning, effectively empowering communities to play a proactive role in defining the future of their places by setting out their proposals for the use and development of land. 
  4. The following key elements of 2019 Act in relation to Local Place Plans are:
  • A community body may prepare a local place plan. A community body is either defined by:
    • the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, Section 19 (a body having a written constitution including: the definition of the community; comprising majority residents of the community; that membership is open to any member of the community; a statement of aims and purposes including the benefit of the community; and requirements relating to funding) 
    • or is a Community Council.
  • Planning authorities are to invite local communities to prepare Local Place Plans and provide information on:
    • the manner in which and date by which such local place plans are to be prepared in order to be taken into account in the preparation of the local development plan.
    • the assistance available for local communities to prepare local place plans.
  • In preparing a local place plan, a community body must:
    • have regard to the local development plan for the land, or any part of the land, to which the local place plan relates, the National Planning Framework, such other matters (if any) as are prescribed,
    • set out reasons for considering that the local development plan should be amended,
    • and comply with any prescribed requirements as to the form and content of the plan, and steps which must be taken before preparing the plan.
  • Submission of local place plans: A community body must comply with any prescribed requirements as to:
    • steps which must be taken before submitting a local place plan,
    • how the views of councillors for the area to which the local place plan relates are to be taken into account in the preparation of the local place plan, and
    • information which must be submitted alongside a local place plan.
  • Every planning authority must keep a register of local place plans. If a planning authority decide not to register a local place plan on the basis that it is not valid, the authority must give their reasons for reaching that view to the community body that submitted the plan. A local place plan is valid, for the purpose of this paragraph, if the requirements under paragraphs 1(4) (preparation of a LPP) and 2(1) (submission of a LPP) have been complied with in relation to it.

Local Place Plan Regulations Consultation

  1. The Scottish Government is consulting on draft proposals for the framework of regulations to support the implementation of provisions relating to Local Place Plans.
  2. The Scottish Government will also produce guidance to community bodies, planning authorities and other parties. The Scottish Government intend that this is in place on the coming into force of the secondary legislation and plan to have these provisions in place by the end of 2021.
  3. Overall the Scottish Government intend that the secondary regulations are light-touch allowing for local flexibility but with an appropriate balance by providing a robust framework for the development and consideration of Local Place Plans.  The Scottish Government also wishes the process for preparing Local Place Plans to be defined largely by the capacity and preferences of the communities themselves, rather than introducing a fixed procedure.

Council Response

  1. The Council’s response to the Regulations Consultation can be found in Annex 1. In addition, the Council supports the Heads of Planning Scotland response to the consultation.
  2. Heads of Planning Scotland raise the following key concerns/requests:
    • Timing - if local communities are to be able to inform Local Development Plans, they require to be prepared in advance of, at the latest, the Proposed Plan stage of LDP preparation. This immediately places a time pressure on the preparation of LPPs by community bodies, particularly in areas where the local planning authority would seek to commence preparation of a new Local Development Plan as soon as the relevant regulations come into force, expected to be spring/summer 2022. There is a danger the LPP – rightfully giving communities the opportunity to prepare an LPP – may delay this process.
    • Financial and staffing resources - The partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment undertaken by Scottish Government for the proposed regulations assumes that the average cost of preparing an LPP will be in the region of £15,000. If there is significant uptake of the right to prepare an LPP, which may be within a short period of time (2-3 years), this could amount to a significant sum of money. It is important that all communities have the opportunity to prepare a Local Place Plan, not only those best placed to do so with regard to available skills and resources.
    • Consultation – HOPS are of the view that Local Place Plans should be based on evidence of a community’s views and not just of the community body preparing the Local Place Plan. This should ensure Local Place Plans are based on a robust evidence base including those who are not generally heard. HOPS also request that there is a minimum statutory requirement that a community body consults on a draft Local Place Plan and includes within the draft a description of the consultation it undertook and how this informed the Local Place Plan. Additionally, HOPS requests a statutory requirement that community bodies engage with local authorities in developing their Local Place Plan.  This approach would align with the collaborative spirit of the legislation and could have multiple functions, including:
      • confirming the body preparing the LPP is a community body;
      • avoiding the potential situation of two community bodies seeking to prepare an LPP for the same area;
      • maximise the opportunities to create efficiencies, reduce duplication and prioritise resources;
      • signposting the relevant policies, plans and strategies that the community body should have regard to, acknowledging it could be difficult for community groups to be aware of all relevant partner plans and community-led plans; and
      • providing guidance on consultation and guidance and the potential support and resources available to prepare LPP.

Next Steps

  1. Council officers are beginning to consider Local Place Plans in more detail in the East Dunbartonshire context, however in order to set out how the Council will support communities in preparing Local Place Plans the following activities are required:
    • Finalisation of the regulations and guidance in order that the Council and communities know what is to be delivered.
    • Understanding of the new planning system with regards the National Planning Framework, Regional Spatial Strategies and Local Development Plans in order that there is clarity on what the Council’s Land Planning Policy team is required to deliver in general.
    • Discussions with local communities on Local Place Plans and the support and role of the Council through the Land Planning Policy team.


Annex 1 – East Dunbartonshire response to Scottish Government Local Place Plan Regulations Consultation

Other prescribed matters

1. Do you agree with the proposal that community bodies should have regard to any Locality Plan that is in place for the area under consideration when preparing their Local Place Plan?

  • Yes

Please comment on your answer (particularly if you do not agree)

The Council notes that Local Place Plans (LPP) are a potentially significant change to the way in which local communities engage with the planning process. East Dunbartonshire Council endorses the Heads of Planning Scotland response to this consultation. In particular, we note comments regarding resourcing and timescales for both communities and planning authorities.

It is agreed that it is important for a community body to prioritise in its LPP any community proposals in an area of multiple social deprivation. Published Locality Plans produced by community planning partners are a key piece of evidence for identifying these proposals. There is potential for a community group to collaborate with community planning partners in the integrated production of a LPP and a future Locality Plan. This could prevent consultation fatigue for communities and duplication of effort. 

Locality Plans (called Place Plans) were published in East Dunbartonshire 2018 & 2019 in two villages and two neighbourhoods which have areas of multiple deprivation, and cover a five year period. They include a range of actions including community events/action, building management and repair as well as land use development. Actions related to development identified in these Locality Plans include: new/ improved community facilities, increased provision of social housing, improve quality of and accessibility to open space, active travel links, and site specific requirements for redevelopment of a brownfield site for housing. The Proposed East Dunbartonshire Local Development Plan 2, 2020, includes reference to these land use proposals in its community policies.

Other additional matters

2. Do you consider that community bodies should have to have regard to other additional matters beyond the Locality Plan when preparing their Local Place Plan?

  • Yes

Please comment on your answer, giving examples (particularly if you agree)

The LPP should consider the local outcomes in the Local Outcome Improvement Plan, when they are considering actions and proposals. This is because many areas, including most of East Dunbartonshire, do not have Locality Plans so the LOIP sets out Community Planning Partner’s policy priorities. Other documents to take into consideration include any community action plans and other plans produced by Community Councils and Community Development Trusts; and business plans for any business improvement district, such as for Milngavie. The wider policies and strategies of Council’s require consideration if there is to be consistency. The guidance needs to consider how LPPs will be delivered and the relationship with Council services and strategies, for example on open space, active travel, housing etc.

Form and Content of Local Place Plan

3. Do you agree with the proposal that an LPP should contain a statement setting out the community's proposals plus a map of the area, setting out the LPP boundary?

  • Yes

Please comment on your answer (particularly if you do not agree)

A map showing the community area is important to identify the community and avoid overlapping with an adjacent community. A statement is important to set a framework for the steps in the process of producing a LPP. It should include information on how consultation and engagement has been carried out, key proposals, and identification of who will deliver these and a timeframe for their delivery. It will be useful for the statement to summarise how Local Development Plan & NPF4 have been taken into consideration, as required in statute, as well as Local Outcome Improvement Plan, Locality Plan or other community plan / action plan. The statement should also identify any potential impacts of a proposal, such as environmental, inequality, economic, health and safety. Guidance can explore options for form and content of LPP including visual illustrations.  Community bodies may prepare LPPs for areas which overlap. LPP boundaries may overlap within communities, eg a community council and a development trust or residents association, and between adjacent communities where overlap. Community Councils have a statutory duty to represent their community including equalities groups. Therefore one option is for regulations/ guidance to identify that for any area there should be only one lead community group, preferably a community council. The guidance can then set out that the lead community group can produce the LPP: either themselves or in collaboration with another community group. The regulations could provide that if no community council exists then another community group is required to register with the planning authority to produce a LPP, and therefore demonstrate that it can meet the necessary criteria to represent its community and the equalities groups within it. If LPPs are produced that have areas that overlap the Regulations need to set out a clear procedure for the planning authority and the lead community council/ group to collaborate and consult with other groups. The regulations/ guidance should require LPP to avoid duplication, encourage their visions and actions to complement each other and set out the process for resolving or objecting to any 'competing' content. This could include identifying independent bodies or mediators available to advise on this and setting out any appeal process, specifying when this should be referred to the planning authority and situations when it can be referred to Scottish Government.

Steps to be taken before preparing the LPP

4. Do you think a requirement for the community body to engage and seek the views of people to assist in the preparation of an LPP should be set out in law?

  • Yes

Please comment on your answer

This will ensure that the timescale for production, potential resource implications and engagement with the public and potential for collaboration community planning partners are considered early. It will encourage the community group to seek early consideration and representation of community and community planning partners’ views, help identify relevant local information and plans and encourage collaboration.

The different types and stages of consultation, ways of doing this and how to respond to any conflicting views/ actions, could be explored further in guidance. There will also be a resource implications for the planning authority if it is to help build the capacity of communities/groups, as part of the engagement process, to support understanding of and proactive participation in the LPP process.  If capacity is built, it may reduce potential conflict and help set boundaries for any community of interest and geographical based groups.

5. If a requirement to seek the views of people is put into law, what should any minimum requirement be?

The regulations should ask for a community group to hold an inception meeting with the planning authority. Engagement with the Community Planning Partners and the Council, Community Council, any landowners affected by proposals and members of the public should be a minimum requirement.  In addition, a statement of public engagement and consultation carried out and publicity should be required to be included in a LPP. This will help to flag up any likely duplication/overlap between community groups in preparing an LPP before the stage where the LPPs are added to the register.

Steps which must be taken before submitting a completed Local Place Plan

6. Do you agree with the proposal that there should be a minimum statutory requirement on the community body to consult the community once a draft LPP has been prepared and before submitting an LPP?

  • Yes

Please comment on your answer (particularly if you do not agree)

It is important to find out community views on any proposals and provide opportunity for objection, support or other comment. This can inform the proposals and encourage the involvement of those needed to deliver it and those affected by it.

7. If a requirement to consult across the community on the content of a draft LPP is to be put into law, what should any minimum requirement be?

Engagement with the Community Planning Partners, including the Council, Community Council, any groups representing people with Protected Characteristics under Equalities legislation, any landowners affected by proposals and members of the public should be a minimum requirement.  In addition, a statement of public engagement and consultation carried out and publicity should be required to be included in a LPP.

Taking the views of councillors into account

8. Do you agree with the proposal that the community body should seek the views of ward councillors when preparing the LPP?

  • Yes

Please comment on your answer - particularly if you do not agree or have a view as to how ward councillors' views should be taken into account or reported?

Councillors should be engaged by communities as part of their overall engagement in producing an LPP. Clear guidance on the role of Councillors in the process should be provided to communities given Councillors’ decision making role and Code of Conduct with regards planning decision. The Council has a clear role in decision making and approving each stage of the Local Development Plan process and the regulations and guidance require to set out the interaction between LPPs and LDPs.

Information to submit alongside a local place plan

9. Do you agree that, alongside the LPP itself, the community body should submit a statement on how it has complied with the legal requirements?

  • No

Please comment on your answer (particularly if you do not agree)

To keep the process as simple as possible the Community Group should be asked to state how it has complied with the legal requirements within the LPP.

In particular it should be stated that where the LPP vision or actions differ from approved/ adopted community planning partnership plans, the LDP, or a current planning permission this should be identified in the LPP along with the reasons for this.

Register and map of Local Place Plans

10. Do you agree the requirements planning authorities have to keep the register of local place plans should be aligned to the existing arrangements for registers?

  • Yes

Please comment on your answer (particularly if you do not agree)

Agree that the Planning Authority should validate and register a LPP and align this to the process for the existing planning application registers, including it on the Council website. The planning authority will have the responsibility to guide a community group on what is needed for a LPP to be registered. It will also enable the planning authority to ensure LPP areas do not overlap and so LPP can be considered as part of the LDP process.

11. Do you agree that the additional information provided by the community body alongside the LPP should be kept on the register of local place plans?

  • No

Please comment on your answer (particularly if you do not agree)

Any key information should be included in the LPP. This is to simplify what is asked off a community group, to encourage them to take part and produce a LPP that will be made publically available.

12. Please provide your views on the level and content of information to be placed on the register.

The register would be updated as the LPP progresses through its different stages and could include:

  • a location plan with the boundary of the LPP area, the lead community group and their contact details, planning authority name
  • the date that the Consultative Draft LPP was approved by the Community Group, date the LPP was validated by the planning authority, and a copy of the Consultative Draft LPP, the closing date for representations 
  • the date that the Final LPP was approved by the Community Group and a copy of the Final LPP.

Removal of the LPP from the register

13. Do you agree with the proposal that a planning authority may remove an LPP from the register once it has been taken into account in the LDP, and must do so when requested by the community body that prepared it?

  • Yes

Please comment on your answer (particularly if you do not agree)

Agree useful to remove a LPP from the register once it has been taken into account in an approved LDP, or when requested to do so by the community body. At the start of the plan preparation period a planning authority is required to contact community groups, to invite them to produce an LPP. It could also ask them to confirm at that stage if an existing LPP should remain on the register.

Making the Local Place Plan map available

14. Do you agree the requirements planning authorities have for making the map of local place plans available should be aligned to the existing arrangements for registers?

  • Yes

Please comment on your answer (particularly if you do not agree)

The map should show the boundary of the LPP area.

Impact Assessments

15. Please give us any views you have on the content of these partial assessments.

I refer to the Annex B Partial Equalities Impact Assessment (Combining Child Rights & Wellbeing Impact Assessment). I note para 27 states that the EQIA has helped highlight the potential issues which may disproportionately impact those with particular protected characteristics particularly in ensuring that their voices are heard and reflected upon. It is noted in para 28 that guidance may assist in addressing the challenges people have in engaging in the planning system. The EQIA highlighted potential barriers for women, some religious communities, disabled people and older and younger people. Guidance should therefore highlight techniques and good practice in engagement with different equalities groups and contacts of groups who represent them.  In addition it is noted that community councils have a statutory role in representing all communities in their area, including those with Protected Characteristics, and can access support and advice on how to do so. Therefore community councils in particular are well placed to lead and coordinate the delivery of LPP.   The potential inequality impacts of any LPP proposal should be identified in the LPP, along with ways of addressing it see question 3

16. Do you have or can you direct us to any information that would assist in finalising these assessments?

No comments.

17. Please give us your views on the Fairer Scotland Duty and Strategic Environmental Assessment screening documents and our conclusion that full assessments are not required.

Any LPP proposal which is included in the LDP will be subject to its SEA. Potential environmental and other impacts of any proposal and how it could be addressed should be identified in the LPP, see question 3 above. Community groups are not subject to the requirements for SEA, therefore one option would be for legislation to be amended to extend the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act to bodies preparing LPP, and for the SEA to be submitted to the planning authority with the LPP.  If this is not done the resourcing of the SEA process on any LPP is likely to fall to the planning authority, which would be contrary to the process recommended in SEA guidance. This guidance recommends that the SEA process should be started at the beginning of the policy development process and must ensure that realistic alternatives are fully assessed. The need for the planning authority to carry out SEA and assess alternatives for each proposal contained in the LPP would be unduly onerous. There is also a need for clarity on how the Equalities Impact Assessment relating to the LPP would be carried out and how both assessments would align with the SEA/EqIA for the LDP. The guidance should be written in Plain English and could include a checklist for community groups on what environmental and inequalities issues any LPP consultation or proposals need to consider, how the SEA/EqIA process would help address this and form part of the preparation for the LDP and where to seek further information. 

18. If you consider that full assessments are required, please suggest any information sources that could help inform these assessments? n/a

No comments.




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