The National Planning Framework (NPF) is a long term plan for Scotland that sets out where development and infrastructure is needed. 

Scotland’s fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4) will be a long term plan looking to 2045 that will guide spatial development, set out national planning policies, designate national developments and highlight regional spatial priorities.

It will be part of the development plan, and so influence planning decisions across Scotland. The Draft Fourth National Planning Framework (Draft NPF4), was laid in Parliament on 10 November 2021. 

This is a significant milestone in the development of Scotland’s Fourth National Planning Framework, and the Scottish Government are encouraging feedback from everyone across the country to reflect the values and aspirations of the people of Scotland. 

The Scottish Parliament will be considering the Draft NPF4 for a period of up to 120 days.


The consultation is open until 31 March 2022. Their website hosts a variety of consultation materials and resources to help you consider your response. 

View the Consultation


Draft NPF4 comprises five parts:

  • Part 1 - National Spatial Strategy
    The national spatial strategy sets out a shared vision where each part of Scotland can be planned and developed to create: Sustainable, Liveable, Productive and Distinctive places. Underpinning the national spatial strategy are a series of spatial principles. The spatial strategy also highlights five action areas.
  • Part 2 - National Developments
    National developments are significant developments of national importance that will help to strongly support the delivery of the spatial strategy. Designation as a national development establishes the need for it, but does not remove requirements for relevant consents to be obtained before development can begin.
  • Part 3 - National Planning Policy
    The fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4) will incorporate Scottish Planning Policy which will contain detailed national policy on a number of planning topics. For the first time, spatial and thematic planning policies will be addressed in one place.
  • Part 4 - Delivery
    Delivering the NPF4 strategy and realising collective ambitions will require collaborative action from the public and private sectors and wider communities. Actions will range across different scales and include a mix of strategic and project investments. This section will be developed into a standalone, live delivery programme once NPF4 has been approved and adopted.
  • Part 5 – Annexes
    Annexes provide information on how statutory outcomes are being met, Minimum All-Tenure Housing Land Requirement (MATHLR) for each planning authority in Scotland, along with a Glossary of terms.

View Scotland 2045 - Our Draft Fourth National Planning Framework