nick wright planning


Where are we with Local Place Plans? January 2024 update

By Nick Wright on January 21, 2024
community-led plans and projects

Back in May last year, I wrote this short post giving an update on Local Place Plans.  At the time, it focussed mainly on recent research, information and guidance - plus links to the small number of Local Place Plans that had been produced at the time.


Since then, a number of communities have had their Local Place Plans registered by their local authorities or National Park authorities.  Here's the latest list of registered Plans, based on a trawl of local authority and National Park websites:
I'm also aware of three other Plans which have been or are about to be submitted (there may of course be many more I'm not aware of):
And, for the record, there are a number of pilot Local Place Plans that were produced before the legislation was enacted.  These are all worth looking at for inspiration, since there is no one model for a Local Place Plan:
It's also important to remember that many other communities will have produced their own community action plans or place plans over the last few years. They might not be called Local Place Plans, but they contain community aspirations which invariably perform similar useful functions to a Local Place Plan - building consensus, supporting community action, and influencing and improving public policy and services. 

The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Register of Local Place Plans contains a good reminder of that, listing those other community action plans or place plans.  Indeed, for many years the National Park has supported community action planning throughout the Park, with their planners tapping into it as a source of intelligence to inform policy making. 

Information about Local Place Planning

As well as more Local Place Plans have been registered, the other change since May last year is that most local authorities have produced webpages with information about Local Place Plans. 

Most of these pages link to information and guidance that was already available last May (see my previous post). But there are some with genuinely new additional information - like Fife, for example, where the planners have been working with Planning Aid Scotland to support rural communities on Local Place Planning.

Funding for Local Place Planning

It's easy to criticise local authorities for not supporting Local Place Planning more, but not entirely fair.  Without additional resources from the Scottish Government to support the development of Local Place Plans, it is hardly surprising that cash-strapped local authorities cannot find money to support this new concept. 

A small number of authorities have managed to allocate limited funding to support Local Place Planning, including Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Highland Council, Scottish Borders Council, Glasgow City Council and quite possibly others too.  Planning Aid for Scotland, the Scottish Community Development Centre and the Development Trusts Association Scotland are also doing what they can to support Local Place Planning, and a number of communities have secured resources from local landowners, businesses and community benefit funds.  

But the bigger picture remains that there are very limited resources to support the preparation of Local Place Plans, let alone their implementation.