Planning in National Parks is different to all other areas of Scotland. The National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000 sets out our responsibilities including statutory planning and access functions. Our four local authorities (which the Park overlaps) provide other key services such as education, roads, housing and parks / open space and we work closely with them. The Act also requires us to produce a Management Plan – our National Park Partnership Plan – to set out how the Park is to be managed with all partner public agencies.

The Proposed Local Development Plan must adhere to the National Park Partnership Plan and contribute to achieving the four aims of National Parks:

  • to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area
  • to promote sustainable use of the natural resources of the area
  • to promote understanding and enjoyment (including enjoyment in the form of recreation) of the special qualities of the area by the public, and
  • to promote sustainable economic and social development of the area’s communities.

These aims are to be pursued together. However, if it appears that there is conflict between the first aim, the conservation and enhancement of the natural and cultural heritage, and any of the others, we must give greater weight to the first aim (Section 9(6) of the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000). This is often referred to as the ‘Sandford Principle.’

Part of the National Park’s duty as a Planning Authority is to produce a Local Development Plan. To do this we have started a process we have called LIVE Park. You can read more about the process by visiting the LIVE Park page.

You can also read how we got to this stage in the process on the How did we get here page.

The current stage of LIVE Park we are at is the “Adopted Plan” stage. The Local Development Plan replaces the former Local Plan and will be used to assess planning applications.

LDP_planning_process copy