Planning (Scotland) Act 2019

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 came into force on 25th July 2019 and introduced a number of changes to development planning in Scotland. These include the abolition of Strategic Development Plans, a new requirement to prepare Regional Spatial Strategies, and changes to the Local Development Plan preparation process. 

Prior to the new Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, SESplan prepared a replacement Strategic Development Plan (SDP2). The examination of this plan concluded in July 2018 and following this, Scottish Ministers decided to reject SDP2. As there is now no provision within the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 for Strategic Development Plans, no further work will be undertaken on SDP2. 


The Scottish Government is currently preparing the National Planning Framework for Scotland 4 to replace NPF3, and once adopted, it will form the top tier of development plans in Scotland. The Scottish Government's timetable for NPF4 shows that it will be published for representation in Q3 of 2020. Local Planning Authorities and other stakeholders are contributing towards the preparation of NPF4. You can find out more information on NPF4 and how to get involved by visiting the Transforming Planning section of the Scottish Government website.

Regional Spatial Strategies

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 requires Local Planning Authorities to prepare a Regional Spatial Strategy, the geographical area of which will be defined by those planning authorities who contribute towards each RSS. For East Lothian and South East Scotland, the Regional Spatial Strategy is likely to be based (in part) upon SDP2 as that plan, although not progressed due to transport related issues, remains relevant to the future and development of the South East Scotland area.

Local Development Plan 2 (LDP2)

The next Local Development Plan for East Lothian (LDP2) is in the early stages of preparation. This involves information gathering, research, and engaging with the public, key agencies, developers, land owners and other interested parties.