Search site

National Planning Policy

The third National Planning Framework (NPF3) was published by the Scottish Government in June 2014. It sets the spatial strategy for Scotland's development over the next 20 years and designates 14 national developments of strategic importance to Scotland. It sets the high level policy context for development plans in West Lothian.

  • NPF3 provides a framework for the spatial development of Scotland as a whole. NPF3 must be taken into account in all strategic and local development plans in Scotland.

  • National Planning Framework 3

Scottish Planning Policy

Scottish Planning Policy is a statement of Scottish Government Policy on nationally important land use matters. It sets out national planning policies which reflect Scottish Ministers priorities for how the planning system should work and for the development and use of land. The SPP promotes consistency of policy across Scotland whilst allowing sufficient flexibility to reflect local circumstances. SPP was published in June 2014.

Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) has to be taken account of in the preparation of development plans.

The Planning (Scotland) Bill

The Planning (Scotland) Bill which was introduced to Parliament on 4 December 2017 is central to a package of measures intended to strengthen the planning system's contribution to inclusive growth and empowering communities. The Bill sets out a series of proposed high level changes to the overall framework under which planning operates. Of particular significance are proposals to combine the National Planning Framework (NPF) and Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) at a future date in order to better reflect national and regional priorities and to make local development planning simpler. However, given that the scope of the NPF in a new system is unlikely to be finalised ahead of the required primary legislation, Scottish Ministers do not expect to adopt the next version, NPF4, until 2020 at the earliest. 

The Scottish Parliament passed the Planning (Scotland) Bill on 20 June 2019. There follows a four-week period for legal objections to be raised. If none are raised or four weeks pass, it is anticipated that the Bill will receive Royal Assent shortly thereafter. 

If you have any questions relating to the Development Plan process or just want to provide feedback and comments on our service, please email the Development Planning team at . You can also write to us at Development Planning and Environment, West Lothian Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, West Lothian EH54 6FF or phone 01506 280000.

Alternatively, you can contact a member of the SESplan team directly by sending an email to

We've updated our Privacy Policy

We've made some important changes to our Privacy Policy and we want you to know what this means for you and your data. You can view the Development Plan and Environment Privacy Notice on the Planning Policy webpage.