Highland Local Development Plan (HLDP)

A new Plan for Highland

We are currently preparing a new Local Development Plan for Highland.

Local Development Plans show how local places will change in the future, including where development should and should not happen.

Place-based, people-centred, delivery-focused

The national context for the new Highland Local Development Plan (HLDP) is set out in National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4).

As sought by NPF4, we are aiming for the HLDP to be:

  • place-based, so that it is relevant, accessible, and useful to people with an interest in their place
  • developed in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders
  • based on robust evidence, so that it is deliverable

Preparing the Plan

The HLDP work programme includes the preparation of an Evidence Report towards the end of 2024 and a subsequent Gate Check, with the Proposed Plan stage towards the end of 2025.

We have begun gathering evidence for the HLDP which will continue during 2024 and we are engaging people in that.

Local Place Plans

We have prepared advice and guidance for community bodies preparing Local Place Plans, and we continue to check and register these Plans.

Watch this space

Timescales and opportunities to get involved

Our Development Plans Newsletter (March 2024) gives the latest HLDP timescales and more details on the arrangements for engagement.

Two consultations are currently live:

Highland Place Standard Tool

Local Living in Highland

Other opportunities to get involved will be announced on this page.


We are preparing a series of Storyboards that provide a walk-through for the areas and issues we think need to be addressed by the HLDP and the evidence we think we should be using.

We intend that the Storyboards will be shared online during 2024 and used in discussions with partners, stakeholders and others. Feedback will be logged and considered by us.

This may lead to us refining our intended evidence base for the HLDP and identifying opportunities to collaborate on it.

Data gathering

We are currently gathering data on the provision of services across the Highland Council Area.

This includes location of services for Health (GP, Dentist, and Pharmacy), Education, Transport (Bus and Rail), Community Facilities (Libraries and Halls), Banking and Postal Services, and Leisure and Retail facilities.

This baseline will then be used to model the accessibility of services, with this being shared later in 2024 with the public and stakeholders for review and feedback.

Regional Spatial Strategy

We will be formalising and updating our Regional Spatial Strategy.

Supplementary Guidance

We will be reviewing our suite of Supplementary Guidance, to establish which aspects should be covered within the new Local Development Plan, which aspects should be covered within non-statutory planning guidance and any aspects no longer required.

A single Plan for Highland

We anticipate adopting the new, single HLDP towards the end of 2027, when it will replace all of our current Local Development Plans:

  • Highland-wide Local Development Plan
  • Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan
  • Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan
  • West Highland and Islands Local Development Plan