National Planning Framework

Long-term plan for Scotland

The National Planning Framework (NPF) is a long-term plan for Scotland.

NPF sets out where national developments and infrastructure is needed to support sustainable and inclusive growth.

The current version is National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4).

NPF4 Preparation

We contributed to the preparation of NPF4 by Scottish Government.

We saw this engagement as a vital opportunity to raise Highland’s profile on the national stage and to showcase how our communities and our area’s unique assets and resources can contribute to national outcomes.

NPF4 adoption and publication

National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) was adopted and published on 13 February 2023, when it became part of the Development Plan (replacing NPF3 and Scottish Planning Policy).

For the first time, spatial and thematic national planning policies are addressed in one place and NPF4 has the status of the development plan for planning purposes.

NPF4 will play a key part in supporting economic recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic and addressing the climate and ecological emergency.

Implications of NPF4 for Highland

NPF4 has implications for planning in Highland, including:

Our Development Plans Newsletter includes information on our work programme.