Local Place Plans

Scottish Government has introduced Local Place Plans to encourage communities to play an active role in the planning for their area.

By developing and submitting a Local Place Plan, communities can set out a vision and priorities for the future of their local place, particularly around the use of land and buildings.

Invitation to prepare Local Place Plans

We are inviting community groups to create their own community-led Local Place Plans, which set out their proposals for development or the use of land in their area. Our formal invitation to prepare Local Place Plans was issued on 30 June 2023.

Local Place Plans allow communities to submit ideas and proposals for their area, which can be taken into consideration while the Local Development Plan is being prepared.

The current Local Development Plan

Our general development policies are contained in the Highland-wide Local Development Plan. It should be read alongside the individual Local Development Plan for your local area, which contain the allocations and area specific development policies. The three individual area local development plans cover:

  • Inner Moray Firth
  • Caithness and Sutherland
  • West Highland and Islands

Read our Local Development plans and the National Planning Framework that we use alongside them to guide development and investment.

The new Highland Local Development Plan

We have started the official evidence gathering process for the new, single Highland Local Development Plan, which will be shaped by the aspirations and ambitions of communities across Highland.

When the new Highland Local Development Plan is finalised and adopted in 2027, it will replace all four of our current Local Development Plans.

Local Place Plans will contribute towards the evidence-gathering for the new Highland Local Development Plan. As Planning Authority, we must show how community proposals in a Local Place Plan have been taken into account and why they have or have not been accepted.

To enable Local Place Plans to be taken into account as part of the evidence for the new Highland Local Development Plan from the outset of its preparation, any new or updated Local Place Plans must be capable of being registered by The Highland Council by Friday 28 June 2024.

Preparing Local Place Plans

Local Place Plans can be prepared at any time. However, at certain times, we will set a date by which Local Place Plans need to be registered to enable them to be taken into account from the earliest possible stage of the evidence gathering for the Local Development Plan.

Local Place Plans can be prepared by community bodies, either Community Councils or community-controlled bodies. For information on the requirements for a community body that can formally prepare a Local Place Plan, read our information sheet. Your local Third Sector Delivery Organisation will be able to advise on group governance and any changes that may be required to meet requirements of a community-controlled group under the Community Empowerment Act.

Guidance and tools to help communities prepare Local Place Plans

The information that must accompany a Local Place Plan submission is stated in the Planning Aid Scotland (PAS) Guide for Community Delivery of Local Place Plans checklist for Local Place Plan validation

The map that accompanies a Local Place Plan submission must clearly indicate the boundary of the land covered by the Local Place Plan. The boundary must be drawn as a solid line (not fuzzy) so that we can accurately plot the Local Place Plan area onto its Local Place Plan map register. Examples of Local Place Plan area boundaries include community council geography or the geographical community served by the group preparing the plan (as defined in its governing articles).

If your local community council or other community body decides to prepare a Local Place Plan, notify the Development Plans Team by email at lpp@highland.gov.uk.

Submitting Local Place Plans

Once the community body has prepared the Local Place Plan and accompanying information, it can be submitted to us either:

  • by email to lpp@highland.gov.uk (total attachment size limit is 50MB)
  • by post to Development Plans, Highland Council HQ, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX

Once a Local Place Plan has been submitted, it must be checked and validated against the Scottish Government requirements for Local Place Plans. We ask that Local Place Plans are submitted at the earliest opportunity ahead of Friday 28 June 2024 to provide more time, if needed, for the checking process. 

After a Local Place Plan has passed the checking process and received validation, it can be registered and taken into account by the Council when preparing the Local Development Plan.

Local Place Plans prepared by communities in the Cairngorms National Park are to be submitted to the Cairngorms National Park Authority, as part of the Cairngorms National Park Local Development Plan evidence gathering.

Register of Local Place Plans

We will keep a register of Local Place Plans that have been created by communities in Highland. This register will be made available so that communities can see if there is a Local Place Plan for their area. Once the register has been established, you will be able to access it on this webpage.

Once Local Place Plans have been registered, we have a legal responsibility to take them into account while preparing our Local Development Plan.

No Local Place Plans are currently registered in Highland.