Guide to the planning system for Community Councils
Planning can be central to the delivery of great places and homes, enable economic growth and is a force for positive, collaborative change that can achieve better outcomes for communities.
The purpose of planning is to manage the development and use of land in the long-term public interest.
The aim is to achieve the right development in the right place, protecting valued urban and rural areas and the environment from inappropriate forms of development or use of land. Consequently, the planning system has a significant impact on our quality of life, by shaping the environment in which we live, work, shop, learn, travel and spend our leisure time.
Community Councils have an important role to play in the planning system and to encourage their residents to get involved.
Taking a proactive role in planning matters will help ensure your communities are consulted on development plans and proposals that could have an impact on the area and that their views are shared with the planning authority.
Partnership working, community involvement, co-ordination of activities and meaningful negotiations are essential components of a successful planning system.
We have created a self-service online training guide which aims to give Community Council members an understanding of our current planning system. It aims to help you understand what the planning system seeks to achieve and introduces the processes involved in decision-making.
It covers three key strands:
- Development Plans
- Development Management
- Planning Enforcement
It also includes chapters on Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and Reviews and Appeals.
While this guidance seeks to cover as many helpful topics as possible, inevitably it cannot cover everything. Community Council members are encouraged to use this guidance as a reference and to look at the resources referred to within.
Further information on the Planning System
Further useful sources of information can be accessed via the links below:
- A Guide to the Planning System in Scotland by the Scottish Government.
- Planning Aid for Scotland - provide free and impartial planning advice to individuals and community organisations to get involved in decision-making in the planning system.
- Highland Council Public Access - (search for planning applications, building warrants, appeals, enforcements and notices).
- The Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division - (search for appeals made to Scottish Ministers)
- Highland Council’s main planning permission webpage
- Highland Council’s Planning Advice – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Highland Council’s main building standards webpage
- Highland Council’s Building regulations – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)