Planning innovation

We are working to build links between land use planning and community ownership, both of which act over land in the public interest. 

The “Land Reform” issue of the planning professional magazine in September 2022 included 3 articles on community landownership, including case studies of two of our members– have a read of this here.

 One of our priorities is to get communities to be more proactive about land, as opposed to reactively trying to use their land rights to stop development.  We are supporting an increased number of community groups who are involved in the planning system in some way, but are exploring if community land ownership provides a better way to address their needs.  

We led on Community Land Scotland’s submission for the National Planning Framework 4 and were successful in getting a range of policies included which support community landownership.  This includes policy support for community landownership (policy 25 for Community Wealth Building), as well as for repopulation. This is notable step forward in connecting planning and land reform, as the NPF4 sets national planning policy which must be followed by all development plans.

In 2022/2023 we had a number of new enquiries from community groups who have been approached by a developer offering community ownership of part of a site, once it is developed. We will be publishing guidance on this for Year 3.

We have continued to support a Clyde Valley group completing one of the first official Local Place Plans and in Year 3 we will share community learning on local place plans. Community Land Scotland are getting alot of community enquiries about local place plans, and our policy team is working on more clearly linking up local place plans and community land rights.

We think that communities should be able to easily use policy and legislation for land use and land ownership, which will create a fairer land system with more democratic oversight. We are recommending policy refinements to do this, including the introduction of prior notification of sales in the Land Reform Bill, and refinements to Community Right to Buy.