Council welcomes new opportunities for communities to actively plan for their futures

Fife Council’s response local place plans consultation

Councillors welcomed developments in local place plans - community-led plans for local areas that have a focus on land use – and approved Fife Council’s response to the Scottish Government ‘s consultation on local place plans at today’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee (10, June 2021).

The right for community bodies to prepare their own Local Place Plans (LPPs) is a new opportunity being added into Scotland’s planning system. Local place plans offer the chance for communities to be active participants in planning for their futures. The response to the current Scottish Government consultation on local place plan regulations will help to shape local place plans and ensure that they are fit for purpose.

LPPs form part of the Government’s wider work on planning reform including steps to reduce conflict, improve community engagement and build public trust in planning matters. The aim is to improve the way that people get involved in the planning system and influence the future development of their areas.

At today’s meeting committee members were briefed on emerging legal provisions for local place plans, challenges on the Councils ability to assist with resourcing as well as national funding available to communities, and approved the council response (Appendix 1 of papers – https://bit.ly/2TGz25Y ) to the Scottish Government consultation that covers the content, preparation, submission and registration of local place plans (LLPs).

Cllr Altany Craik, Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Convener, said: “This is an important opportunity for communities across Fife to lead with Local Place Plans (LPPs) in their community. The Council is pressing Scottish Government to make funding available to assist communities in preparing LPPs.

“Fife Council began preparing for the new system of local place plans last year and will do what it can to help community groups establish themselves and signpost groups to sources of information and practical help and is seeking to establish a single point of contact for community bodies making enquiries.”

The council will keep a register of local place plans as they are prepared in Fife and publish that information online to allow communities to see if there is a local place plan in their area.

The council’s approved responses include:

  • The Scottish Government should provide a clear steer through both legislation and guidance on the links and interactions for local place plans with community planning;
  • The Scottish Government should consider how funding could be made available to councils and community bodies to support resourcing of local place plan work;
  • Consideration needs to be given to the situation of communities that have already prepared community plans that could effectively function as a local place plan;
  • It is vital that community bodies engage widely with and seek views from communities;
  • There should be a minimum statutory requirement on the community body to consult the community once a draft local place plan has been prepared and before submitting it to the Council;
  • Community bodies should have regard to Locality Plans and other key strategies and plans when preparing local place plans;
  • It is important that guidance sets out the key areas that need to be included within a local place plan to ensure that such plans cover key matters that require to be addressed in a Local Development Plan; and
  • Consideration needs to be given to the question of how long a local place plan is likely to remain relevant and up-to-date following its preparation. It is considered essential that the Scottish Government set out a timescale/period after which a local place plan should no longer be relevant for the purpose of the Local Development Plan.