National Planning Framework 4

Scottish Rural Action submitted our members' response to the Scottish Government consultation on the draft National Planning Framework 4 in March 2022.

We agree with the assessment of the Scottish Parliament Rural Affairs, Islands and Natural Environment that “the NPF4 needs to offer more of a vision for rural and island communities” (Letter from the Convener to the Convener of the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee, Ariane Burgess, 23 February 2022).

Our members' response highlights the many ways in which the planning system can contribute to vibrant and sustainable rural and island communities. 

20 Minute Neighbourhoods in Rural and Island Areas?

Popularised in Oregon, Australia and Scandinavia, 20 minute neighbourhoods are places in which residents can meet almost all of their essential needs including employment, education, health care, shopping and leisure within comfortable walking distance from their home. The approach is designed to create benefits for local economies, health and wellbeing, community cohesion, pride of place, and climate change.

But, how does this work in rural and island places? A roundtable organised by Scottish Rural Action, the Scottish Rural & Islands Transport Community and SURF - Scotland's Regeneration Forum - brought together practitioners from different rural and island geographies to discuss the application of 20 Minute Neighbourhoods (20 MNs) in place planning.