27 September 2023

Funding provided to help communities develop their own Local Place Plans

Aberdeenshire Council is providing funding for community organisations to help them develop Local Place Plans to highlight issues, gather ideas and express aspirations for the future.

Forming a key part of the Scottish Government’s new planning system, the scheme has been introduced to increase community involvement in the planning and spatial design process.

Local Place Plans (LLPs) give communities an opportunity to work up proposals for the development and use of land in the place where they live and offer the opportunity for a community-led, but collaborative approach to local place-making, setting out proposals for the development and use of land.

The aim of the provisions is to significantly enhance engagement in development planning, effectively empowering communities to play a proactive role in defining the future of their places.

Up to £500 is now being provided for established community councils or community-controlled bodies to develop their own plans and will help cover the cost of hall and venue hire, software required for the development of the LPP, initial costs associated with advertising and websites, printing of leaflets and creation of information boards for community engagement events.

LPPs can be specific to a single place or building or cover a wider geographic area, but need to be registered with Aberdeenshire Council which is legally required to make them publicly available.

They can be created by communities to highlight planning and spatial design issues, and propose the development or use of land, but can also identify land and buildings which the community body considers to be of particular significance to the area.

For examples, things that could be featured as proposals in LPPs include:

  • Sites which support climate change adaptation, such as renewable energy or flood mitigation
  • Local initiatives for the promotion of active travel and community food growing
  • Sites for housing, including for affordable housing, new or retained local employment or new tourism/community facilities
  • Retaining, improving, and expanding quality open space and green/blue infrastructure and play facilities
  • Conservation of the natural/built environment
  • Improvements in the town/neighbourhood centre
  • Support for a national development, as featured in the National Planning Framework (NPF4)

However LPPs should not include the likes of:

  • Litter management and dog fouling
  • Improvements to public transport (routes and timetables)
  • Proposals which don't fundamentally impact on the long-term use of land, such as occasional activities/events using existing facilities, spaces and places

Paul Macari, Head of Planning and Economy at Aberdeenshire Council, explains: “It is for the community body preparing the LPP to determine the scope of their submission and there are a range of issues and development proposals which they may deem appropriate.

“These might range from identification of sites which support climate change adaptation or renewable energy or flood mitigation, local initiatives for the promotion of active travel and community food growing or identification of sites for specific uses, including housing, local employment or tourism and community facilities. A key factor within Local Place Plans will also be around retaining and improving or expanding open space, play facilities and other green/blue infrastructure, including identification of spaces that are of particular value to the community.”

Councillor Alan Turner, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “The introduction of Local Place Plans offers our local communities the ability to be actively involved with planning for the future of their community. With a focus on development and land-use these are plans that allow and empower communities to set out their proposals and future ambitions and will also be an important input into the preparation of our new Local Development Plan in Aberdeenshire.”

Vice-chair Councillor Isobel Davidson added: “Local Place Plans will really help Aberdeenshire Council understand how its communities want to develop and will provide an opportunity for all of our residents and settlements to create a very positive community identity for many years to come.”

Once registered, LPPs will be taken into account in the preparation of the region’s Local Development Plan and therefore will have weight within the planning process.

While LPPs can be produced at any time, their integration with the Local Development Plan will be greatly facilitated if they are prepared and consulted upon for submission in late 2024.

Aberdeenshire Council has created a dedicated page on its website where information on the Local Place Plans can be found along with supporting documentation and resources at Local Place Plans - Aberdeenshire Council

Community councils or groups wishing to receive more information on LLPs should email