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Community Led Plans

Creating a plan for your local area is a powerful way for your community to connect, collaborate and influence the future. Find out about different types of plans and how PAS can help.

Community-led plans can cover a wide range of issues and themes, depending on the needs and vision of the community involved. When considering which type of plan to create, we find it helpful to make the broad distinction between local place plans and action plans.

Local place plans

  • Local place plans are a new type of plan (introduced by the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019) giving communities the opportunity to create proposals for the development and use of land in their place, enabling communities to focus on their aspirations as well as their needs.
  • While local place plans may touch upon any issue that relates to a particular place, the core focus should be on the development and use of land, for example, housing land allocation or the design of new public green space.
  • The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 states: “A local place plan is a proposal as to the development or use of land. It may also identify land and buildings that the community body considers to be of particular significance to the local area.” (Part 1, Schedule 19).
  • Local place plans must fulfil a particular set of criteria in order to be considered valid by a planning authority.
  • Local place plans should have regard to the local development plan for your area, as well as the Scottish Government’s Strategic National Planning Framework which covers the whole of Scotland.
  • Depending on the level of detail, a local place plan may require a specialised design element provided by an architect or urban designer.

Action plans

  • Action plans focus on articulating a common vision for a community and detailing the steps that are needed to get there.
  • They are often used to coordinate collaboration between local groups or help guide investment and funding applications.
  • Action plans generally sit in the context of your area’s Community Planning Partnership and the Local Outcomes Improvement Plan (LOIP). In Scotland, targeted plans for a particular community under this framework are also called Locality Plans. These are linked to the legislative framework of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act (2015) among other frameworks.
  • Action plans typically do not include a design or spatial mapping component.
  • They can focus on multiple themes, or just one theme, such as ‘active travel’, for example.

PAS has worked with communities all over Scotland to develop place plans and action plans. Consult our Projects page for examples. Find out more about the benefits of community-led plans in our blog post The Power of a Plan.

For an informal chat to see if we may be able to help you and your community with a local place plan or action plan, contact Elaine Mowat elainem@pas.org.uk.

Which type of plan may be right for your community?

If you’d like to discuss what might be the right approach for your community or how we can help, please contact Elaine Mowat elainem@pas.org.uk.

Elements and goals of both these broad types of plans often overlap. Sometimes communities want both types of outputs to be produced and we have worked on a number of projects that combine elements of both.

Plans that we have supported communities to create include:

  • Elie and Earlsferry – A Community-led Place Plan that focussed on themes of connectivity, local economy, recreation and leisure and community, and has a strong mapping and design component.
  • Applecross – as a Land Use Plan (a type of Place Plan), this contained feasibility studies of potential sites for development of local amenities and housing intended for use as part of an application to the Scottish Land Fund.
  • Turriff – A Community-led Action Plan that focussed on themes of connectivity, community facilities and identify, but had no mapping or spatial design component.
  • Buckhaven – PAS worked with the community of Buckhaven in Fife to develop separate but integrated Community Action Plan and a Spatial Masterplan.

You can download these examples and more below.

Some examples of local place plan forerunners (created before the legislation/regulations about local place plans came into force, but nonetheless useful for reference) and community action plans can be found below:

Which type of plan may be right for your community? If you’d like to discuss what might be the right approach for your community or how we can help, please contact Elaine Mowat elainem@pas.org.uk.

See more examples of PAS projects

View Projects