Local Development Plans - Scotland

The Local Development Plan dataset is a composition of Local Development Plans supplied by local authorities and national parks in Scotland. It is intended to provide a spatial overview of common policies across Scotland. The authoritative data source is the originating data supplied by the planning authority and the authoritative plan is that which is published as approved and adopted by the planning authority, which may not be in a digital format.

Development plans set out the long term vision for where development should and shouldn’t happen in the places they cover. The local development plan is the principal land use planning document used in assessing applications for planning permission, based upon national, regional and local policies and proposals. It is the most significant material consideration in determining such applications and reference to the local development plan is essential for most types of proposed development. The main spatial element is typically the policies and proposals map, which is created from the data that is also used in this dataset. Some policies will be plan-wide, and not reproduced spatially, so this dataset contains policy data that is linked to a discrete area within the planning authority area.

In addition to the local development plan, reference should be made to the National Planning Framework (covering all of Scotland), the Strategic Development Plan (where applicable) and supplementary guidance that is included in the development plan.

Update and reference to other datasets

This dataset will be updated as and when development plans are replaced and formally adopted by authorities, on a minimum quarterly basis in operational terms each year. Local development plans are currently replaced on a five year basis and will be further modified by the forthcoming Planning Act, likely moving to a ten year cycle with interim updates, although it is not yet clear on how updates will be prepared. If proposed and draft plans (and other datasets, such as issues reports) are published on the Spatial Hub, this will be as a separate dataset.

This dataset should be used in conjunction with other planning related datasets available on the Spatial Hub, notably planning applications, conservation areas, housing land and employment land. There may be some duplication with related layers, due to the ways that particular authorities may share data, and this will be resolved on a layer-by-layer basis as this dataset (and others) are developed. This is also true for some national datasets, such as statutory designations for natural heritage: these typically originate with other agencies although they are often published as part of a local development plan. This will also be resolved, in data architecture terms, through dialogue with these key agencies.


There are three layers within this dataset, for point, polyline and polygon features. Not all authorities capture all three feature types.


The dataset employs three levels of categorisation – class, subclass and tags. The classes and subclasses are listed below, based on a particular data attribute field that originates in the dataset and is mapped to the common attribute “layer type” which is then searched for an applicable match. Tags are used in searches to match and categorise dataset features against the layer type, and captured as a full list of tags against each feature to allow multi-criteria searches.

Known Issues

Some manual classification is required, for features that have only a reference or a layer name that needs direct matching to a class and subclass. In this case, the tags may well have null values.

This is an early release of the dataset, which will change further following consultation with users, planning authorities and other stakeholders. In the longer term, a move towards common standards and categorisation will be promoted.

Further Information

The definitive description is contained within the published Development Plan Scheme for each planning authority, available online.

Reference can also be made to Scottish Government policy on development plans:



Data Provided by

Improvement Service


Other (Not Open)








This dataset was amalgamated, optimised and published by the Spatial hub. For more information visit www.spatialhub.scot.