The planning system is used to make decisions about the future development and use of land in our towns, cities and countryside. It considers where development should happen, where it should not and how development affects its surroundings. The system balances different interests to make sure that land is used and developed in a way that creates high quality, sustainable places.
You can find out more about the planning system in Scotland on the Scottish Government’s Planning website.
As part of the Scottish Government, directly accountable to Ministers, Transport Scotland plays its full role in the planning system which is vital in delivering high-quality places for Scotland. We participate in plan-making and in planning decisions, focussing on the Scottish Government's Purpose of creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.
We are primarily concerned with the relationship between development and the strategic transport network. Scottish Ministers have responsibilities for the strategic transport network which includes the trunk road and rail networks. The primary purpose of these are to provide the safe and efficient movement of strategic long-distance traffic between major centres, although in rural areas it also performs important local functions.
Where development has the potential to impact on these networks, we have a responsibility to ensure that the impacts have been considered and addressed. We wishe to ensure that development is successfully delivered alongside the continued safe and efficient operation of networks for the benefit of all users. Scottish Planning Policy provides further detail on the planning system and transport.
We encourage early engagement with Transport Scotland throughout the planning process, whether it be a development plan or planning application. We also welcome early engagement with planning authorities, developers and other planning stakeholders. This allows us to assist in delivering better plans and in enabling planning applications to be processed more efficiently.