Green Infrastructure project site by the Forth and Clyde canal in Glasgow. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or

Advice for planners and developers

New developments planned and designed with care can contribute positively to Scotland’s nature and landscapes.

Our guidance can help planners and developers to secure positive outcomes for nature, landscapes and people. Understanding the opportunities that nature offers and how a development may impact on nature helps to design good developments and site them in the right places.

Planners and developers can use this online guide to learn how to make the most of nature – and how to avoid adverse impacts on it.

High quality natural environments are vital to the creation of better places. Nature and landscapes around where we live and work can:

  • enhance our quality of life
  • boost individual health and well-being
  • add to our sense of place and identity
  • support a strong economy

You should also read our general guidance on New Housing, Settlement Expansion and the Natural Heritage, SNH Commissioned Report 120.

This guidance covers:

  • impacts on biodiversity, landscape and access, and recreation
  • how to reduce these impacts
  • how to enhance nature and landscape in a development
  • good practice examples
  • the main modern housing development types in Scotland and the issues that apply to each

Find out more

Planning and development: rivers, lochs and flooding