Our planning role and consulting us
Find out how we engage with the planning system, and how and when to consult us
We are committed to helping the Scottish Government and planning authorities to deliver a modern planning system – one that’s fast and inclusive, and which delivers sustainable economic growth.
Planners and developers can work out when to consult us using our checklist: How and when to consult NatureScot.
InformedDECISION protected areas casework pilot
From 5 June 2023, NatureScot is piloting a new platform called InformedDECISION© for protected areas casework in our National Operations South Area. This is a fully integrated platform that brings the benefits of artificial intelligence and automation to the consultation and decision making process.
Find out more about the InformationDECISION protected areas casework pilot.
We also offer more detailed guidance for developers and planning authorities. Find out how best to engage with us at each stage of the development management process.
Planning for Great Places - Our Planning for Development Service Statement outlines how we engage with the planning system to support our ambitions for connecting people and nature.
We will engage in greater depth where a proposal could have a significant impact on the quality and enjoyment of Scotland’s natural heritage.
View our other guidance:
- Planning for Development: Timescales for responding to consultations
- Development Management – Our Service: Guidance for developers and their consultants
- Development Management – Our Service: Guidance for consenting authorities
- Guidance Notice 19 - Identifying Natural Heritage Issues of National Interest in Development Proposals
- Guidance Notice - Development Management and the Natural Heritage
Like many public bodies, NatureScot has a responsibility to take other interests into account in our work - we call these our 'balancing duties'. The way we implement our balancing duties is focused on engagement, understanding and collaboration. Read more about applying NatureScot’s balancing duties.
Working agreements with other agencies
We have agreements or concordats with other agencies to ensure we work together effectively in delivering our respective planning roles.
- Pre-application engagement
- National Park Authorities
- Scottish Forestry
- Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission
Our annual Planning Performance Framework Reports to the Scottish Government provide further information about our planning work, how we are performing, and the steps we are taking to help improve our service.
Gathering feedback from customers is an essential part of the continuous improvement of our service. Read the results of our latest customer survey undertaken in 2020.