Planning and development: landscapes

Planners and developers have a big part to play in protecting and enhancing our landscapes.

Scotland’s landscapes underpin Scotland’s economy and attractiveness as a place to live and do business. It’s vital that we look after our landscapes and ensure that the distinctiveness of each part of Scotland is not lost.

Planners and developers have a key role to play in helping to protect and enhance our landscapes. Development and other changes can be positive, if well informed and well planned.

A range of landscape tools and techniques is available to guide this work.

Learn about how planning authorities can protect and enhance landscapes in their areas.

Protected Landscapes

Our finest landscapes are protected:

Landscape Character Assessments

Landscape character assessments have been completed for all parts of Scotland. View the landscape character assessment for your area.

Planning Advice Notes

These provide technical advice and information on planning matters. The Planning Advice Notes below are relevant to landscape and housing.

Fitting New Housing Development into the Landscape: Planning Advice Note 44 considers design principles for larger residential developments on the edge of built-up areas. Its focus is how to achieve developments that are in harmony with their landscape setting and which contribute more positively to the character of existing settlements.

Housing in the Countryside: Planning Advice Note 72 sets out design principles for good quality rural housing that respects Scottish landscapes and building traditions. Considering the location and design of new housing in relation to the surrounding landscape is key.

Planning and Open Space: Planning Advice Note 65 looks at how the planning system can help to protect and enhance existing open spaces and provide high quality new spaces. Open spaces are important as places where people in settlements can interact with the natural environment, for their wildlife habitats, and in defining the character and identity of settlements.


Siting and design guidelines for mobile telecommunications developments in the Highlands and Islands

Learn more about landscape, planning and development.

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