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Irene Beautyman
Planning for Place Programme Manager

Tel. 07908 930763

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Linking Community and Spatial Planning

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Closer working between service providers to improve outcomes for communities is the foundation of successful community planning. It is also the foundation for  recent place-based approaches to achieving outcomes. New requirements introduced through the Community Empowerment Act have implications for the spatial planning role undertaken by local authorities. Community planning partners are already taking action in linking together the requirements of the Act with existing statutory requirements for spatial planning to prepare Local Development Plans. The Improvement Service is raising awareness of where and how this is already happening at a joint event in October 2018 (details below).


The statutory requirements on spatial planning are due to change in a new Planning Act in early 2019. It will include a specific provision to achieve better alignment with the wider activities and objectives arising from community planning under the Community Empowerment Act. It also aims to achieve practical benefits such as joined-up and effective community engagement, and consistent prioritisation of council and partner policy objectives. The existing provision for LDPs to provide a vision statement has been repealed to avoid unnecessary preparation of multi-visions for an area – the expectation is that the Local Development Plan will contribute to the wider vision for an area as set out in the Local Outcomes Improvement Plan.

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Previous Improvement Service events bringing together community and spatial planners have identified three key priorities to enable more collaboration between the two:


  • strong leadership support at Chief Executive level
  • joining up engagement processes
  • more cross-disciplinary opportunities to talk.


The event in October will build on all three of the above themes. You can see some of the presentations from previous events below.

Link to RTPI blog on linking people and places: spatial planning and community planning
Link to event - Closer Connections: Community Planning and Spatial Planning


Linking Community and Spatial Planning

Colin Mair

Chief Executive, Improvement Service

Linking Community and Spatial Planning

David Martin

Chief Executive, Dundee City Council


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