• Planning for Place Programme

    The Improvement Service's Place Programme supports councils and their partners to collaborate around place. We seek to encourage place-based approaches to joint planning, resourcing and delivery of places that enable all communities to flourish. See below for the range of support we offer.


    Why collaborate around place?

    Place-based collaborative working has different rationales and flexibility in what the approach entails. What is consistent is that:


    • it addresses complex problems that no one service working alone can solve
    • prevention is now regarded as a key feature of new approaches
    • approaches involve breaking down organisational silos and bringing sectors together through a shared orientation in the design and delivery of services.


    Focus on the delivery of a high quality place is not new. However, councils are now increasingly working with partners to integrate services around people and place, with an emphasis on prevention and early intervention, and reducing inequalities.


    Place-based approaches have been applied by community planning partnerships as a vehicle for asset-based community development. However, there is a risk that local practitioners and policy makers see this as purely a community planning approach and become distracted from the opportunities of place-based working across all public service design and delivery.


    A more joined-up, collaborative, and participative approach to services, land and buildings across all sectors within a place boosts inclusive economies, enables better outcomes for everyone, and increases opportunities for people and communities to shape their own lives.


    Coordinated place-based approaches can be applied at a range and scale of settings and circumstances be that in remote villages, towns, cities, regions or islands. Solutions need to deliver across a wide range of economic, physical and social outcomes and involve utilising available resources from across mainstream budgets


    The Place Principle

    The contribution place-based working has towards national performance outcomes, public health reform and achieving inclusive economies has led to the adoption of a Place Principle by Scottish Government and COSLA. The principle requests that all those responsible for providing services and looking after assets in a place need to work and plan together, and with local communities, to improve the lives of people, support inclusive growth and create more successful places.


    There is a challenge for local authorities in applying the Place Principle in terms of working differently. It promotes examining their own ways of thinking and working beyond distinct council areas or functions, and to make broader connections across sectors and crucially with community planning priorities.


    The Place Standard

    In addition to the Principle, the Place Standard tool provides a basis for a comprehensive conversation around place between all stakeholders with outputs that can shape priorities for collaborative working. The Place Standard Tool is a key enabler to place based working and thus to applying the Place Principle.


    Place and other policy

    In addition to the Place Principle, other policy areas and developments have an increased focus on place. For instance:


    • public health reform (Health and Place is one of its 'early adopters')
    • Islands (Scotland) Act
    • the Planning Bill
    • participatory budgeting
    • regional economic partnerships and developments such as the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency.


    Place and the Improvement Service

    The Improvement Service’s Planning for Place Programme provides specific support to councils and their partners to collaborate in place-based approaches to joint planning, resourcing and delivery of places that enable all communities to flourish. This includes:


    • elected member briefing sessions raising awareness of the role of place, place-based approaches and place making in service delivery
    • CPP and Officer Group awareness raising sessions on Place Standard Tool and Place Principle links
    • iterative practitioner training support on the use of the Place Standard Tool in workshop settings. Cross function attendance is a key feature to promote a non-siloed approach to the use of the tool
    • helping forge closer links between community planning and spatial planning, including national events and webinars that connect practitioners
    • facilitating collaboration between IS-supported professional groups around their collective agendas. SLAED, HOPS and SCOTS (along with SOLACE and COSLA) identified place as one of their top three collective working priorities.


  • Linking Community and Spatial Planning

    Community planning: 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. Many 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. In these circumstances, Local Development Plans are being viewed as the spatial expression of the local outcomes improvement plan.


    Spatial planning: The purpose of spatial planning is to manage the use of land and buildings in the public long-term interest. The statutory requirements on spatial planning are due to change in a new Planning Act in autumn 2019. It will include a specific provision requiring Local Development Plans to take into account their local outcome improvement plan. This aims 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.


    The Place Programme at the Improvement Service supports closer working in the following ways:


    • raising awareness of what is already happening across Scotland at events and webinars. We bring the two sets of practitioners together to learn and discuss progress (for more information click on the “event” links below);
    • the Place Network offers a Khub group and Twitter feed for timely updates and discussion on alignment.
    • promoting and supporting the use of the Place Standard Tool (insert a link to the ScotGov page that has the tool) with Community Planning and the opportunity it affords for closer alignment with spatial planning



    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.


    You can see some of the presentations from previous events below.

    Link to event - Closer Connections: Community Planning and Spatial Planning
  • Place and Health Early Adopter

    The Place Programme is a core contributor into a Public Health Reform Whole System Approach Early Adopter on Place and Health.


    A Place Working Group has been established to progress collaboration around place and place-making as part of the prevention element of public health reform. Representives from NHS Boards, NHS Health Scotland, Glasgow Centre for Population Health, COSLA, Glasgow City Council, West Lothian Council and Edinburgh University make up the group.


    The Place Working Group is working to define a set of principles for place and health in Scotland. These will support the delivery of 'Health in All Policies' in the National Planning Framework and planning authorities' Local Development Plans, and support local action. The principles for place and health will be agreed with Scottish Government and COSLA with the expectation that Public Health Scotland will support implementation across the whole system.


    The Working Group will also scope out the feasibility of Public Health Scotland becoming the consultation authority on population health matters, to support turning evidence on delivering healthy places into practice. This will include support using the Place Principle as a core prevention opportunity for Public Health Scotland to work across the whole system


    For further details on any of the above contact Irene Beautyman, Planning for Place Programme Manager.


Irene Beautyman
Planning for Place Programme Manager

Tel. 07908 930763

Email Irene

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