National Planning Framework, Local Plans & Strategies

National Planning Policy in Scotland

The Scottish Government is responsible for the development and implementation of the legislative framework of the planning system in Scotland, setting out the strategy for Scotland's future development and policies on key planning issues and promoting good practice across the planning system.

In particular it:

maintains and develops primary and secondary planning legislation

prepares and monitors the delivery of the National Planning Framework (NPF4) which includes clear and proportionate planning policy and advice

National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4): Scotland 2045

The National Planning Framework is a long-term spatial plan for Scotland with an outlook to 2045. It sets out Ministers' policies and proposals for the development and use of land and should be read as a whole.

Scotland's 4th National Planning Framework (NPF4) was approved by the Scottish Parliament in January 2023 and adopted on 13 February 2023.

On adoption, it became part of the statutory development plan, giving it increased status when compared to its predecessor, and NPF now has a stronger role in day-to-day planning decision making.

NPF4 has incorporated and updated what had previously been a stand-alone document Scottish Planning Policy (2014). NPF4 now contains detailed national policy of a number of planning topics and for the first time, spatial and thematic planning policies are addressed in one place.

The most distinctive characteristics of NPF4 is that it has been purposefully designed to help achieve a net zero, sustainable Scotland by 2045 and to secure positive effects for biodiversity and nature recovery.

To find out more about NPF4, please visit the National Planning Framework - Transforming Planning website

Moray Development Plan

The Moray Local Development Plan 2020 sets out detailed policies and proposals to guide development.  You should use the Local  Development Plan when you want to make a planning application or comment on a planning application.  The Plan can be found at our Planning and Development pages along with Supplementary Planning Guidance and related Corporate Strategies (Planning and Development pages.)

Non statutory Planning Guidance

Replacement Windows and Doors Guidance

Read our recently approved planning guidance if you are wanting to replace windows and doors and your property is either a Listed building or in located in a Conservation Area.  

Read our Replacement Windows and Doors Guidance (PDF).

Advisory Note for Planning Applicants on Flood Risk and Drainage

Read our guidance note on Flood Risk and Drainage (PDF) which has been prepared to assist you with preparing supporting information to be submitted as part of your planning application and to address issues on both flooding and drainage.

Advice Notes

Small and Medium Business Advice Note

Small and Medium businesses need support from Development Management to help with their proposal before submitting a planning application.  This guide helps steer you through the planning process and gives advice as to when planning permission is likely to be required for a proposal.


Moray Enterprise Area Forres Park

Forres Enterprise Park is an established Enterprise Area and is covered by a specific protocol which will be used to determine development proposals within the Enterprise Area. Read our protocol which aims to prioritise development proposals and make the process streamlined.

Read our Protocol for Determining Development Proposals in the Forres (Moray) Life Sciences Area (PDF).

Service Charter

Development Management have a Service Charter which sets out standards of service that you can expect us to deliver.  Development Management plays an important role in delivering sustainable economic growth.  Our aim is to deliver an excellent service and be one of Scotland’s top planning authorities.  Read our Service Charter

Contact Us

Development Management
Economic Growth & Development
The Moray Council
PO Box 6760, Elgin
IV30 9BX

0300 1234561

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