The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 introduced Masterplan Consent Areas (MCAs) as a new proactive consenting mechanism.

The Council will in future be able to use prepare Masterplan Consent Area schemes as part of a placemaking approach to planning and consenting. It is a new way for the Council to shape new development in our area – enabling the type and quality of development we wish to come forward through a consenting masterplan, and to support delivery of development that can support local needs, priorities and outcomes.

Unlike planning applications which are typically led by a developer, the preparation of Masterplan Consent Area schemes will be led by the planning authority, but can be taken forward through collaboration.

The new provisions will allow the Council to prepare a Masterplan Consent Area ‘Scheme’ setting out for particular places, the detail of what they are giving consent for, through the Masterplan Consent Area scheme. There will be requirements for publicity and consultation on individual schemes.

Masterplan Consent Area schemes can streamline consent, allowing issues to be considered as part of a joined-up approach, they can grant:

  • planning permission,
  • roads construction consent,
  • listed building consent, and
  • conservation area consent.

Within adopted Masterplan Consent Areas, development could be brought forward without the need for a full application as long as it is in line with the agreed scheme.

More details about Masterplan Consent Areas are available in the Consultation Paper on the draft MCA Regulations – the Scottish Government’s consultation closed on 22 May 2024.

Consideration of the Duty to periodically consider making MCA schemes

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 sets out the legal framework for preparing Masterplan Consent Areas, however all of the relevant provisions and associated regulations are not yet in force.

The Scottish Government has indicated they expect the Masterplan Consent Area provisions being fully in place later in 2024.

However, part of the Planning (Scotland) Act, is in force and requires planning authorities to consider whether it would be desirable to make a scheme for a part or parts of their district, and to publish a statement as to their consideration of that, by 25 July 2024.

Planning Committee on 5th June 2024 has approved the following statement of consideration:

“As the Masterplan Consent Area regulations are not yet in place, we have not yet identified or assessed potential locations for which it may be desirable to bringing forward a Masterplan Consent Area scheme. We intend to reconsider this once the legal basis for preparing Masterplan Consent  Areas is in place.”

The Scottish Government has indicated that Masterplan Consent Areas could be used to support delivery of the local development plan. We will consider whether it would be desirable to make any Masterplan Consent Areas as part of our work on delivery linked to the Local Development Plan’s Delivery Programme.

This Statement fulfils the Council’s legal requirements under Schedule 5A Paragraph 5 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act, as amended.