PLANNING applications that help resurrect vacant and derelict land and create more town centre homes are more likely to gain permission under a new net zero framework drafted by SNP ministers.

The Scottish Government’s draft fourth national planning framework points to tighter restrictions on out-of-town retail developments – with planning applications set to be required to show how they contribute to Scotland’s legal target to become net zero by 2045.

Plans likely to succeed will play a part in creating 20-minute neighbourhoods – a concept where services can be easily reached on foot or by bike across cities and towns.

The framework, which has been put out for consultation, will support planning developments that play a part in nature restoration, help drive population growth in rural parts of Scotland, create more homes to meet local needs and encourage green investment.

Plans for renewable energy, including increasing the power of existing wind farms will be supported by planners under the overhaul – contributing to a Scottish Government strategy to ensure the nation can become an exporter of clean energy.

The Scottish Government has published the draft plan ahead of delegates at COP26 in Glasgow turning their attention to cities, regions and the built environment on Thursday.

The draft document proposes 18 national developments including a national walking, wheeling and cycling network, mass and rapid transit networks for cities to cut congestion and end reliance on cars and planned regeneration and investment along the Clyde and waterfronts in Edinburgh, Dundee and Stranraer.

Planning Minister Tom Arthur said: “As COP26 delegates debate the future of our planet, we are proudly publishing our new draft national planning framework that proposes planners will have to consider the impact of applications on climate change and our natural environment.

“This plan for Scotland in 2045 aims to transform places so more of us live in well-designed and energy efficient homes, located within walking distance of local services and green space, and puts planning at the heart of delivering green, inclusive and long term sustainable development.

“This is a turning point for planning in Scotland. Our proposals will help us achieve our just transition to net zero emissions by helping to deliver more renewable energy, protecting our natural environment and creating better, healthier places to live.”