Rural and Environment

Working together to maximise the potential of our land.

February 5, 2021 by 1 Comment | Category Climate Change, Environment

Regional Land Use Partnerships are being piloted to help develop Scotland’s approach to land use in support of our green recovery and transition to net-zero.

The Partnerships will help national and local government, communities, land owners and stakeholders work together to find ways to optimise land use in a fair and inclusive way – meeting local and national objectives and supporting the journey to net zero.
They will be piloted in:

• Cairngorms National Park
• Highland Council
• Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
• North East Region (Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City Councils)
• South of Scotland (Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders Councils)

The Scottish Government will work with the pilot groups to test approaches to partnership governance that best suit the local situation and priorities. This will help inform future decisions on wider establishment of Partnerships.

Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“Scotland’s commitment to tackling the twin crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss is unwavering. Our journey to net zero will be transformational and touch every aspect of our lives. Our approach to land use will be vital to achieving our objectives.

“Given Scotland’s unique and diverse natural environment, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to land use, and it is right that we use and empower local knowledge and expertise to guide our journey. It is also important to recognise that land use development is not just a rural matter – it is something that concerns every corner of the country, which is why I am pleased that urban areas will also be included in the pilot scheme.

“It is critical that we ensure a just transition to net zero, one that leaves no-one behind. These Partnerships will take a collaborative and inclusive approach to supporting decision-making, making sure they meet local priorities while supporting our national endeavour to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change.”


Enabling regional land use partnerships is a Programme for Government 2019/20 commitment, reaffirmed in 2020/2021.

The Scottish Land Commission (SLC) published recommendations for Regional Land Use Partnership implementation on 3 November 2020.

Local planning authorities, as part of the indicative Regional Spatial Strategy (iRSS) network, were invited to express an interest in becoming a Regional Land Use Partnership (RLUP) pilot. This approach was recommended by the SLC, and will support synergies between iRSS and RLUP objectives.

Grant Moir, Chief Executive at the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), said:

“We are delighted that the Cairngorms National Park is to become a Regional Land Use Partnership pilot area. The scale of the National Park and the excellent partnership working that already exists here means that we are well placed to help Scotland trial new approaches to aid green recovery, meet net zero targets and tackle the biodiversity crisis. We are starting the development of the new National Park Partnership Plan this year so the timing of the RLUP pilot announcement is perfect.”


  • Donald McPhillimy says:

    Very pleased to see that the south of Scotland is a pilot area after the success of the Scottish Borders in the original Land Use Strategy development.

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