Urban design

Urban Design & Place-Making

Good urban design helps to create distinctive and resilient places where people want to live and work.  The term ‘place-making’ is often used to describe the activity of urban design and reflects its importance in relation to making good planning decisions.  High quality places and buildings are vitally important to the long term social, environmental and economic success of Fife’s town’s and rural communities. 

Creating good places involves the coordinated design and development of buildings, streets and spaces with consideration to the mix of land uses.
Overall responsibility for place-making in Scotland rests with the Architecture and Place Division within the Scottish Government’s Built Environment Directorate.  Their work helps to support the following National Outcomes:

  • We live in well-designed, sustainable places where we are able to access the amenities and services we need;
  • We value and enjoy our built and natural environment and protect it and enhance it for future generations;
  • We live in a Scotland that is the most attractive place for doing business in Europe; and
  • We take pride in a strong, fair and inclusive national identity.

Achieving higher quality and more sustainable places is also central to meeting the outcomes of Scottish Planning Policy.



The Role of Fife Council
Our aim is to raise the standard of design and sustainability of new developments across Fife to support our settlements.  We seek to do this by implementing Scottish Government’s national design policies and good practice. National design policy is set out within Designing Places and Designing Streets  and are supported by a series of design-based Planning Advice Notes  that provide more detail on subjects such as Masterplanning and Design Statements.

Design is a material consideration in the planning process, which means it is an important factor which should be taken into account when reaching a decision on a planning application. Planning permission can be refused on design grounds alone.

We seek to implement design policies by working in partnership with investors, developments, landowners, the local community and other stakeholders to achieve better quality and more sustainable places.  

Fife’s design policies are set out within the emerging FIFEplan Local Development Plan and the three adopted Local Plans.

The Making Fife’s Places Planning Policy guidance (approved August 2015) covers a range of issues relating to the design of development including built and natural heritage, the design of streets, green infrastructure and buildings, sustainability and public art. View the Finalised Making Fife's Places Planning Policy Guidance here.

We also produce a range of policy documents to support the planning and investment process.  You can find these on our Development Briefs & Frameworks page.

We also provide urban design specialist support to the Development Management process to ensure major planning applications include proposals for well-designed developments. 

For more information, you can contact us on the details at the bottom of this page or by post to:

  • Urban Design, Fife Council, Kingdom House, Kingdom Avenue, Glenrothes, KY7 5LY

Useful Links
Architecture & Design Scotland
Architecture and Place Division, Scottish Government

Urban Design
Tel: 03451 55 22 11 Contact Urban Design online
By Post: Town House 2 Wemyssfield Kirkcaldy Fife KY1 1XW
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