Place skills for housing: locating for place quality

A learning resource to help grow your skills on achieving better place quality for new housing. 

An illustration of a proposed new housing development showing the location of shops, community buildings and green spaces with people enjoying those places

The focus of the Place Skills for Housing series is on supporting better place quality through considering location and place priorities for new housing led developments, as one important element of whole place planning.

This skills module recognises the important role that Local Development and Housing Investment Plans play in establishing principles about the location and form of housing led development which impact on place quality.

What you will learn in this module:

  • How to… establish place leadership
  • How to… engage others
  • How to… develop whole place priorities
  • How to… develop local place priorities
  • How to… brief for place quality in plans and strategies
  • Which tools and methods to employ to get the best results

The content

The methods and approaches have been informed by our work supporting partners across Scotland to take a place-based approach.

The material will complement broader place-based thinking over wide geographies through: strategic or local development plans, local housing strategies, strategic housing investment plans or area development frameworks.

The materials are intended to support early stage thinking and could inform evidence gathering or strategic environmental assessment stage of your new development plan, and early stage thinking about local housing strategies or strategic housing investment plans.

The focus of the module is housing led development but the methods and approaches promote ‘whole place’ thinking and are applicable to broader areas of place-based working.

By following the snapshot steps and completing the associated templates, you will understand how to apply a place-based approach to housing as part of your development plan or housing strategy process.

Accompanying the steps are a series of practical resources to help you establish the conditions for success in your place.

Module 1: Locating for place quality

Download this learning resource to grow your skills on achieving better place quality for new housing. 

Accompanying case studies for this module

The following case studies showcase best practice examples of applying a place-based approach for new housing developments. 

A semi detached white house with a black roof

LIVEPark, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

This case study shows how a planning authority can influence place quality through local plans and spatial strategies. In line with the place principle, this approach encouraged proactive community engagement from landowners and developers to get certainty over what could be accommodated within each rural development framework (RDF) area.

Image credit: Link Housing Associations

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Members of the Moray Council sitting around a round table during a workshop.

Moray Council quality audit tool

This case study explores the use of a Quality Audit tool to influence housing developments. The tool is part of a range of ways Moray Council influences design quality, including the Local Development Plans (LDP), placemaking policy, masterplanning key sites and training for elected members. 


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An aerial shot of a housing development overlooking an open landscape

Countesswells, Aberdeen City Council

This case study shows a local authority-led masterplanning approach to housing. The Local Development Plans (LDP) named key sites in its strategy for housing growth. Here, the authority’s leadership shaped the quality and expectations of the developments. This approach allowed public and private sector parties to work collaboratively on design, development and delivery. 

Image credits: Optimized Environments

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Place-based approach to housing

The Place Skills for Housing resource offers easy to follow to support local authority planning and housing officers to collaborate with others involved, in line with the Place Principle. You can learn more about this approach by watching our short video which introduces our place skills for housing learning resource.

See video
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