Do I need Planning Permission?


Some types of building work and development don't need planning permission as long as they are within defined thresholds. This is called permitted development.

The Scottish Government has published detailed guidance on permitted development for householders [opens in a new window] which covers the rules that must be followed.

Always double check if you will need permission before starting any work, we are happy to provide information and advice. the Planning Duty Officer can be contacted by email or calling 0300 123 4510 from Monday to Friday 0930 – 1300 to answer general questions.

For further advice on what to do if you don't need planning permission, please read the following sections.

What is allowed without Planning Permission?

If you are a householder, wanting to alter or extend your house. Permitted development rights [opens in a new window] allow you to carry out certain developments without needing consent from the council, for example:

  • Small front porches
  • Some rear extensions/conservatories
  • Satellite dishes
  • Replacement windows etc.

These rights don't exist in conservation areas, meaning that even relatively small alterations and developments there will need planning permission.

What other consent may I need?

Other consent that you may need to include:

  • If you are altering a listed building then you will need Listed Building Consent.
  • If you are demolishing a building or walls in a conservation area, you may need Conservation Area Consent.
  • If you are erecting an advertisement, you may need Advertisement Consent.
  • If you are doing works to trees covered by a tree preservation order, you need permission.
  • If there are protected bird or animal species at the site, you will need permission to disturb them.

To apply for the first four of the above you should visit the website [opens in a new window] to make an application online or download a paper form. For information regarding protected species please visit the Scottish Natural Heritage website [opens in a new window]

Building standards and change of use

Building Warrants

New buildings and alterations to existing buildings need to meet the appropriate building standards and may need a building warrant. For more information in this regard please visit Building Standards Service.

Changes of Use

If you are changing the use of a property, you may need Council consent. Most uses are allocated into a 'class' as defined in the Use Classes (Scotland) Order 1997 [opens in a new window]. If you are changing to a use within the same 'class', you will not need consent but, If you are changing to a use within a different 'class', you are likely to need consent.

Can I request confirmation that Permission isn't needed?

Planning officers are happy to give informal advice to you over the telephone or in person at the planning office regarding what needs and what doesn't need planning permission. However, if you wish to receive a formal decision, you will need to apply for a 'Certificate of Lawfulness'.

Forms and information on this procedure, including the fee which will be charged, can be requested though the planning team or you can also apply for certificates of lawfulness through the ePlanning system [opens in a new window]