Apply for planning permission
View our briefing notes to find out how we are maintaining a functioning planning system during coronavirus.
Planning is concerned with how a development looks, fits in with its surroundings, its effect on the local neighbourhood, community, traffic and the historic and natural environment. You need planning permission as an authorisation to do a development work.
Planning permission is different from building warrant. To carry out work legally, you usually need both.
There are some things that you need to know before applying for a permission:
- Get advice before submitting your application
- Deciding who will make your application
- What you need to provide
- Application fees
- How to apply
- Additional Guidance on Prior Notifications
Please note that this process is slightly different if you are applying for planning permission for major developments.
If planning permission is required, you will need to decide who is making the application. This can be yourself or a suitably qualified professional acting on your behalf such as:
- Architectural technician
- Surveyors or planning consultant
- Building engineers or contractor
- Company specialising in conservatories, windows and doors
You can find an architect in your area on the Architects Register website.
For complex local developments, we would recommend you to use our Planning Processing Agreement (PPA). This project management tool will help you identify key processes, information you need provide and timescales.
We need you to provide the relevant documentation for your proposed works with your application. Please view our validation checklist (pdf 157KB) which provide details of what to submit with your application.
Further advice on ensuring your application meets our validation requirements can be found in our validation guidance for applicants and agents (pdf 112KB). This should be read alongside the Heads of Planning Scotland validation guidance (pdf 1.7MB).
In addition, you may also need to complete the following depending on your application:
- Land Ownership Certificate (signed by all owners or agricultural tenants of land relating to the application)
- Environmental Impact Assessment (if your proposal is likely to have an impact on the environment)
- Supplementary documents
If you are submitting a Prior Notification please see our separate guidance on Prior Notifications.
You need to pay the appropriate fee when submitting the application otherwise we can't process it.
You can pay in different ways:
- online at the time of your submission via the national ePlanning portal
- online using our payment form
- by telephone with a debit or credit card
You can apply for most types of planning applications online using the national ePlanning portal. If you are not sure which form you need use the forms wizard to help identify the required form.
Please note that some forms on the ePlanning portal can only be submitted by email. These are:
- Pre-application screening notice
- Proposal of application notice
- Modification or discharge of planning obligations
- Marine fish farm application form
- High hedges form
- Applications for Prior Notification or Prior Approval for Peatland Restoration projects (under class 20A) or for the Conversion of Existing Agricultural/Forestry Buildings to Residential or Commercial Use (under Class 18B, 18C, 22A or 22B)*
*Please note that applicants for Prior Notifications under the new classes of development introduced on the 1st of April 2021 should ensure they have read the guidance for making a Prior Notification and Prior Approval (260KB) as published on the ePlanning Portal and the Planning Circular 2/2015: Consolidated Circular On Non-Domestic Permitted Development Rights (Updated 2021) which provides further information on the process before submitting a notification.
Further to the above guidance, and in respect of Classes 18B, 18C, 22A or 22B, where the guidance refers to ‘such other plans and drawings as are necessary to describe the development’ the Planning Authority will require details and plans as set out in the Prior Notification Validation Checklist to be submitted in order to be able to consider these Prior Notifications.
For agricultural conversions we would also expect the application for prior notification to include the SGRPID (Scottish Government Rural Payments Inspections Division) Farm Unit Plan relevant to the farm unit on which the conversion/s would be taking place.
We have provided further general guidance on how we deal with Prior Notifications and additional Validation Guidance contained within Appendix 1 for the most common types of Notifications including Agricultural Developments, Private Ways and Conversions which is available via the links below:
- Prior Notification Agents and Applicants Guidance (pdf 158KB)
- Appendix 1 – Prior Notification Validation Checklist (pdf 139KB)
- Appendix 2 – Contaminated Land Form (pdf 353KB)
- Appendix 3 – Noise Questionnaire (pdf 443KB)
Please contact us for further information.