Apply for planning permission

Do I need to apply for planning permission?

Service update (response to pandemic)

Please submit planning applications and pre-application enquiries online rather than on paper. This will help us deliver our service over the coming weeks.

The Planning Authority also strongly encourages electronic payment of planning application fees.

Paper submissions and non-electronic payments will take much longer for the Planning Authority to register under our new working arrangements. The Planning Authority will likely write to you to request an agreement to extend the time period to determine the planning application. This is a precautionary measure and will not necessarily mean that there will be a delay.

We appreciate your assistance.


All development needs planning permission.

If your project involves the following types of work then it will be development.

  • building
  • engineering
  • mining
  • other operations carried out in, on, over or under land.

It may also be development if you are changing the use of the land or property. For example, if you are converting a house to a shop.

Permitted development

Certain forms of development benefit from a general planning permission often referred to as 'permitted development rights'. Usually this is development of a minor scale which will have little impact on neighbouring properties.

The Scottish Government website explains "permitted development rights" and gives links to official guidance and to the main legislation.

Visit the Scottish Government website

Development which benefits from "permitted development rights" will not require an application for planning permission. All other development will require an application for planning permission.

Other permissions, consents and notifications

Your proposal may not require planning permission. It may however require some other consent.

There are a number of other different types of permissions and consents that we may issue, the most common are;

  • Listed building consent is needed for any external or internal changes to a listed building. Find out if your building is listed using the Historic Environment Scotland Listed Building Search.
  • Conservation area consent is needed if you want to demolish a building in a conservation area. Check if a building is within a conservation area.
  • Express advertisement consent is required before erecting or fitting certain types of advertisements. Contact the planning helpdesk for further guidance.
  • Works to Trees applications are required if you need to trim or cut down protected trees. Contact the planning helpdesk to find out if the tree in question is protected.
  • Prior notification to the planning authority is often needed if you are looking to construct an agricultural building. This must be submitted  before you start work. If you start work before you notify us we may require you to submit a planning application instead. Contact the planning helpdesk to check if you need to submit a prior notification.
  • High hedge notices can be applied for by people who feel that a neighbouring hedge is having an adverse effect upon their amenity. If the complaint is upheld by the council then the owner of the hedge may be instructed to trim or cut down the offending hedge.

Is planning permission the same as a building warrant?

No, planning permission and building warrant are two entirely separate permissions. In many cases, both planning permission and building warrant are needed. 

Building Standards can give guidance on building warrants.