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What needs planning permission?

Not all developments require planning permission. Find out below how to find out if you need permission.

When you do need planning permission

You will need to submit a planning application if you want to:

  • build a new building such as houses, shops or factories
  • make a major change to your building e.g. building an extension
  • change the use of your building or land

Please check our links below if you are planning to run a business from home or start short-term lets. 

See our Pre-application services webpage for information on how to get advice about your development.

When you don't need planning permission

You don't need to apply for planning permission for some types of building projects. This is known as 'permitted development'. We have various checklists which will help you work out if you need planning permission or not.

You should apply for a certificate of lawfulness if you want a definite decision that a proposed development is lawful and does not need planning permission or that if you go ahead with the development, you will not run the risk of future enforcement action by the Council.

More information on permitted development rights is contained within the Scottish Government's householder permitted development rights: guidance (updated 2021).

When you are not sure if you need planning permission

If you are not sure if planning permission is required and you would like us to assess it for you, you should apply for a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development. The fee for this service can be found on our Scale of Current Fees. Please note your Certificate could be refused, in which case you will need to apply for full planning permission and pay an additional fee. You can apply for a Certificate by submitting an application online

If you apply for planning permission, or submit a prior notification, but don't actually need it because your development is 'permitted', we will change your application to one for a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development and refund any fee overpayment. This will give you formal confirmation that your development complies with legislation and does not need further permission. 

What other consents might I need?

There is a full list of other types of consent on the Application Types (PDF) [45KB]  guidance notes.

If you know or believe your property is listed, the works you wish to carry out may require listed building consent. More information about listed buildings and listed building consent can be found in our Heritage Conservation section.

When applying to modify or discharge a planning obligation (Section 75 legal agreement), please use the  Modifying a Planning Obligation Form (PDF) [155KB]  and Modifying a Planning Obligation Guide (PDF) [98KB]  to ensure you provide us with all the information required to process your request.

What if I start a development without planning permission?

If your project needs planning permission and you do the work without getting it or do not adhere to the conditions in the granted planning permission, you can be served an enforcement notice ordering you to undo all the changes you have made.

Do I need planning permission for a short-term let?

Sometimes planning permission is required before you let out your residence, or part of it, for short-term lets such as Airbnb or as holiday accommodation. The rules around this use are changing so keep yourself informed.

Do I need planning permission to run a business from home?

Running a small scale business from home, for example a childminding business, does not usually need planning permission but things like number of callers, deliveries or hours of operation will need to be considered. Check to see if your business plans need planning permission.

Is my development 'permitted' and exempt from planning permission?

If you are planning on carrying out a development to your dwellinghouse or flat, you should have a look at our checklists, as you may not need planning permission for small scale developments.

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