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What needs planning permission

Planning permission is generally required for new buildings, major alterations to existing buildings and to change the use of buildings or land. Always check if you need to apply for planning permission before starting any work.

You can apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness for a Proposed Use or Development if you want formal confirmation that your proposals don't require planning permission.

Work that may not need planning permission

Some work is not classed as development and does not require planning permission, this includes:

  • Works that only affect the inside of a building
  • Minor alterations that don't materially affect the external alteration of a building
  • Works for the maintenance or improvement of a road
  • Works for inspecting, repairing or renewing utilities infrastructure
  • Use of any buildings or the land immediately surrounding it that is directly associated with or related to that use (such as gardening or for non-commercial purposes)
  • Use of land for agriculture or forestry
  • Demolition of a building under instruction from the Scottish Government

Some types of work are classed as permitted development and don't need permission as long as they are within defined thresholds:

Other types of consent

Some properties or sites may be situated in areas where planning constraints apply and additional consent might be required.

Planning advice and enquiries

You can ask us for general planning advice, find out if planning permission is likely to be approved or make a more formal enquiry about a major development before submitting an application.

Find out more about requesting planning advice

Page last updated: 14/02/2018
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