Planning permission is NOT required (permitted development) for a basement conversion if the following criteria is met.
- No alterations are made to the external appearance of the building.
- Is NOT a flat, apartment or tenement.
- The basement does NOT form a separate dwelling.
- Your property is NOT a listed building. (Not sure if your property is listed? Visit PastMap or Historic Environment Scotland to find out.)
- You do NOT live in a conservation area.
As basement conversions can vary in design you should always consult your local planning department or architectural service provider. Find an Architect, Architectural Technician, or Planner to help with your project on Do I Need Permissions Who Can Help Pages.
Although planning permission may not be required Do I Need Permission recommend you obtain a “Certificate of Lawfulness”. This is confirmation from your local planning department that your proposed basement conversion does not require planning permission. You may require this should you sell your home.
Visit Do I Need Permissions certificate of lawfulness page for more information.
If your proposed basement conversion does not meet the above criteria you will need to apply for planning permission. More information on applying for planning permission below.
Scottish legislation requires specific information is provided for all planning applications. A planning application for a basement conversion should consist of the following information.
- A description of the proposed development.
- Details of the applicant and owners.
- The required fee. (where applicable)
- Ordnance survey based location plan.
- Block plan/site plan.
- Existing floor plans and elevations.
- Proposed floor plans and elevations.
- Details on proposed materials and colours.
- Supplementary information as required for your specific project.
Your local architectural service provider will be able to individually assess your specific requirements. Find an Architect, Architectural Technician, or Planner to help with your project on Do I Need Permissions Who Can Help Pages.
If you are considering lodging your own planning application you can submit your planning application online at the Scottish government’s e-planning website. Submitting your planning application online can save time and money. The e-planning website will also provide you with a checklist of information required for your application. Visit the Scottish government’s e-planning website to get started.
Take a look at Do I Need Permissions planning permission Scotland guide for information on preparing and lodging a planning application.
Planning permission for a basement conversion costs £202 (from 1st November 2014) This fee is payable to your local council.
You may be asked to pay additional fees for advertising your planning application, normally in a local newspaper. This can happen when the planning department cannot find contact details for neighbours that are required to be notified or when neighbouring land has no buildings on. This fee varies but is normally around £110. The planning department will notify you if this is required.
View planning permission fees for other projects on Do I Need Permissions planning fees Scotland page.
The fee for architectural drawings varies depending on your individual requirements. Find an Architect, Architectural Technician, or Planner to help with your project on Do I Need Permissions Who Can Help Pages.
Planning permission can take between 6-8 weeks for a decision. Your application can be refused if found to be unsuitable. A decision may take longer if your proposals are complex or further information is required.
Most councils allow you to track the progress of your planning application on-line. You can also see if anyone has commented on your proposals. Visit Do I Need Permissions view planning applications in my area page to find your local planning department website.
If you are considering lodging your own planning application you can submit your planning application online at the Scottish government’s e-planning website. Submitting your planning application online can save time and money. Visit the Scottish government’s e-planning website to get started.
Your application will be allocated to a planning officer. They may visit your property and consider comments from the public or other relevant bodies and take account of the Development Plan and other national policy and advice. Some applications will be decided by members of a planning committee. Your local council will delegate some decision making to your allocated planning officer. The planning department will notify you of how it intends to decide your application and of the decision.
Your planning application can be refused. If your application is refused you have a right to request either.
- An appeal to Scottish Ministers.
- Or a review by the planning departments local review board.
Only one of these options will be available depending on your specific application. The option available to you will be explained in early correspondence from the planning department and once your application has progressed and a decision has been made. If you are unsure you should contact your local planning department or architectural service provider for advice.
With any appeal or review you will be required to provide valid reasons or supporting information as to why your application should be approved.
Planning permission is valid for 3 years from the date of approval. Works should be started within this time period.
Your planning approval will become invalid if you do not start your project within this time period. In some cases an extension may be granted. You should contact your local planning department should you wish to discuss extending your planning permission.