What is planning permission

Guidance specific to Scotland only.

The thought of altering or extending your home comes with many questions,

  • Do I need planning permission?
  • What is planning permission?

Building warrants and planning permissions can be easily confused and many people don’t realise you may actually require both.

What is planning permission?

Planning permission or planning consent is permission required in Scotland, England and throughout the UK in order to build, erect, alter or change the use of land, a building, part of a building or structure.

Do I Need Planning Permission ScotlandPermission is not always required depending on your specific project, this is called permitted development. You can find out if your project needs planning permission by visiting Do I Need Permission project categories page and selecting your project.

Planning permission will detail how the project will look including materials, colour of materials and how your project will affect the surrounding environment.

It is a legal requirement to gain planning permission and the homeowner’s responsibility. If you fail to seek planning permission for works that required approval and carry out works you may be asked to removed or reinstate works you carry out.

Types of planning permission

A number of different types of planning permission can be applied for,

  • Full planning permission: A full planning permission grants permission for all aspects of the proposed project, although it would generally be subject to various conditions.
  • Outline planning permission: Outline planning permission cannot be granted for a proposed change in the use of land or buildings. It might be appropriate when an applicant is seeking an agreement “in principle” to a proposed development, without being committed to a particular form of design or layout. This is normally used for housing developments and not home alterations.
  • Approval of “reserved matters” Seeking permission for those aspects that were not dealt with in an outline planning permission, or seeking approval of aspects of a development which were reserved by a planning condition in an earlier grant of full planning permission.
  • Renewal of planning permission: This would arise when an earlier outline or full planning permission was subject to a time-limiting condition which has since expired. In essence this requires the entire planning application to be reviewed in light of current rather than previous planning policies. Applications for renewal of an earlier planning permission are usually granted anew, unless there has been a significant change in the relevant material considerations which are to be weighed in the decision.
  • Removal or alteration of a planning condition: As a matter of law, conditions should only be imposed on a grant of planning permission when compliance with that condition is essential to make an unacceptable development acceptable – so it would be refused planning permission were it not for that condition. If the applicant or developer wished to proceed with a development without compliance with a condition, or perhaps with the condition in an alternative form, then an application can be made to “vary” the condition concerned – possibly by deleting it or offering an alternative form of words. Note that the LPA cannot alter any planning condition which imposes a time limit when the development is to be commenced. That would require a re-application for full or outline planning permission, but since October 2009 it has been possible to apply to extend an existing consent.

Why do we need planning permission?

Planning permission is there to protect the environment we live in. It ensures what we want to build is suitable for the area. It is not just there to control what is built it is also there to protect us from unsuitable development by our neighbours.

How is a planning application decided?

A planning application will be decided in accordance with the policies in the development plan, these policies are set by government.

Find the answer to other frequently asked planning question on Do I Need Permissions planning faq page or take a look at Do I Need Permissions planning permission guide page.

Do I Need Planning Permission Scotland | Planning FAQ'sDo I Need Planning Permission Scotland | Planning FAQ's