Obtaining planning permission

Apply for planning permission

Planning is concerned with how a development looks, fits in with its surroundings, its effect on the local neighbourhood, community, traffic and the historic and natural environment. You need planning permission as an authorisation to do a development work.

Planning permission is different from building warrant. To carry out work legally, you usually need both.

Please note that this process is slightly different if you are applying for planning permission for major developments

View our Customer Briefing Notes for the latest changes to the Planning Service.

There are some things that you need to know before applying for a permission:

Deciding who will make your application

If planning permission is required, you will need to decide who is making the application. This can be yourself or a suitably qualified professional acting on your behalf such as:

  • Architect
  • Architectural technician
  • Surveyors or planning consultant
  • Building engineers or contractor
  • Company specialising in conservatories, windows and doors

You can find an architect in your area on the Architects Register website. 

For complex local developments, we would recommend you to use our Planning Processing Agreement (PPA). This project management tool will help you identify key processes, what information you need to provide and timescales. 

What you need to provide

We need you to provide the relevant documentation for your proposed works with your application. Please view our validation checklist (PDF 157KB) which provide details of what to submit with your application. 

Further advice on ensuring your application meets our validation requirements can be found in our validation guidance for applicants and agents (PDF 178KB). This should be read alongside the Heads of Planning Scotland validation guidance (PDF 1.7MB)

In addition, you may also need to complete the following depending on your application:

If you are submitting a Prior Notification please see our separate guidance on Prior Notifications

Application fees

The fee for a planning application is set nationally by the Scottish Government. You can view our application fees or use fee calculator on the ePlanning portal.

You need to pay the appropriate fee when submitting the application otherwise we can't process it.

You can pay in different ways:

  • online at the time of your submission via the national ePlanning portal 
  • online using our payment form
  • by telephone with a debit or credit card
  • or contact us if you require an alternative method of payment

How to apply

You can apply for most types of planning applications online using the national ePlanning portal. If you are not sure which form you need please use the forms wizard to identify the required form.

Apply using ePlanning portal

Alternatively, you can download the relevant application form from the ePlanning portal and email the completed application to our correspondence address.

View the planning applications privacy notice (PDF 85.1KB).

Please note that some forms on the ePlanning portal can only be submitted by email. These are: 

  • Pre-application screening notice
  • Proposal of application notice
  • Modification or discharge of planning obligations
  • Marine fish farm application form
  • High hedges form
  • Applications for Prior Notification or Prior Approval for Peatland Restoration projects (under class 20A) or for the Conversion of Existing Agricultural/Forestry Buildings to Residential or Commercial Use (under Class 18B, 18C, 22A or 22B)*

Additional Guidance on Prior Notifications

*Please note that applicants for Prior Notifications under the new classes of development introduced on the 1st of April 2021 should ensure they have read the guidance for making a Prior Notification and Prior Approval (PDF 260KB) as published on the ePlanning Portal and the Planning Circular 2/2015: Consolidated Circular On Non-Domestic Permitted Development Rights (Updated 2021) which provides further information on the process before submitting a notification.

Further to the above guidance, and in respect of Classes 18B, 18C, 22A or 22B, where the guidance refers to ‘such other plans and drawings as are necessary to describe the development’ the Planning Authority will require details and plans as set out in the Prior Notification Validation Checklist to be submitted in order to be able to consider these Prior Notifications.

For agricultural conversions we would also expect the application for prior notification to include the SGRPID (Scottish Government Rural Payments Inspections Division) Farm Unit Plan relevant to the farm unit on which the conversion/s would be taking place.

We have provided further general guidance on how we deal with Prior Notifications and additional Validation Guidance contained within Appendix 1 for the most common types of Notifications including Agricultural Developments, Private Ways and Conversions which is available via the links below:

Please contact us for further information.