Planning pre-application advice
The Planning Service is experiencing resourcing issues which may delay response times. Please use the public access register as this is the quickest way to view and track progress on applications.
If your proposal requires planning permission, we offer a pre-application advice service which is intended to guide and inform your development proposals before you submit a formal application. Pre-application advice is a non-statutory, valuable service provided by the Planning and Environment Service and we will aim to send a formal response within 25 working days from the date of valid request.
View our Customer Briefing Notes for the latest changes to the Planning Service.
Find out more:
- Benefits of seeking pre-application advice
- Householder developments
- Local developments
- Major developments
- Large scale energy, transmission and infrastructure developments
View planning applications privacy notice (PDF 48.2KB) to find out what we do with your data.
By seeking pre-application advice, you will get a formal response in writing that:
- will give you the opportunity to understand how policies from the current Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan will be applied to your proposal
- can identify at an early stage where there is a need for specialist input for example contamination, transport, or ecology
- can identify information that is likely to be required to accompany a planning application for example a Flood Risk Assessment or tree survey
- can help to establish the fee and a likely timescale for processing any subsequent application
- may lead to a reduction in time dealing with a formal application
- will flag up whether a proposal is unacceptable which could save you the cost of submitting a formal application
Householder development proposals cover external works or an extension to a house or a flat and include works within the domestic curtilage such as fences, sheds or garages.
Before you request pre-application advice, please check if you need planning permission. Some minor householder works are covered by permitted development rights and don’t need planning permission.
For further information on householder development, what you need to provide with your request and the information that we will provide you in our response is available in our householder pre-application advice guidance (PDF 138KB).
You can request householder development pre-application advice online or in paper. To request it in paper, please contact us.
Local development proposals are building projects that are bigger than alterations or extensions to a single existing house. They include:
- building 1 to 49 houses
- converting non-residential buildings
- small to medium business and industrial developments
- smaller wind energy proposals (up to 20 megawatts)
Before you request pre-application advice, please check if you need planning permission. Some minor works are covered by permitted development rights and don’t need planning permission.
For further information on local development, what you need to provide with your request and the information that we will provide you in our response is available in our local development pre-application advice guidance (PDF 91KB).
You can request local development pre-application advice online or in paper. To request a paper form please contact us.
Major development proposals include building 50 or more homes, larger commercial or retail development, certain waste, water, transport and energy related building works.
We are in the process of reviewing and updating the pre-application process for major developments. Further information and guidance on the process will be published once finalised.
In the meantime, we are continuing to provide pre-application advice for this scale of development following the process established for local developments with a similar level of information provided in a written response.
We will aim to send a formal written response within 30 working days of the request being validated. This is considered to be a realistic timescale and agents are requested to make clients aware that this is to be expected. The potential need for further information or a site visit may mean that an extension to the timescale will be needed in order to ensure the best possible response. Should an extension be necessary, you will be contacted by the case officer.
A formal written response will always be issued providing pre-application advice. As part of this response, we may highlight that further communication and/or a meeting may be beneficial depending on the nature of the enquiry and issues highlighted within the response. This approach will be at the discretion of the case officer dealing with your enquiry.
For further information on major development, what you need to provide with your request and the information that we will provide you in our response is available in our major development pre-application advice guidance (PDF 143KB).
Please contact us should you have any queries on the major development pre-application process.
This pre-application advice service is available for large scale energy, transmission, and infrastructure projects. These consist of national and major development under the Planning Acts and development proposals under the Electricity Acts for generating stations and transmission infrastructure (S36 and S37 applications). Proposals under this category will generally consist of large scale renewable and low carbon energy and electricity grid infrastructure:
- Windfarms over 50MW
- Solar farms over 50MW
- Hydrogen development
- Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS)
- Electricity grid infrastructure over 132kv
- Electricity storage and grid stability infrastructure over 50MW
- Onshore infrastructure for offshore wind (underground cabling/substations)
- Offshore windfarm connections and landfall
There is a fee for this service. The fee for discretionary services such as pre-application advice is set by us. Fees for other discretionary services are set nationally in the same way as planning application fees.
On receipt of your request, you will be provided a reference number. Once you have the reference number, payment can be made using one of our payment options.
Further information about the pre-application advice service, what you need to submit and the service that we will provide is available in our pre-application advice guidance for energy, transmission and infrastructure developments (PDF 205KB).
You can request pre-application advice for these developments by completing our pre-application advice request form: energy, transmission, infrastructure (PDF 150KB) and sending it to our correspondence address.