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Do I Need Planning Permission?

Do I Need Planning Permission?

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If you plan to carry out any development, and that may include anything from erecting a building or structure, extending an existing building, or doing some engineering works to simply changing the use of a building or land, you may need to obtain planning permission from the Council before you start work. If you are unsure whether you need permission, please contact us directly, and we can tell you what permission, if any, is required. Sometimes special permission is required particularly with listed buildings, to fell trees, to display advertising or to demolish a building.

In certain circumstances planning permission is deemed to have been granted and no application for permission is necessary for certain types of development. These are called permitted developments.

Housholder Proposals

In many instances, small alterations and extensions can be carried out to your home without the need to submit an application for planning permission. As can developments separate from, but within the garden of your house.

Information on all the separate categories of permitted development can be found on the Scottish Government Website.

You may find that this provides you with sufficient information to decide whether you need planning permission. However, if you are not sure, please send us a description of the changes you plan to carry out, preferably including a drawing showing the existing house, any other structures, the garden boundary and adjacent road, and the proposed alterations or extension, and we will tell you whether you need planning permission before you start. Please remember, the better the information you provide, the easier it will be for us to keep you right.

You can e-mail your enquiry to – please put Development Enquiry (Householder) in the subject line of the e-mail.


You can also seek impartial planning advice from PAS. An independent organisation which offers a free, impartial and confidential planning advice service, provided by specialist volunteers, all of whom are chartered planners.

PAS works across Scotland to improve public engagement in planning and delivers a range of training and education programmes.

Non-householder Proposals

There will be a variety of types of development not relating to houses that may be permitted development, and not need planning permission. We can provide you with advice from officers. Alternatively, you can apply to the Council for a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development. In either case, please supply us with clear information on the development you wish to carry out/have carried out, including drawings showing the existing and proposed arrangements, and we can advise you whether planning permission is required.

You can e-mail your enquiry to – please put Development Enquiry (Non-householder) in the subject line of the e-mail 

Changes to Proposals/Non Material Variations

Proposals can change after planning permission has been granted. Sometimes a further application for planning permission will be required to approve these changes. On other occasions, the changes can be regarded as non-material variations, in which case the matter can be dealt with by exchange of letter or email and relevant drawings. In deciding whether the changes are material we will have to regard a number of factors, including:

  • the original description of the development;
  • the comparative scale of the original approved development and the proposed changes;
  • the relationship to site boundaries and neighbouring properties;
  • any representations from consultees, neighbours or other third parties on the original application, and their relevance to the proposed changes;
  • any conditions that may be attached to the planning permission;
  • any designation that applies to the site of the development; and
  • the consequences for any relevant development plan policy, eg in relation to residential amenity, design, or visual, environmental or traffic impact.

Other Permissions

Please keep in mind that permissions from other services of the Council may be required, including Building Standards, Roads, Housing, Environmental Health or Licensing.

For Further Information Contact

Development Quality
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000