Q. Do I need Planning Permission?
A. Most development requires Planning Permission, however there are some minor development works, including domestic extensions, which fall under ‘Permitted Development’. These works do not require a formal application but are subject to certain restrictions. If you are thinking of carrying out work you should check with your Local Planning Department first to make sure it requires a Detailed Planning Application to be made, and ask for confirmation in writing.

Q. How long does Planning Permission last?
A. Detailed Planning Permission lasts three years from the date of approval.

Q. Can I obtain guidance before I submit my application?
A. DTA Chartered Architects will be more than happy to meet with you and offer a Pre-Application advice / consultation service to discuss your aspirations.

Q. What happens once an application for Planning Permission has been submitted?
A. Firstly the application will be checked to make sure the correct information has been submitted and a Case Officer is assigned to deal with the application. Your neighbours will then be notified of your application inviting them to submit their views – they have 21 days in which to respond, and it is possible that your application may be advertised in a local newspaper. The Planning Officer will seek specialist comments from the Roads & Traffic or Environmental Departments.
Following the notification period, the application site will be visited and negotiations may take place with you, or your agent to overcome any problems with your application. Senior Case Officers make most of the decisions on applications, however, some require to be made by Councillors at Planning Committee meetings. The Committee Members may decide to visit the site, or ask Officers to negotiate further before a final decision is made.
Once a decision has been made, the Local Authority will try to send out your Decision Notice as quickly as possible. If permission has been granted, it will set out any conditions which you have to comply with.

Q. Can changes be made to the Planning Permission after it has been granted?
A. Minor modifications can be made usually under a Non-Material Variation application, however, these can only be small and must not change the permission in any significant way.

Q. Can the decision on a Planning Application be influenced?
A. Once a Planning Application is publicised, anyone wishing to comment are given 21 days to do so. Comments must be in writing and made either by post or via the Local Authority's public access facility.

Q. Will I need any other permission?
A. In addition to Planning Approval you may need other permissions such as Building Warrant Approval (most likely), Scottish Water Approval, Environmental, Roads Consent or Listed Building/ Conservation Area Consent.

Q. Do I require a Building Warrant?
A. You need to obtain a Building Warrant before you can carry out most types of building or demolition work. For the purposes of applying for Building Warrant Approval, the following are a list of works which would fall under the term "building work" :

1. The erection or extension of a building.
2. An alteration to a building.
3. An alteration involving work which will temporarily or permanently affect the building relating to structure, fire, or access to and use of building.
4. Work relating to a change of use of a building.
5. Sub-division of properties.
6. Work to drainage systems, boilers or other heated appliance, unvented hot water systems, mechanical ventilation systems, replacement windows and electrical work in dwellings.

Q. Do I need Building Warrant Approval to build a porch or conservatory to my house?
A. No, unless the porch or conservatory is greater than 8m² in area or contains a boiler for a central heating system, sanitary facility or is within 1m of a boundary.

Q. Do I need Building Warrant Approval to convert my loft into a room?
A. All loft conversions require approval under the Building Regulations.

Q. Do I need Building Warrant approval to convert my garage into a habitable room?
A. Yes, even if it is used as an occasional room such as a hobby room.

Q. Do I need Building Warrant Approval to make internal alterations within my house?
A. Yes, if the alterations are of a structural nature, including the removal or part removal of a load-bearing wall, or removal of part or the whole of a chimney, or if they affect fire safety.

Q. Do I need Building Regulation Approval to carry out repairs to my house?
A. Only if the repair involves the removal of a major part of a wall and rebuilding it. If the repairs are of a minor nature and you are replacing like-for-like, then no approval is required.

Q. How long do I have to start the works once the necessary approvals have been obtained?
A. You have 3 years to start building from approval being granted for both Planning and Building Warrant.

Q. Is a Completion Certificate the same as a guarantee or warranty?
A. No. The Completion Certificate simply confirms that, as far as the Local Authority has been able to ascertain, the work on-site complies with the current Building Regulations. This means that inspections will need to have been carried out by a ‘relevant person’ at the appropriate times, and that any problems found were rectified. The Local Authority does not provide a guarantee or warranty on the work. This would be provided by a home warranty and insurance provider.
If you are buying a new or altered property it is prudent to make sure your solicitor checks that a Completion Certificate has been issued for the work.

Q. How much does it cost to submit a Planning Application or Building Warrant?
A. The Local Authority Planning and Building Standards Service are required to cover all their costs and this is done by charging for application fees. Planning Departments have set fees for the size of development and number properties etc. that are proposed, whereas Building Standards have a scale of fees which are dependent on the value of works.

Click here for ePlanning Scotland's fee calculator

Click here for eBuildingStandards Scotland's fee calculator