What needs planning permission

What needs planning permission?

Formal approval may be required from us to carry out most kinds of development, such as:

  • alter or extend a house or flat, erect a building in the garden of a house or alter a flat.  The Scottish Government has produced guidance which gives you basic advice on whether or not you will require formal consent for works to a house or flat. 
  • form an access onto a trunk road or a classified road
  • change the use of land or buildings e.g. from residential to office use
  • carry out engineering or excavation works
  • agricultural or forestry related buildings and private ways
  • erect or extend any other form of building or structure whether residential, industrial or commercial, including renewable energy developments. 

For current regulations on changes of use and non-domestic Permitted Development Rights see:

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes Order) (Scotland) 1997 (and 1998 amendments):and

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) (Order) 1992 (and amendments)

To confirm that your proposals do not require planning permission, we will require a certificate of Lawfulness of a Proposed Use or Development

Will I get planning permission?

Advice is available as follows:

  • current planning policies and land allocations can be found in the Local Development Plan
  • an online version of the Local Development Plan is available on the council FindIt mapping system
  • information and advice on particular themes and certain types of development can be found within our adopted Planning Guidance
  • certain development sites in the Scottish Borders are subject to planning briefs which set out how the planning authority would expect to see proposals brought forward in future applications
  • for Major development proposals (as set out in the national hierarchy of developments) we can offer pre-application advice (Contact should be made in the first instance via the service e-mail address: prs@scotborders.gov.uk
  • at present we are unable to provide pre-application advice on any other proposals

Other issues to consider

Listed Buildings

Works to the interior or exterior, including demolition, of Listed Buildings may require Listed Building Consent.  Whether a building is listed can be established from Historic Environment Scotland

Conservation Areas

You can establish whether your property is in a Conservation Area from the Council Find It mapping system. 

Demolition

Demolition of buildings and walls within Conservation Areas will require Conservation Area Consent unless exempt (see exemptions).  Demolition of buildings outside Conservation Areas will require Prior Notification to the Council unless exempted under Class 70 of the General Permitted Development (Scotland) Order 1992 (as amended).   

Trees

Trees within Conservation Areas, protected by Tree Preservation Order, or subject to a condition of a planning consent are afforded protection.  Further information is available. 

Adverts

The need for advertisement consent for displaying signage and adverts is set out in national regulations.  For the current signage regulations see:
The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (Scotland) Regulations 1984 (and amendments)

Footway Crossing Permits

Irrespective of the need for planning permission, a permit will be required from the Roads Authority for a footway crossing (such as where forming a new access or driveway into a property, that crosses the footway).  

Planning History

You can search for the planning history of a site using our public access portal.  

Other Sources of Information

Further information, advice and guidance are available from various bodies: 

Planning and other consultants working locally may be able to provide advice and assistance.  This could incur costs.  Local agents (Town Planners, Architects, Architectural Technologists, Surveyors, Land Agents) may be able to provide such independent advice:  

Making an application

A "which form?" wizard and planning fee calculator are available on the national e-planning website. 

Make a planning application online