Major developments

Major developments are those exceeding thresholds set by the Scottish Government. These are set out in more detail in Planning Circular 5 of 2009. For applications falling within the category of major development there are specific requirements regarding submission of proposal of application notices, application timings, and the carrying out of pre-application consultation.

Pre-application consultation

Planning applications for large developments require pre-application consultation (PAC) to be carried out between developers and communities. Any planning application which falls into one of the categories below will need a period of pre-application consultation before the application can be submitted.

Where a pre-application consultation is required, the developer has to submit a proposal of application notice to us at least 12 weeks before the application for planning permission is submitted. This will need to set out the extent of consultation that will be carried out, and must be agreed by us before the consultation begins. Once complete, a copy of a pre-consultation report must be submitted with the application.

Large developments include any proposal whose site area exceeds two hectares or is listed in Schedule 1 of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 1999, as well as proposals involving:

  • the erection of 50 or more houses
  • business applications where the area of any buildings exceeds 10,000 square metres
  • an electricity generating station of 20 or more megawatts capacity
  • waste management facilities exceeding 25,000 tonnes per annum capacity or more than 50 tonnes per day sludge treatment
  • transport or infrastructure developments exceeding 8 kilometres in length

Certain buildings over 5000 square metres may also be considered 'major'. Contact us for further guidance in such circumstances.

Making a comment on Pre-Application Consultation

You can search for and view the proposal of application notices received register which is updated whenever we receive a new notice.  Any comments about the development during the pre-application consultation stage must be made directly to the developer and not us.

Comments can still be made to us about the development if a planning application is submitted at the end of the pre-application consultation process.