What needs planning permission

Pre application advice service

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 our 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

Pre application advice for householders

If you'd like to know whether you'll get permission for a development at your home you need to submit a planning application which can be done through the ePlanning Portal.

Other pre application advice

We provide a pre application advice service for all other types of developments. Using this service will provide you with greater certainty to the outcome of an application and speeds up the application process. We recommend that you seek formal pre application advice from us before you submit a planning application.

As part of the pre application service you can request either:

  • a written response OR
  • a meeting and written response

You can complete our pre application form, and find more information in our pre-application guidance note

Please note that if you'd like to know whether you'll get permission for advertisements, you'll need to apply for planning permission through ePlanning Portal.

Category of development

Written Response

Meeting with written response

Local Development (other than housing)



Proposals for one to two houses or flats



Housing developments (3-49 houses)



Housing developments (more than 49 houses or sites over two hectares)



Renewable Energy Projects over two hectares



All other major developments



Fee changes are liable to change without consultation.

Exceptions to charges

Advice will be provided free of charge in the following cases:

  • advice in respect of proposals which only require listed building consent or conservation area consent
  • developments solely proposing disabled facilities or access
  • 100% Affordable Housing Schemes
  • proposals where the applicant/developer is a registered charity or a Community Council
  • discussions with residents potentially affected by developments
  • one meeting or written response following a refusal of an application, where revisions to that refused scheme within the same application site are proposed

Information to provide with your proposal

In order for advice to be effective it is essential that you provide enough information on your proposals and this may include:

  • a scaled plan showing the site and identifying other land within the ownership or control of the applicant
  • any relevant planning history that you are aware of, details of the existing use, a schedule of any existing floorspace and any other background information that is relevant to the proposal
  • a topographical site survey or other information sufficient to understand existing and proposed site levels in relation to the surrounding area
  • a description of the proposal, including a calculation of any new/additional floorspace if appropriate
  • any necessary scaled plans, elevations, sections and photographs (which are particularly useful to understand the proposal and its context)
  • in the case of more significant proposals, a draft Design and Access Statement

Certificate of Lawfulness

Please note that we do not provide written confirmation in response to general enquiries about the need for planning permission.  If you need formal written confirmation of the need for planning consent, you should submit an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness for a Proposed Use or Development. Guidance on what needs planning permission is available

Development management

Processing of planning applications, and advice on the need for planning permission

Address: Council Headquarters
Newtown St. Boswells

Telephone: 0300 100 1800