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Planning application process

Find out about the planning application process

Receive application

Once we receive your application, we will confirm receipt of your application in writing, by email. We will conduct preliminary checks against your submission such as:

  • Ensure we are the correct Planning Authority to deal with your submission
  • Ensure we have basic details relating to the application which are prescribed in Regulations, such as a site address, description of the proposal, contact details for applicants and/or agents

Please note that where you have specified an agent to act on your behalf, we will correspond with them in the first instance.

Validate application

The application and its supporting contents will be checked concisely to ensure that the necessary documentation/drawings/information and fee have been received. Planning applications have to meet certain requirements in order to be considered 'valid' and to allow us to conduct an accurate and comprehensive assessment of your application. We may also revise the description of your application. This is to provide clarity and to ensure the relevant planning points are referred to and captures exactly what consent is sought for.

If, during the validation process, it is decided that your application doesn't have all the information required, then we will write to you with a list of what further information is required. The correspondence will provide an expected timescale to respond to our request (normally 21 days).

Register application

We'll register the application when we confirm it's valid and you pay the fee.

When it's registered, we give it a category of local or major development. The category affects how we process and decide your application.

Make applications public

We'll let your neighbours know about most applications. This applies to neighbours within 20 metres of the application site.

You need to let the owner of the application site know you're applying for planning permission. You also need to tell and any agricultural tenants.

If there's changes to the application, we'll decide whether to withdraw it or ask for a new one.

Major developments

You need to advertise consultation events in the local paper.


Sometimes, we'll consult with others on a planning application. For example, Scottish Water, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Historic Scotland.

We may also consult with other council services. For example, roads or environmental health.

Extra information

We may ask for extra information to help us consider the acceptability or otherwise of the proposal. For example: transport assessment, flood risk/ drainage assessment tree survey, ecology surveys and reporting etc.

Ecology and biodiversity advice

Private Water Supply advice

Making decisions

The starting point of any decision is the Development Plan. We also look at relevant government policies and documents submitted with the application.

A planning officer will always visit the site before we make a decision. Most local developments are decided by the Planning team.

Major developments are decided by the Planning Applications Committee. However, some local developments sometimes need to be decided by the Planning Applications Committee. For example, if a plan gets many objections.

Report of Handling

As part of the decision making, we'll prepare a Report of Handling for all applications. This sets out everything we take into account. You can view this on the online planning system after the decision is made.

Planning conditions

We may grant planning permission with conditions. These can vary in each case.

Planning obligations

We might need to enter into a planning obligation with you. This is a legal agreement which covers issues that can't be controlled by planning.


We aim to make planning decisions as quickly as possible.

Local developments

You can appeal if you don't get a decision in 2 months of us allowing your application.

Major developments

You can appeal if you don't get a decision in 4 months of us allowing your application. This is unless we agree an extension with you.