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The construction of new buildings, substantial alterations and additions or a fundamental change of use of land or buildings will, in most cases, require planning permission.

In submitting a planning application you will have to provide the planning department with a set of plans and elevations clearly detailing your proposals. You will also have to notify neighbours of your development at this time and they will have the opportunity to object. You only have to provide a small location plan showing your site and the neighbours will have to go to local council offices to view the detailed plans. (It may be advisable; to keep relations amicable, to inform your neighbours early on of your proposals and you can show them detailed plans if you wish). Other people who are not your direct neighbours can object to proposals also, but if their objections have no valid grounds then they will be overlooked.

Any decision approved/refusal may still be contested at a council committee. This will give both applicants and objectors their right to stand in front of the local council committee and put forward their point of view. The decision at these committees can over rule the planning department. Note: as well as letters of objections you can also provide letters of support for your development during the planning process.

Planning permission is not generally needed for internal alterations to buildings that do not affect their structure or external appearance, for small external works, or most works of repair and maintenance. However you should always check first.

Different planning requirements apply in Conservation Areas or for Listed Buildings.

However, there are some forms of developments or alterations which do not require planning consent; these may fall under “Permitted Development”. You have certain Permitted Development Rights for both domestic and commercial proposals.

Changes of use may also be permitted without requiring planning permission; these are set out in the Use Classes Order.


Although you may not have to submit a full planning application, in some cases you may be asked to provide sketches of the proposed development in order for the local authority to decide whether this falls under “Permitted Development”.

Planning applications usually take between 4 to 8 weeks from the date of submission to get a decision. In more contentious situations they may have to go to committee and depending on the complexities of the development this may take months. No matter what the decision, you will always have a right to appeal.

The vast majority of small domestic developments will be passed or approved under delegated powers and be approved within 6 to 10 weeks.

You may find this link to Angus Council’s Planning Department Advice Notes useful:-


If you intend to alter (internally or externally), extend, erect, demolish or change the use of a building, then you will, with limited exceptions, require a building warrant. Just because you didn’t require planning permission does not mean you wont require a warrant, always check with your local authority first.

Having first established that a building warrant is required for the proposals, an application should be submitted to the verifier. The Application for Building Warrant form should be completed and returned with the necessary drawings and other relevant information (1 set of which should be coloured or highlighted to easily identify the new works) together with the appropriate fee.

In some cases further sets of plans may be requested e.g. for consultation with the fire authority. It is strongly recommended that an Architect, Building Surveyor, Consultant or other competent person experienced in preparing plans, prepares the drawings. Because they require to be technically correct and accurate, it is not advisable, unless you are competent to do so, to prepare the plans yourself. The application should contain sufficient information about the proposed design and construction to enable the verifier to fully ascertain whether compliance with the Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations, and associated Technical Handbooks has been indicated.

A fee is required to accompany all applications, other than those relating to modifications within dwellings to cater for disabilities. This fee is calculated on a sliding scale basis relative to the value of the work. The value of work should reflect the commercial cost of the workwith no concessions made for discounted materials or self build applicants. The fee is a registration fee only and is therefore not subject to refund unless the application is rejected through lack of plans. Discounts are available at the application stage if you elect to submit a Certificate from an Approved Certifier of Design. Refunds are also available at the Completion Certificate stage where it has been identified in advance that Approved Certifiers of Construction are to be used and upon receipt of the appropriate Certificates.

There is an alternative to providing the verifier with all the detailed design information by providing a Certificate from an Approved Certifier of Design stating that particular aspects of the work will comply with the building regulations. This is most commonly the S.E.R. certificate provided by a structural engineer. Although your architect/consultant will provide you with highly detailed drawings and specifications, the local authority may insist that you provide Structural Engineer’s certification.

A building warrant has a three year life after it is granted. An applicant must either finish the work within that period or apply for an extension of the warrant before the warrant expires. Immediately after the warrant has been issued you may start work.

Kirkton Enterprise Centre

Sir William Smith Road

Kirkton Industrial Estate

Arbroath DD11 3RD

Tel: 01241 435236

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