Do I need planning permission?

What works might require planning permission?

  • An extension unless it is a permitted development.
  • A loft extension
  • Installation of dormer windows
  • Installation of new window openings
  • Installation of patio doors
  • Creation of a driveway
  • Erection of a garage
  • Anything which requires Listed Building Consent


You should always check with your council’s planning department about whether you need to apply for planning permission for building work. If the advice is that you do not require planning permission, try to obtain a letter from them confirming this and keep it as evidence to use when you want to sell.


What paperwork do I require to keep?

You should keep the following items:

  • The planning permission itself.
  • The plans which have been stamped by the local authority


These should be handed to your solicitor when you instruct them to market your property for sale.


What happens if I don’t have planning permission?

You should speak to your solicitor about the matter.   If the alterations have been completed more than 4 years ago,  the local authority will be unable to take enforcement action with regard to these alterations.  In this case, you will not require to take any action at all.


If the alteration is more recent, you may have to apply retrospectively for planning permission.


What do I do if a neighbour applies for planning permission?

If you are selling your property, you need to declare the planning application made by your neighbour in the Home Report and in the missives.  You should give the Neighbour Notification notice to your solicitors.


If the development mentioned in the notice is likely to affect your property adversely, you should object to the planning application as indicated on the notice itself.

Altering a Listed Building


Listing a building does not prevent it changing or developing, but it does mean that consideration has to be given to preserving its particular character.

Any proposal to demolish, or to alter or extend a listed building in a way which would affect its character, must be granted listed building consent before it can proceed.

When is listed building consent necessary?

Listed building consent must be obtained where proposals will alter the character of the listed building. This applies regardless of the category of listing (A, B or C) and to work affecting interior and exterior. The planning authority (in most cases the local authority) decides when any work is likely to affect the character of a listed building.

Alterations which may seem minor, such as stone cleaning all or part of the property, alterations or replacement of windows or installation of roof lights may require listed building consent.

Major work such as extensions, structural alterations or partial or total demolition are very likely to require consent.

What does the Category of Listing mean?


The different categories of listing show the importance of the buildings.

Category A buildings are those of national or international importance, either

architectural or historic, or fine examples of some particular period, style or

building type which have not been altered significantly.

Category B are particularly important buildings of regional or more-than-local

importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type

which may have been altered.

Category C are of local importance, minor examples of any period, style or

building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple,

traditional buildings which group well with others in categories A and B or are part

of a planned group such as an estate or an industrial complex.


Types of building works which would normally require listed building consent include:

                    demolition of a listed building

                    alteration or extension of a listed building in any manner (including internal) which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest


It is important to note that the term ‘listed building’ includes:

                    the building itself

                    any object or structure fixed to it

                    any object or structure that has been within the curtilage of the building since 1948


What happens if I don’t have planning permission?

If you have altered a Listed Building without permission, a criminal offence has been committed.  In practical terms, if you are intending to sell your property, you should speak to your solicitor about the matter.  So long as you have not already spoken to the Local Authority or Historic Scotland about the matter, it may be possible to obtain Title Indemnity Insurance to satisfy a purchasing solicitor.


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