Development hierarchy

Planning applications are classified into three types - National, Major and Local

National developments

National developments are the top tier and are defined and identified in the Scottish Government's National Planning Framework (NPF)

Major developments 

Major developments are defined as those which fall within the following nine classes:

  • All development under Schedule 1 of the EIA (Scotland) Regulations 1999
  • Housing proposals of 50 dwellings or more, or housing sites exceeding 2 hectares (ha)
  • Business & general industrial, storage and distribution with a gross floorspace of 10,000m2 or a site exceeding 2 ha.
  • Electricity Generation where capacity is or exceeds 20 MW
  • Waste Management Facilities where capacity is or exceeds 25,000 tonnes per annum, or for sludge treatment facilities where capacity of or exceeds 50 tonnes (wet weight) daily
  • Transport and Infrastructure where the road, railway, tramway, waterway, aqueduct or pipeline exceeding 8 km in length
  • Fish Farming where the surface area of water covered exceeds 2ha.
  • Mineral Extraction where the site area is or exceeds 2 ha.
  • Other Development not falling wholly within one of the above classes where the gross floor space is or exceeds 5,000m2 or a site area exceeding 2ha.

Local Developments

Planning applications which are not national or major developments are classed as Local Developments. All changes of use applications are classified as local development.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

A to Z of services