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Pre-application advice

To make sure we add value to development in the area, deliver our core business and key priorities for customers and stakeholders, we focus our tailored pre-application advice on major development only.

Pre-application discussions

While we don't give tailored pre-application advice unless the proposed work is classified as major development, we would give the following advice for:

  1. Householder development
  2. Local development
  3. Major development

If you would like us to confirm that you need, or don't need planning permission, you can apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness.

You can also get impartial advice on all planning matters from Planning Aid Scotland or from a professional agent/architect. 

1. For householder development

If you are carrying out small building work to your home you may find our check if you need planning permission page useful.

2. For local development

The majority of applications we receive are for local development. Local development includes applications for changes to houses, smaller housing developments (less than 50 homes), retail and industrial applications. 

For local development, you can access all the relevant planning policy documents through our development plans. If you wish to see the planning policies that specifically cover the land or property you propose to develop, you can view our interactive local plan.  

Our Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) and additional guidance for housing developments tells you the relevant considerations and any additional supporting information required in the formal submission of a planning application.

3. For major development

These are developments of more than 50 homes, large retail developments and certain waste, water, transport and energy-related projects.

To allow us to give you pre-application advice, you will need to email us as much information as possible.

The minimum information we need is:

  • location plan (1:1250 or 1:2500 scale) with the site outlined in red
  • site layout plan, including indicative details of site access
  • elevations
  • photographs of site
  • draft design and access statement

If you are submitting proposals for major development and would like pre-application advice, please make your request using this form. 

Request pre-application advice for major development


This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Please contact us to request an accessible format.

We will only arrange a meeting if we consider it necessary.

We will respond to you within 28 days with an initial assessment of the development against the development plan and other relevant guidance. We will give an opinion of what the key issues are likely to be and a note of what supporting information should accompany the planning application.

Please be aware that pre-applicaton advice cannot guarantee your planning application will be successful.

Pre-application consultation with community

Major development applications need pre-application consultation (PAC) to be carried out between developers and communities. 

Comments during this period can only be made to the applicant or agent and not to the council. This is to allow the applicant to consider community comments before submitting the planning application.

Where a PAC is required, the applicant must submit a proposal of application notice (PAN) at least 12 weeks before the submission of a planning application. A proposal of application notice is available from

The Scottish Government has published guidance on pre-application consultations for public events and all consultation events must meet these requirements.   

In summary, this should include as a minimum:

  • an online interactive event (including the opportunity for two-way communication)
  • the provision of information about the project
  • the facility to provide feedback 
  • the opportunity for anyone not online to get information, speak to someone about the scheme and also provide feedback

There are also some amended timescales for aspects of the process during this period. The required press advertisement should also be carefully worded to clearly explain the consultation event as well as the different participation opportunities and timescales involved. 

Page last updated:
08 Mar 2022

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