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Planning performance

Development management customer charter

Development management is the process for making decisions about planning applications.

Within development management, we are committed to delivering a high quality, professional service. This charter explains what you can expect from the service we provide.

What we do

Our main role is to:

  • Appraise and make decisions on applications for planning permission.
  • Provide pre-application advice for major development.
  • Provide certificates of lawfulness and other types of approval such as prior approvals, tree work approvals, high hedge notices, listed building consents, conservation area consents, hazardous substances consents and advertisement consents.
  • Provide screening and scoping opinions relating to Environmental Impact Assessments.
  • Handle enquiries relating to development, property, licensing, grants, land acquisition and members’ issues.

What you can expect

We will:

  • Our preferred method of contact is by email, however if this is not an option, we will respond to your voice message within one working day wherever possible, introducing ourselves by name and service area.
  • Resolve your enquiries at first point of contact, whenever possible.
  • Keep you updated on the progress of your enquiry or application.
  • Treat you with courtesy, respect and according to your individual needs.
  • Ensure our staff are trained to help or give advice, or to put you in touch with the right person to answer your query.
  • Respond to letters and emails within 10 working days, or tell you if we need longer.
  • Use plain language and avoid unnecessary jargon.
  • Direct you to further information online.

You can help us by:

  • Giving us all the information we need to help you.
  • Asking us to explain anything you are not sure of.
  • Treating staff with the same courtesy that you would expect from them.
  • Letting us know of you have any specific needs.
  • Giving feedback on our service.

Pre-application advice

Our pre-application service means you can ask for an assessment of how our development policies will apply to your proposal before you make your planning application. Please see our pre-application guidance for more information including how to apply, timescales and fees.

You can view our Check if you need planning permission information, our Local Development Plan and Supplementary Planning Guidance for guidance and information or seek the advice of a professional adviser for further advice.

If you wish to receive a definitive legally binding council view on whether or not you need planning permission, you can apply to us for a certificate of lawfulness

Making an application

Making an application for planning permission at is simple, saves you time and money and means your application is delivered to us quickly, letting us start to appraise your proposed development sooner. If you prefer to submit on paper, forms can also be downloaded from this site.

Discharging planning conditions

Discharging or varying planning conditions is a formal application process where details relating to an approved development can be considered and a decision made on their acceptability.

Please see our Discharging or varying planning conditions for more information including how to apply, timescales and fees.

Our fees

Planning fees are set by the Scottish Government. In addition to the set planning fees, local authorities have discretionary power to introduce additional categories of payment and to reduce or waive fees in certain cases.

In addition to set planning fees, fees will be requested for the following services:

  • Property history searches
  • Pre-application advice
  • Paper applications (a surcharge applies)
  • Retrospective applications (a surcharge applies)
  • Variation and discharge of planning conditions
  • Providing refunds

A reduction of 50% will be applied to 'not for profit enterprises’ and ‘social enterprises’ as defined in Section 41 of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019.

Where a fee is required, your application or request will remain invalid until the fee is paid.

You can view further information on how much it will cost and how to pay.   

What you can expect

We will:

For planning applications, we aim to:

  • Within 5 working days: confirm your application has been submitted correctly, or alternatively advise on any further information required before your application can be registered.
  • Within 10 working days: following validation of your application, assess the site to help determine if the proposal is acceptable.
  • Within 30 working days: respond to you if there are any significant issues concerning your application.
  • Within two months: Decide on local applications.
  • Within four months: Decide on major developments.

For pre-application advice, we aim to:

  • Within 20 working days - Respond to pre-application advice for householder and local development. For cases that will take longer, we will contact you to explain why.
  • Within 40 working days - Respond to pre-application advice for major development. For cases that will take longer, we will contact you to explain why.

For varying or discharging planning conditions we aim to:

  • Within eight weeks – Decide on your application to discharge or vary planning conditions.

You can help us by:

  • Ensuring the necessary fee, correct drawings and all supporting documents are submitted through the ePlanning portal when you make your application.Without the necessary fee and information, we will not be able to validate and progress your application.
  • Ensuring electronic applications are submitted taking into account our information on how to avoid delays, to ensure the most effective handling of your application.

Commenting on an application

You can view and comment on planning applications using our online services, by email or in writing to us. Your comments will be made available online to the public. We will not display your signature, telephone number, email address or any defamatory comment.

We can only consider comments that are relevant (material considerations) such as the:

  • effects on our environment and the impact on traffic and roads
  • impact on people's enjoyment of their environment, noise and privacy
  • impact on listed buildings and conservation areas

Comments that are not considered relevant include:

  • impact on property values
  • legal land ownership and/or boundary issues
  • loss of a view

If you comment on a planning application we will:

  • Aim to acknowledge receipt of your comments within 3 working days, with information on the appropriate procedures undertaken following the receipt of your letter.
  • Accurately reflect your comments in the Report of Handling on the application.
  • Aim to advise you of the outcome of the decision on the application within five working days of the decision being taken.

More information on what are relevant matters when commenting on planning applications can be found on our website at the web address above or at Planning Aid Scotland (PAS).

Appeal against our decision

Access a copy of the decision notice.

Only the applicant can appeal a decision or ask for a local review. As the applicant, you can appeal the decision made, or the conditions of your planning permission.  You can also appeal where no decision is made within two months (for local applications) or four months (for major applications), or within another specified extra time period agreed with the council.

Find out how to appeal.


If you have a complaint about the standard of service you have received, find out more about our complaints process.

Page last updated:
16 Mar 2023

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