After submission: the planning permission process
The following is a summary of our procedures once your application has been submitted.
Please note that not all development needs planning permission as some minor developments have what are known as 'permitted development rights'. To find out more about these please visit:
The route that a planning application takes to a decision and appeal varies depending on a number of factors, the following document contains a flowchart to illustrate the regulations:
Once all minimum requirements and documentation have been submitted to the planning service and the appropriate fee paid the application will be formerly registered. Information on submitting an application and costs can be found at:
The council may require additional information from an applicant in order to assess a proposal, for example: a transport assessment or a flood risk assessment. Other than reports that are statutorily required (such as, in some circumstances, Environmental Impact Assessments), the legislation is such that the council cannot refuse to register and validate an application if these documents are not provided when the application is first submitted.
When these documents are received, these will be made available for inspection online along with the application.
When an application is registered it will be allocated to one of the categories of 'local' or 'major' development. The category affects how the application is processed and decided. Typical householder requests, usually, fall in the local category. For more on the definitions, please see:
Where a major application is proposed, public consultation has to be undertaken by the applicant before the planning application is submitted. Some planning applications need to be advertised in a local newspaper. Please read the following on pre-application consultations:
Are my neighbours notified?
The Council undertakes neighbour notification of most planning applications. Properties within 20 metres of a development proposal will be notified of the proposal by letter. The applicant requires to notify the owner of the development site and any agricultural tenants.
Is the public notified when plans change?
If plans change during the processing of an application, the planning officer will decide whether the change is significant enough to require the withdrawal of the application and the submission of a new application.
Can I see a planning application and the relevant documentation?
The plans and documents associated with a planning application are put online. Sensitive personal information such as signatures, personal phone numbers and personal email addresses are redacted i.e. not shown online. You can access information and documents on applications by visiting the planning office or online at:
The public have a minimum period of 21 days in which to submit any comments to the council. In practice, where the decision is delegated to council officers, we accept comments up until the day that any planning application is decided. Where the decision is to be made by the Planning Applications Committee, we accept comments up until the date that the committee report is completed i.e. no later than the Tuesday of the week before the committee meeting takes place. You can comment using our online planning system; by email; or by letter.
2 Spiersbridge Way,
Spiersbridge Business Park,
Tel: 0141 577 3001
Why are people allowed to comment on a planning application?
The purpose of the public being able to comment on a planning application is so that people can give their views on the proposal to the council, and for the council to assess these. As the council receives so many representations to planning applications, we cannot engage in discussions with, or answer questions on matters submitted within a representation. We also do not wish to pre-empt the final decision on the application.
What comments can be made?
Comments submitted should relate to planning, environmental or amenity matters and must reasonably relate to the application under consideration. There are a range of matters that we cannot take into account, including the loss of value of neighbouring properties and the loss of a private view.
Can comments be seen by the applicant and other members of the public?
We do not put comments and representations online although they will still be 'public' and people, including the applicant, can come to the planning office to see them. It is advisable for people to make an appointment to view representations so that documents can be looked out in advance. All comments received by the council before a decision is made will be acknowledged and taken into account.
The council, where appropriate, will undertake consultations on a planning application. Consultees include, for instance, Scottish Water, Scottish Environment Protection Agency & Historic Scotland. Also consultations internal to the council may be undertaken, for example with the Roads Service or Environmental Health Service.
These consultation responses will normally be put online as a public service. The purpose of consultations is for these other agencies and services to give their views to the planning service and for the council to assess the responses. The council will not engage in discussions with the public, or answer questions on matters contained within a consultation response.
In deciding a planning application, the determination has to be made in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. This means that the starting point in assessing any application is the development plan. Once assessed against the development plan, the authority must then consider what (if any) other material considerations there are which should be taken into account. There is not a definitive list of what constitutes a 'material consideration', but the 'what comments can I make' guidance on the comment on an application page may assist you in your understanding:
The council will also take into account documents submitted by the applicant, comments submitted by the public and consultation responses received before the decision is made. A Planning Officer will always visit the site before making a decision or recommendation. Relevant government policies are also considered.
We have a briefing note below which explains in a bit more detail the Council's procedures for negotiating on planning applications with an applicant.
A 'report of handling' is prepared for all applications which sets out the factors taken into account in each case - this can be seen on the online planning system once the decision is made (or if the application has to go to the Planning Applications Committee, from three working days before the Committee meeting).
Usually the Director of Environment has delegated powers to deal with all local developments and other non-planning consents, however under certain circumstances (including major developments) applications may have to go to the Planning Applications Committee. Sections 6 through 9 will explain this in more detail.
Planning consents may be granted subject to conditions. The Council's Standard Planning Conditions can be seen in the document below. Please note that these may be amended on a case by case basis and other non-standard conditions may be used where appropriate.
In some cases it may also be appropriate for the Council and an applicant to enter into a Planning Obligation (a Legal Agreement) in order to cover matters which cannot be controlled through the use of planning conditions. The Council's Supplementary Planning Guidance on Affordable Housing and Development Contributions set out the main circumstances when such obligations will be necessary. See the following Protocol for dealing with Planning Obligations.
The Development Plan currently consists of:
Most 'local developments' can be decided by planning officers using powers delegated to them by the Council. Some 'local developments' need to be decided by the Planning Applications Committee, for example if the application is made by a Councillor or if there are a large number of objections.
'Major developments' will usually be decided by the Planning Applications Committee (which is made up of elected councillors). The committee meets once a month (with a recess over the summer). The 'report of handling' which is prepared by officers includes a recommended decision, but the committee is free to reach any decision it sees fit.
Where a major development is considered to be significantly contrary to the development plan, the interested parties (applicant, consultees and people who have made a comment) have the opportunity to take part in a 'hearing' at the Committee i.e. to appear and explain their views to the Committee. In these instances, the full council is convened to make the decision on the application. It is for the council to decide whether a proposal is significantly contrary to the development plan, and often that decision is not made until quite late in the processing period.
The Council has no strict deadline for making decisions. Applicants however can proceed to appeal or review if a decision is not made within the following deadlines:
- 2 months for a local development
- 4 months for a major development (unless an extension is otherwise agreed between the applicant and the council).
If an applicant is unhappy with a decision, they can seek an appeal or review of the decision.
- Appeals can be lodged for any decision made by the Councillors at Committee or at the full Council. The appeal is considered by a Reporter from the Scottish Government's Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals.
- Reviews can be lodged for any decision made by an officer under delegated powers. The review will be undertaken by the Local Review Body made up of Councillors.
Third parties, including people who have made comments have no right of appeal.
Appeals and reviews usually have to be submitted within three months of the decision being made (or in cases where no decision has been made, within three months of the 2 or 4 month deadline date mentioned in the 'How long does the council have to make its decision?' section.
Other than the above, challenges to decisions can only be made to the courts on points of law. Full guidance on appeals and reviews is available at: