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This guidance supports the application process for applicants wishing to purchase land or property owned by East Ayrshire Council.

The guidance also provide prospective purchasers with an indication of the potential cost implications and timescales associated with a property transaction of this nature and allows consideration to be given to this matter before submitting a formal application to purchase.

Applicants are strongly advised to undertake pre-application discussions with the Planning Service on the merits of their proposal prior to submitting a formal application to purchase together with payment of non-refundable fee.

Stage 1 - consultation

The timescale for stage 1 is a minimum of one month.

On receipt of a formal application and fee, Estates Management will undertake the following consultations:

Legal services

To check that the Council holds a clear title to the subjects and identify any title restrictions which may prevent a disposal or subsequent development.

Holding service

Consultation to determine if they would be willing to declare the subjects surplus to their operational requirements.  


To establish any policy implications. Any views obtained at this stage are non-binding and each detailed planning application will be considered on its own merits. It should be noted that the Council’s role as Planning Authority in processing planning applications is entirely separate from the Council’s role as landowner.  Accordingly, any decision to dispose of the land will not be relevant to considering a planning application. 

Where planning consent is required for the proposed use of the subjects any sale will be conditional upon this consent being obtained. It should be noted that a fee will be payable in respect of all planning applications including planning applications for change of use which include change of use from open space to private garden ground.

Please note, applications for planning permission to change the use of public open spaces or amenity grounds, owned by East Ayrshire Council, are unlikely to be approved, in accordance with the East Ayrshire Local Development Plan

Ayrshire Roads Alliance

To establish if the proposal has any impact on the existing roads network or if any improvement works may be required.  Consideration will also require to be given as to whether the proposals impact on road sightlines.

If the development involves the creation of a runway/erection of a garage, a road opening permit from Ayrshire Roads Alliance will be required and the appropriate fee will be payable.


To ascertain whether there are any utilities which would be affected by the sale of the subjects or its development potential.  In the event that street lighting equipment is contained within the subjects then the purchaser will be responsible for any relocation costs.

It should be noted that the above list is not exhaustive and any other consultations will be undertaken as deemed necessary.

Stage 2 - determination of application

The timescale for stage 2 is a minimum of one month.

Once we have all the consultation responses, Estates Management will decide ‘in principle’ that either the subject:

  • can be disposed to the applicant and issue principle terms and conditions
  • should be retained by the Council in which case the applicant will be advised accordingly
  • is capable of being disposed of independently

Thereafter, the Council will progress this matter and, if declared surplus to operational requirements, the subjects will be advertised for sale on the open market at which time the applicant can submit a formal offer in accordance with the marketing procedures. Only in this circumstance would the initial application fee be refunded.

Stage 3 - terms and conditions of sale and likely costs

The timescale for stage 3 is a minimum of one month for issuing, time thereafter to agree terms.

Approved transactions will be subject to the following main conditions and fees:

  • the purchase price of the land (minimum of £500)
  • East Ayrshire Council's Estates fees (1% of the purchase price subject to a minimum of £440)
  • East Ayrshire Council's Legal fees (1% of the purchase price subject to a minimum of £525)
  • your solicitor's fees
  • approved planning permission for change of land use (this will incur an additional planning fee (PDF 890Kb) dependant on the nature of your proposal)
  • road opening permit if required (currently £265)
  • council approval of the provisional terms and conditions of sale

Stage 4 - when terms and conditions are agreed

The timescale for stage 4 is a minimum of six months.

This involves the following steps:

  • the subjects will require to be formally declared surplus to operational requirements for the purpose of a disposal to the applicant
  • if agreed, then further authority will be sought to instruct the Solicitor to the Council to issue a formal offer on the basis of the principal terms and conditions agreed and any other conditions deemed necessary by the Solicitor to the Council to protect the interests of the Council
  • please note that where the land is held on the Housing Revenue Account and, valued at over £10,000, the consent of the Scottish Government to the proposed disposal will be required in terms of Section 12 (7) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987
  • formal legal missives for the disposal of the subjects will be concluded and it is likely that the missives will contain suspensive conditions including for instance the requirement for planning consent for change of use which will require to be purified before the sale can be finalised

Stage 5 - sale complete

The timescale for stage 5 can take 12 months from submitting the initial application.

The sale will be finalised once any suspensive conditions have been purified and ownership will transfer to the applicant upon payment of the purchase price and payment of the Council’s Estates Management and legal fees and outlays.

Prospective purchasers will require to appoint a solicitor to act on their behalf to conclude the disposal. It will be the responsibility of your solicitor to provide clarification on the legal implications associated with the proposed purchase of the subjects and accordingly applicants are recommended to appoint a solicitor as soon as possible.

Contact Information


Estates Management
Council Headquarters
London Road
Telephone: 01563 554400