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Benefits of planning pre-application

The benefits of pre-application advice include:

  • gives you the opportunity to understand how policies and guidance will be applied to your development proposal this includes the requirements for developer contributions for certain applications
  • can identify at an early stage where there is a need for specialist input, for example contamination, transport, ecology
  • may flag up that the proposal is unacceptable which could save the cost of submitting a formal application
  • may lead to a reduction in time dealing with the formal application

Advice we will provide:

  • an assessment of the planning merits of a proposal
  • how the proposal relates to key local plan policies and guidance
  • details of submission requirements
  • advice on the likely timescale for completing the planning process
  • an outline of the material planning issues

Please be aware that pre-application advice will be made at officer level only and cannot guarantee whether an application will ultimately be successful.  We will not seek input from external stakeholders, for example Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, at this stage.

However, we will identify any relevant agencies where we think it would be beneficial for you to make contact.  We will also identify internal stakeholders to you as well.

Householder applications and for 'not for profit' community organisations and registered charities

We provide a free pre-application advice service for householder proposals, and for proposals by not for profit community organisations and registered charities.

This service can be used for advice and guidance on the merits of your proposals where you wish our informal advice prior to submitting an application for planning permission.

Householder proposals

Householder proposals refers to proposals by householders to extend or improve their homes such as:

  • garages
  • extensions
  • decking

Local developments

Local developments are other proposals and can include:

  • residential development proposals for one house or more
  • changes of use
  • signage proposals
  • commercial, business and agricultural

Please note this list is not exhaustive.

Major developments

Major developments refer to any type of development which meet the thresholds specified in The Town and Country Planning (Hierarchy of Developments) (Scotland) Regulations 2009.

Permitted development

Certain works to houses and flatted properties can be 'permitted development' which means that the works would not require planning permission. Further information can be found at:

The Planning Service cannot advise you when a proposal is permitted development and not requiring planning permission.

If you are trying to find out if a proposal requires planning permission then you should complete a Certificate of Lawfulness application. Forms and guidance notes can be downloaded at

We can advise you of the different classes of permitted development so you can establish for yourself/your client (if you are an agent) should you not wish to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness from the ePlanning website.

Further advice on the need for planning permission can be found on our  planning permission page.

Non-householder applications

We also provide a chargeable pre-application advice service for non-householder proposals.

Fees for a non-householder pre-application are as follows:

  • local applications: half the planning application fee for the proposal up to a maximum of £500 for any local application
  • major applications: half the planning application fee for the proposal up to a maximum of £800, unless where in the case of residential developments the proposal is for 100 or more units in which case the fee will be £1,500

The chargeable pre-application advice service does not replace the requirement to pay a statutory planning application fee should you choose to submit a planning or related application.

Fee changes from 1 April 2024

From 1 April 2024, we will be revising the maximum pre-application advice charge to:

  • a maximum of £1,000 for local developments
  • £1,600 for major developments
  • £3,000 for developments of more than 100 houses

No charges will continue to be applied for householder and not for profit community organisations and registered charities.

Request pre-application advice

Should you wish to make a request for pre-application advice, further information can be found in our:

The completed form should be returned to with all supporting information, and your fee if your request is for a chargeable non-householder. You can pay by card by contacting us on 01563 576790.

Contact Information

Planning and Building Standards
Opera House
8 John Finnie Street
Telephone: 01563 576790