1. Table of contents

Do I need planning permission?

Some developments can be carried out without the need for planning permission.

Permitted development rights allow some householder alterations and extensions to be carried out without the need for a planning application. For more information on what is permitted development we have made easy to follow self-assessment forms for different types of development. The Scottish Government have also created a detailed booklet with information about the Householder permitted development rights.

If you are unsure if the proposed development requires planning permission or you would like us to confirm if planning permission is or is not required, you can apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness – Proposed Use/ Development. This will provide you with formal confirmation that your development is lawful. You will need to apply online and pay the fee for this service. Read our How do I apply? section below for more information.

Since 01 February 2023 we no longer provide informal advice on whether a proposal needs planning permission.

If your property is a listed building and/or if you live in a conservation area, there are additional controls including Article 4 Directions which remove permitted development rights and it is likely that an application for listed building consent and/or planning permission may be required. For more information, please refer to our information on listed buildings and Conservation Areas.

Planning permission is not needed for work that only affects the inside of a building. However, if the building is listed, you may need listed building consent.

Please check the Scottish Government's guidance and legislation, Falkirk Council guidance and/or seek professional advice before starting any work. If you think planning permission is required, then you should submit an application for planning permission:

Access Ramps
Addition or Alteration to the Roof
Air Source Heat Pumps
Cycle Storage at a Flat
Cycle Storage
Decking and Platforms
Engineering Operations
Extensions of More than One Storey Ground Floor Extensions
External Alterations not enlargements
Garden Buildings
Gate Fences and Walls
Hard Surfacing
Helpful Definitions
Single Storey Ground Floor Extensions

If planning permission is required, our How do I apply? section below will take you to the ePlanning Scotland website where you can make your application.

Duty/drop-in service

The Planning and Building Standards duty drop-in service has been suspended.

You can still view and comment on applications using Planning online (Development Management).

Advice for non-householders and all other development types, including changes of use

The rules here are a little more complex. You can refer to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 and various Use Classes Orders but these have all been amended a number of times. We would therefore recommend you take your own professional advice or submit an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness – Proposed Use/Development before commencing work.

Do I need other consents?

Planning permission does not exempt you from needing other types of consent.  A building warrant may also be required for changes to your home, even if the changes you are making do not require planning permission.

How do I apply?

Please talk to us about what you would like to do before you make your application. This can help avoid problems later when you submit your plans.

Submitting your application

We encourage you to submit your planning application or certificate of lawfulness online via the ePlanning Scotland website.

If you would like to submit your application by post, various forms and guidance notes are available to download from the ePlanning Scotland website.

Please read and follow the guidance notes carefully and make sure you submit all the relevant plans, drawings and other information we might need.

Submitting a planning application - What do I need

You can also email your application to:

How much will it cost?

The cost of your planning application depends on the type of development.

The Fee Calculation Wizard on the Scottish Government's ePlanning site will help you calculate the fee you will need to pay to apply for planning permission. If you are applying after the development has started, or has been completed, an additional 25% surcharge is payable.

Discretionary Charging

New regulations covering planning application fees came into force in April 2022. These included provisions which allow Planning Authorities to charge fees for:

Each of these pages contains further information about these services and the fees payable.

Common planning application fees and charges

The following is a summary of the most common planning application types and fees.

Residential development (full applications)

Details Fee
Alterations and/or extensions to a house or flat £300
Creation of buildings, such as garages or sheds £300
Alterations to two or more houses or flats £600
Building walls, fences, gates etc £300
Building a house or flat £600
Building more than one house or flat £600 (per house or flat)

Fee for up to 49 units (houses and/or flats) - £600 per unit for the first 10 units, then £450 per unit thereafter.

Fee for 50 or more units (houses and/or flats) - £600 per unit for the first 10 units, £450 per unit up to 49 units then £250 per unit up to a maximum of £150,000.

Residential development (planning permission in principle)

Planning permission in principle is when permission has been given, but certain design conditions must be met before work can begin.

Details Fee
Building a house £600
Building more than 1 house or flat
  1. where more than one dwellinghouse is to be created and the site area does not exceed 2.5 hectares, £600 for each 0.1 hectare of the site area
  2. where more than one dwellinghouse is to be created and site area exceeds 2.5 hectares, £600 for each 0.1 hectare up to 2.5 hectares of the site area, and then £300 for each 0.1 hectare in excess of 2.5 hectares, subject to a maximum of £75,000

Certificates of Lawfulness – Proposed Use or Development

For householder developments, the fee is half the amount you would otherwise pay if you were applying for planning permission.

For all other types of applications, we recommend you use the ePlanning fee calculator or consult our full fee sheet available to download below.

Some applications may need to be advertised in the local press, and where this is the case, the applicant must meet the cost. The cost is variable and we will advise at the applicant when this is due.

Other fees

The following relate to fees chargeable in relation to previous applications or licensing certificates:

Planning applications (all types)

Details Fee
Search fee £134.20 per hour
Copy of certificate £40.70 per certificate
Advertising fees As appropriate
Licensing certificates - required by Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 Section 50 £137.50

Should I consider a processing agreement?

A processing agreement is a project management tool for a planning application. Processing agreements can be used to set out the key processes involved in determining an application, identify what information is required, and from whom, and set the timescales for the delivery of various stages of the process.

Processing agreements can deliver a number of benefits including:

  • Greater transparency in decision-making for everyone involved in the process
  • Greater predictability and certainty over the timing of key stages
  • Faster decision-making
  • Clearer lines of communication between authority and applicant
  • More effective and earlier engagement of key stakeholders

Processing agreements will typically be used for major planning applications, but can also be useful for complex local applications.

An agreement needs to be signed by both the applicant and the Council and will help to provide certainty for both parties. We support the use of these agreements, and encourage discussion at pre-application stage.

We have produced a processing agreement template for convenience:

Processing Agreement Template