This guidance relates to planning matters only.

For Licensing requirements please see Short term lets (licensing).

  1. Table of contents

Do I need planning permission for a short term let?

There are a number of factors which need to be considered in determining if planning permission is required for a short term let. This includes an assessment in relation to whether a change of use has/will occur. We recommend short term let licence applicants look at the recent guidance produced by Scottish Government.

If licence applicants would like us to confirm if planning permission is required or not, they can apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Use or Development (CLUD). Applications for planning permission or a CLUD can take some time. We would encourage applicants to apply at least 2 months in advance of their licence application.

The granting of a short term let licence does not remove the need for planning permission if required. If an applicant does not have the relevant planning permission, regardless of whether they have the correct licence or not, the Council may pursue planning enforcement action to regularise the breach of planning control.

If planning permission is required, is it likely to be granted?

Under section 25 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, as amended, the determination of planning applications are made in accordance with the Development Plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The Development Plan comprises the National Planning Framework 4 and Falkirk Local Development Plan 2. See our planning policy section for more information.

Guidance on planning material considerations can be found in Annex A of Scottish Government Circular 3/2022, Development Management Procedures.

If you need the benefit of planning permission and would like advice on relevant Development Plan policies, material considerations and an informal position in relation to the likelihood of being successful, you can submit a pre-application advice request. The planning permission fees are included below.

I've been operating for years as a short term let, do I need planning permission?

If you have been operating a short term let continuously for a period of 10 years or longer and the use is ongoing you may not need planning permission.

In this circumstance we would encourage you to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Use or Development (CLUD). If a CLUD can be issued it will give you formal confirmation the use is lawful in planning terms. Please note for this type of application the onus is on the applicant to provide evidence of the continuous ongoing use. The 10 year threshold is the period set in planning legislation for uses to be considered lawful in planning terms. A CLUD will be determined solely on matters of evidential fact and law. Where 10 full years of continuous use cannot be demonstrated, a Certificate of Lawfulness cannot be issued.

Please note, a CLUD does not remove the need for a short term let license where required. The short term let license requirements are separate from planning requirements. Please see our Planning permission page to find out how to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness for an existing use.

What are the planning fees for an application for planning permission or applications for planning Certificates of Lawfulness for existing or proposed use?

Short term lets are considered to be non-domestic properties and therefore the fees for the various applications, as set by Scottish Government, are generally as follows:

Type of application (on basis of 1 unit only less than 4000m2) Fee
Planning permission for use of flatted dwelling as short term let (Sui Generis) £600 per 100 sqm
Planning permission for use of dwellinghouse (Class 9) as short term let (Sui Generis) £600 per 100 sqm
Certificate of Lawfulness for a proposed use as a short term let (Sui Generis) £600 per 100 sqm
Certificate of Lawfulness for an existing use as short term let (Sui Generis) £600 per 100 sqm