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Building, engineering and installation work at your house

You may want to add or install something in the garden or grounds of your house.

This could include:

  • garden works
  • free-standing solar panels
  • a flag pole
  • a swimming pool
  • an oil tank

This guidance only applies if your home is a dwellinghouse. This means it's a house you live in and is not used as a business premise to any significant degree.

Permitted development

Before you do add anything to your house you should first check if you need to apply for planning permission.

Some installations like this do not need a planning permission application, because they meet a set of rules called 'permitted development'.

The permitted development rules are:

  • it's located at the back of the house
  • it's not closer to a road at the front or side of the house, if the front or side house faces onto a road
  • it's not taller than 3 metres
  • depending on where the works are taking place, they and any other development, do not take up half or more of the 'rear curtilage' or 'front curtilage' - this means half or more of the grounds behind or in front of your house
  • it's not in a conservation area or within the grounds of a listed building

For a more detailed explanation of what's considered a permitted development when adding an engineering or installation behind your house, read the Scottish Government's Guidance on Householder Permitted Development rights publication and go to section 4.87.

Planning permission

If what you want to add does not meet the conditions for permitted development, you have to apply for planning permission.

Find out how to apply for planning permission, or contact your local authority for further information.

Aberdeen City CouncilAberdeenshire CouncilAngus CouncilArgyll and Bute CouncilCairngorms National Park AuthorityClackmannanshire CouncilComhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council)Dumfries & Galloway CouncilDundee City CouncilEast Ayrshire CouncilEast Dunbartonshire CouncilEast Lothian CouncilEast Renfrewshire CouncilEdinburgh CouncilFalkirk CouncilFife CouncilGlasgow City CouncilHighland CouncilInverclyde CouncilLoch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park AuthorityMidlothian CouncilMoray CouncilNorth Ayrshire CouncilNorth Lanarkshire CouncilOrkney Islands CouncilPerth & Kinross CouncilRenfrewshire CouncilScottish Borders CouncilShetland Islands CouncilSouth Ayrshire CouncilSouth Lanarkshire CouncilStirling CouncilWest Dunbartonshire CouncilWest Lothian Council

You should always check with your council's planning department to see whether you need to apply for planning permission. Even if you meet the permitted development rules, there may be other approvals you'll need to get.

Other approvals

You might need other approvals before you can carry out work. For example, you might need approval under the building regulations from the local council.

If you do not own the land on which the development is being carried out (for example, if you're a tenant or the land's in joint ownership), you need to get the landowner's permission.

If you live in a listed building you'll also need to obtain listed building consent.

It's your responsibility to make sure you get any necessary approval.

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