Do engineering work or add an installation behind your home

Last updated: 17 July 2017

If you own a home, you may want to add or install something in the garden or grounds behind it.

This could include:

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

Permitted development

Before you do this you should first check if you need to apply for planning permission.

Most installations like this don't need a planning permission application, because most meet a set of rules called 'permitted development'.

The permitted development rules for adding a new engineering or installation are:

  • it's located at the back of the house
  • it isn't taller than 3 metres
  • it doesn't take up half the 'curtilage' – this means half of the grounds behind your home
  • it isn't in a conservation area or within the grounds of a listed building

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.

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 doesn't 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 Planning Authority for further information.

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 don't 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 may need to get the landowner's permission.

If you live in a listed building you will probably also need to obtain listed building consent.

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