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What happens next

Once your planning application has been submitted, your Planning Authority will:

  • publish details of your application on the Planning Authority's website
  • tell your immediate neighbours that an application has been made

While an application is being considered, anyone can visit the Planning Authority's website to:

  • make comments on it
  • track the progress
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

Planning authorities aim to reach a decision within 4 months of receiving a valid application for major developments and 2 months for local developments.

Find more information on how the planning system works on the Scottish Government website.

You can find more guidance on how to comment on or track an application in the ePlanning user guide.

Planning decisions

Once you've applied for planning permission, the planning authority will decide whether to grant planning permission.

How long will it take?

In most cases, planning applications are decided within 2 months.

For unusually large or complex applications the time limit is 4 months. For these types of applications, Planning Authorities should offer to enter into a processing agreement with developers which provides certainty and a project managed approach to decision making.

If the decision takes longer, you can appeal.

How will they decide?

Decisions are based on local development plans and will look at:

  • the number, size, layout, siting and external appearance of buildings
  • the infrastructure available – like roads and water supply
  • any landscaping needs
  • what you want to use the development for
  • how your development would affect the surrounding area – eg if it would create lots more traffic

In all cases the council must make decisions in line with the development plan unless 'material considerations' justify going against the plan.

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