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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 Council Aberdeenshire Council Angus Council Argyll and Bute Council Cairngorms National Park Authority Clackmannanshire Council Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) Dumfries & Galloway Council Dundee City Council East Ayrshire Council East Dunbartonshire Council East Lothian Council East Renfrewshire Council Edinburgh Council Falkirk Council Fife Council Glasgow City Council Highland Council Inverclyde Council Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority Midlothian Council Moray Council North Ayrshire Council North Lanarkshire Council Orkney Islands Council Perth & Kinross Council Renfrewshire Council Scottish Borders Council Shetland Islands Council South Ayrshire Council South Lanarkshire Council Stirling Council West Dunbartonshire Council West 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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