Feb 182018
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New Planning Bill published

In December, the Scottish Government published its new Planning Bill.

This briefing note provides a summary of the main changes contained in the Bill. Further details of these changes can be discussed with John at PPD – contact details at end.

The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee has launched a call for organisations and individuals to submit written evidence setting out their views on the Bill. Those views will then inform the Committee’s scrutiny of the Bill. The closing date for receipt of submissions is 2 February 2018.

What are the key changes?

Changes to the development planning system
(planning policy and development plans)

Strategic Development Plans will be abolished.

The National Planning Framework (NPF) will include:

  • the Government’s Scottish Planning Policy (an existing document),
  • a regional section, with a local authority duty to assist in its preparation and a power to require co-operation among local authorities in providing information,
  • the NPF will become part of the ‘Statutory Development Plan’ (along with the ‘local development plans’).

Local Development Plans

  • To be reviewed on a 10-year cycle, instead of 5 at present.    (Amendment can be made if required before this time),
  • Main Issues Reports will be abolished,
  • the plan preparation process is to to be shortened and made more streamlined than present,
  • “Gate-checking” of the proposed plan by a Scottish Government Reporter:  the planning authority have to prepare an “Evidence Report” which must be approved by the Reporter before the Plan can proceed.
  • potentially reduced scope of the final examination,
  • councils will no longer be able to ‘adopt’ supplementary guidance.

Local Place Plans” will be introduced by which a community can make its own plan.

  • They will be prepared by a “community body”,
  • the community body will have to conform to certain requirements for the production and submission of a Local Place Plan, such as an adopted Local Development Plan,
  • the Local Development Plan will require to have regard to any existing Local Place Plans.

Changes to the Development Management system
(submitting and assessing planning applications)

The pre-application process for major and national developments

  • A planning application must be submitted within 18 months of the date of the ‘proposal of application notice’ (PAN) to which it relates. At present there is no time limit,
  • the power will be introduced for the Government to make Regulations to specify the content of the statutory Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) reports,
  • the power will be introduced for the Government to make Regulations specifying the circumstances in which PAC is not required.

Expanded schemes of delegation of application to officers, and local reviews

“Delegation” will be extended to:

  • certificates of existing or proposed lawful use or development,
  • applications for consent to display advertisements,
  • “Prior notification” of permitted development rights.

Duration of planning permission

  • A condition must specify the period within which the development must be commenced,
  • the ‘default’ period will be 3 years for a detailed permission and 5 years for a PPP but longer or shorter period may be imposed by the planning authority.

Applications to modify and discharge Planning Obligations:

  • Flexibility will be introduced to allow a planning authority to ‘part-grant’ or ‘modify’ an application –subject to applicant agreement.


  • Significant increases to maximum fines available for non-compliance with various enforcement notices, and unpaid direct action costs can be imposed on land titles.


  • Mandatory training of Councillors involved in LRBs, and annual planning performance reports.


  • Planning authorities to charge full or reduced fees or waive fees, within parameters established by the Scottish Ministers.
  • some discretionary charging for service provision (eg. pre-application consultation),
  • higher fees for retrospective planning applications,
  • Scottish Ministers will be able to charge fees for the discharge of their functions. (fees for planning appeals?).

Enabling powers to introduce an infrastructure levy in Scotland

  • The levy would capture a proportion of land value enhancement to fund investment in infrastructure.
  • it would be payable to and spent by the local authority in whose area the development takes place, but with potential for pooling of contributions from across the local authority area or at a regional level.
  • the Bill provides power for Scottish Ministers to make regulations detailing matters such as how a levy will be calculated, who will be liable, collection, aggregation and spending of contributions and rights of appeal.
  • the Bill does not in itself require that an infrastructure levy be introduced, as the Government states that further work and consultation is necessary on the subject.

Power to introduce “Simplified Development Zones”

  • An SDZ scheme would grant a general planning permission for the type of development set out in the scheme, within the geographic location (zone) to which the scheme relates,
  • a scheme can also serve as roads construction consent, listed building consent and conservation area consent if these are specified in the scheme, and can change the ‘deemed consent’ regulations to display adverts,
  • anyone can request that a SDZ be designated,
  • planning authorities will be required to consider from time to time whether parts of their area merit designation as a scheme, and the Scottish Ministers can direct a planning authority to designate a scheme,
  • schemes are made by planning authorities, and a consultation process is required.


Only eight and a half years since the last major upheaval in the Scottish planning system, another is looming.  The Bill’s content will not come as a surprise, as our previous client briefings have described the review commissioned by the Government, and the consultation document “Places, people and planning”.

The substantive changes are in Development Planning, with a fundamental change in the way the system works.
These represent:

  • more specific Government involvement in plan-making (in the form of the NPF),
  • the end of regional planning as we have known it since 1975 (it will be interesting how regional issues are dealt with between the Government (in the NPF), and possible joint working by Councils on certain topics),
  • we applaud attempts to streamline LDPs and do not bemoan the demise of Main Issues Reports.  However we are concerned that the ‘gatecheck’ could reduce the opportunity for thorough examination of plans.  The devil will be in the detail.  We expect that councils will still wish to carry out some form of pre-plan consultation such as the “call for sites” carried out by most councils.
  • ten year duration for plans seems long: we expect that a range of issues will need to be reviewed within that period.  On the other hand some councils have barely managed to produce their existing Local Development Plans in ten years!
  • The end of supplementary guidance is very welcome. Many councils were using these as a way of approving very detailed planning policy with little opportunity for effective examination and challenge,
  • we will be interested to see Local Place Plans as they emerge.  The cynical assumption is that they will be used  by groups within certain communities to prevent development.

Changes to the Development Management system are less significant.

  • Expansion of delegation is something that was inevitable, but we are completely opposed to Certificates of Lawfulness being brought within the delegated system.  Taking decisions on these applications requires technical analysis of planning evidence and a full understanding of legislation and case law, and appeals require professional judgement, rather than the local political issues or expediency that often underlie Local Review Board decisions.  Training of Local Review Board councillors is a meaningless sop.
  • clarity in the duration of the Pre-Application Consultation process is welcomed,
  • we applaud the return to planning conditions specifying the duration of permissions, thus resolving a major fault in the 2008 Act.  This will restore the previous system whereby Section 42 applications can be used to extend the duration of a planning permission,
  • the provisions relating to fees are vague and are to be left to regulations.  We have recent experience of a planning authority taking an ad-hoc decision to ignore the Fees Regulations and charge much higher fees – we would be concerned if this became legally possible.  Again, the devil will be in the detail.

Some sort of Infrastructure levy was inevitable, given the financial constraints on local authorities.  This subject was brought into sharp focus last year by the Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Planning Authority v Elsick Development Company Limited case.  We assume that there will be a mechanism which will allow planning authorities to avoid the “must be directly related to the development” requirement of the present Section 75 agreements. The Bill does not go into detail: it proposes enabling legislation.  The devil – yet again – will be in the detail.

Simplified Development Zones

Us older folk who have been kicking around the planning game for too long will remember the old Enterprise Zones, most of which comprised a Development Order granting planning permission for almost anything.  Such a laissez-faire approach would be completely politically incorrect nowadays (though very few major horrors resulted in the EZs).  We will be interested to see firstly if any planning authorities are prepared to forego their powers of control to speed up economic development, and then how radical they will be in removing planning controls.  We aren’t holding our breath!

PPD Planning advice throughout Scotland


Feb 172017
Places People Planning cover ppd logo

Government consultation on significant changes to the Scottish planning system

Client briefing note

The Scottish Government has published a consultation document “Places, people and planning”  which proposes further changes to the Scottish planning system.  These proposals originate from the Independent Review of the system which we described in our June 2016 News – click here to view

Some of these changes are significant, and will add to the difficulty, uncertainty and cost of gaining planning permission.

This is a brief overview of the proposed changes.  Some are in the form of proposals, others are suggestions on which comment is encouraged.

Further details of these changes can be discussed with John at PPD. 

 The deadline for making comments to the Government is Tuesday 4 April 2017

Development plans

Strategic Development Plans should be scrapped.   Instead, local authorities will have duties or powers to work together on defining regional priorities.

The National Planning Framework (NPF) and Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) should be part of the statutory development plan, or that both are given due weight in decision making through their local implementation.

Local development plans:

  • Scrapping main issues reports.
  • Requiring local development plans to be reviewed every 10 years, but with update provisions.
  • Removing the provisions for statutory supplementary guidance to form part of the development plan (but the document is confusing on this).
  • Establishing a statutory link between the development plan and community planning.
  • ‘Gatechecking’ of the plan by an independent reporter at an early stage before the draft plan is prepared.
  • Unresolved issues would still be dealt with by an examination, before the plan is ‘finalised’ (not sure if this means ‘adopted’ – the commentary on this is confusing).
  • Development proposals which could undermine the plan’s aims will only be supported following additional scrutiny.
  • Should planning permission in principle come with allocated sites within the development plan?  (posed as a question, not a proposal).
  • Allow communities to prepare local place plans that set out where development requirements can be met; and place a duty on planning authorities to adopt these plans as part of the statutory development plan if this requirement is met.
  • community councils given a stronger role in planning by introducing a new duty to consult them in preparing plans.
  • Encouraging the preparation of “Simplified Planning Zones” (SPZs) as an integral part of preparing the development plan. Community engagement such as charrettes would be required, and the requirement for a Public Local Inquiry to be held at the end of the process of preparing an SPZ would be removed.  The blanket restriction for SPZs in conservation areas would be removed.

Planning applications

  • Improve and clarify the statutory requirements for pre-application consultation for major and national developments, for example to require developers to hold more than one public meeting.
  • Removing the applicant’s right to submit a revised or repeat application at no cost if an application is refused, withdrawn, or an appeal is dismissed.
  • Expanding the range of planning applications which are subject to local review.
  • Making provision for a wider range of other consents to be delegated (and therefore subject only to local review).
  • Enhanced service standards or fast tracked applications where a higher fee is paid and accompanied by a processing agreement.
  • Could there be scope for decisions on major developments which accord with the development plan to be determined under delegated powers and therefore only able to be reviewed by the local review body? (posed as a question).
  • Should provisions be made to allow flexibility on the duration of planning permission in principle, by introducing powers to amend the duration after permission has been granted?


  • A revised (much higher) maximum fee.
  • Substantially increased fees in cases requiring retrospective planning consent.
  • Higher fees for applications relating to sites not supported by the adopted local development plan.
  • Charging for appeals and reviews of decisions.
  • Agencies who have a critical role to play in the development management process having the ability to charge fees (this would presumably cover council departments such as environmental health and roads, and national bodies such as SEPA, SNH, HES, Transport Scotland).
  • Discretionary charging, including for pre-application discussions.
  • Discretionary charging for establishing Simplified Planning Zones.
  • Removing the developer’s right to submit a revised or repeat application at no cost.
  • Removing provisions for recovering advertising costs and including these within a revised planning fee.
  • Arrangements for funding of relevant central government functions such as the  eDevelopment programme and other elements supporting operation of the planning service in Scotland provided by the Planning and Architecture Division.
  • Improving clarity and ensuring the fees structure is proportionate and reflects the types of development coming forward.

Permitted development

The following development types are proposed to be added to ‘permitted development’ – where planning permission is not required from a local authority:

  • Digital telecommunications infrastructure.
  • Development which helps to meet a wider commitment to reducing emissions that cause climate change. These could be wide-ranging and include different types of microgeneration equipment; installations supporting renewable heat networks; cycle networks, parking and storage; and facilities to support low carbon and electric vehicles.
  • Development which supports the resilience of the farming sector. This includes polytunnels and changes of use from agricultural buildings to housing.
  • Allotments and community growing schemes.
  • Changes to the use of premises within town centres to stimulate vitality.
  • Elements of development within the aquaculture sector.

Enforcement of planning control

It should be made easier for planning authorities to recover costs associated with taking enforcement action.

Financial penalties for breaches of planning control should be substantially increased.

Housing Land

The Government wants the release of more ‘development ready’ land for housing.

Being clear about how much housing land is required.  The Government believes that there is a need to change the way we plan for housing – too great a focus on debating precise numbers rather than delivering development and creating good quality places to live.

Encouraging the preparation of “Simplified Planning Zones” – see above.

Land Reform

The Government is determined to see more land across Scotland in community ownership and have set an ambitious target of reaching one million acres by 2020.

It wants to see a clear, accessible, effective and efficient system of legislation and policy which allows for the compulsory acquisition and purchase of legal interests in land and property for the public benefit.

It asks whether a development land tax approach could help to tackle the issues associated with sites being held in the hope of improved market conditions. Such an approach would require sites to be released or a tax paid.

Infrastructure Levy

The Government proposes that a new Planning Bill will include an enabling power to introduce a new infrastructure levy for Scotland, based on the following key principles:

  • It should be applied to most development types, with some potential exemptions.
  • Permission to adopt and put in place a charging mechanism is granted by Ministers based on the submission of a business case prepared by the planning authority/authorities.
  • The income from the charge should be collected locally.
  • The fund will not replace national level infrastructure investment, as defined in the Infrastructure Investment Plan and National Planning Framework.
  • The fund will not replace site specific contributions which are needed to mitigate the impacts of individual developments not covered by the levy and secured through Section 75 planning obligations or other methods.




PPD Planning advice throughout Scotland



Feb 062014

 householder permitted development

6th February 2012 is the day that the long-awaited revision of householder permitted development came into force.


The new Order amends the “General Permitted Development Order” by modernising permitted development for householders, and has the effect of increasing the amount of development within the grounds of existing houses which will fall within the “permitted” categories. This goes back to the Government’s aim of reducing un-necessary regulation in the planning system and thereby focussing Council resources on more important development which has the potential for greater environmental impact.  Up until now, permitted development did not apply to flats, but the new Order now introduces limited permitted development to flats.“Permitted development” is minor development for which planning permission is automatically granted by the “General Permitted Development Order”, thereby removing the need to formally obtain planning permission.  It is usually minor works which are unlikely to have an adverse impact on neighbours or the environment.


The main changes include :This is an overview of householder permitted development – for detail call us, or look at the legislation (link below).  The Order is split into eleven separate classes, each of which has a list of “exclusions”.  Few of the permitted development rights apply in conservation areas and within the curtilages of listed buildings.

  • Enlargements of a house behind the “principal elevation” (which is the front or side wall fronting a road) often does not now need planning permission.  There are height limits, size curtailments near boundaries, and in terms of the amount of the overall curtilage taken up by the development.  Single and multi-storey extensions get separate classes.
  • Porches are an exception to the “principal elevation” rule mentioned above, which are now permitted up to a footprint of 3 sq. m; a height of 3m; and provided it is no less than 2m from a boundary that fronts a road.
  • Roof alterations are now permitted, with a number of exceptions which include not on front or side elevations that face roads, not on a roof plane which is within 10m of a boundary, not higher than the height of the highest part of the existing dwellinghouse (except chimneys), and not within 0.3m of the edge of the roof plane.
  • Access ramps are now permitted up to 5m in length, up to a combined height of 9m (including landings), any part cannot exceed 0.4m, and the overall height including fence, wall, handrail etc. cannot exceed 1.5m.  Like porches, these can be on the front of the house.
  • Other alterations to a house (without enlargening it) can be done within a 1m “bubble”.  For example, satellite dishes and solar panels will often not need permission.  There are exceptions such as wind turbines and balconies.
  • There are separate rules for decking, porches and driveways, and gates and fences.  Notable is that fences and walls can now be built up to 2m in height, or 1m in height in front of an elevation fronting a road or on a road boundary.  At long last the old 20m rule has gone!
  • There are some limited permitted development rights to alter and improve, but not enlarge flatted properties.

See the Order itself at :   http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2011/357/pdfs/ssi_20110357_en.pdf


February 2012

Feb 082012

If you are unfortunate enough to get your planning application refused, what can you do about it?

If it is a large enough development the decision will have been taken by a committee of the council, usually the planning committee.  You can then appeal to the Scottish Ministers whose “Directorate of Planning & Environmental Appeals” is generally credited with treating your case fairly and without bias.   But the new Scottish planning system created a category of minor planning applications – know as “local” developments, which sometimes can be decided by the council officers, rather than by the councillors.  It is then known as a “delegated” application.  When your refusal decision has been taken by a delegated officer you cannot appeal to the Scottish Ministers.  Your only right is to request that the Council (which employs the official who refused your application) “reviews” your case. Our comment on “Local Development” gives information on how your application could be delegated, and the consequences of this.

Local Review

When a “local” application is first submitted to the council, it will usually be registered as “delegated” or “not delegated”.  However this may change during its processing, for example if there are objections from neighbours (see my comment on Local Development).

It is important to remember that if the application is decided by committee it cannot be categorised as “delegated” even if it was initially registered as such,  and you can appeal refusal to the Scottish Ministers.

The Local Review Body

When you submit the request for review, it will be dealt with by the council’s “Local Review Body”.  This is a panel of councillors (usually between 3 and 5), a clerk (sometimes from the council’s legal department), and a planning official who is supposed to be kept separate from the decision making process so that he or she can offer unbiased advice to the Body.

Can I speak to the Local Review Body?

Most Local Review Bodies assume that review requests will be dealt with on the basis of written submissions (where the applicant and objectors are not allowed to speak).  With these councils you have to specifically request to be heard (present your case verbally to the councillors).  Many, such as Glasgow, rarely grant such requests.  If the Review Body reject your request for a hearing, you can still attend the Review which is conducted in the same way as a small planning committee meeting.  It can be galling to sit there listening to the planning official giving supposedly “unbiased” advice to the Body – which sometimes is anything but unbiased, and you cannot utter a word of dissent.

However some councils freely offer the option of a hearing, and indeed a few (such as Midlothian) deal with all reviews by a hearing, even if nobody has objected to the application.  A tiny proportion of the Review cases in Scotland are dealt with by hearings, although the exact number cannot be discerned from the Government statistics.

Chances of success

In the six months between August 2010 and February 2011, only 35% of Reviews throughout Scotland overturned the officer’s refusal.  Even this was an improvement on the previous six months, up from 32%.  The chances of success seem to vary from council to council : Inverclyde and Fife established an early reputation for thorough scrutiny of their officer’s refusals and overturned a high proportion.  Other councils, such as the cities, rarely do this.  This contrasts with a 45% chance of success of appeals to the Scottish Ministers over the year 2011.

The simple message is that your chance of success in asking that a council review a delegated refusal is poor.  If you can manage to have the application referred to the committee for decision, you can then appeal to the Scottish Ministers and have a greater chance of success.

February 2012

Feb 082012


One of the major changes to the Scottish planning system was creation of the “planning hierarchy” :  national, major and local developments.  Planning applications for developments which fall in to each category are dealt with in different ways.  This comment concerns the “local” category.

What is a “local” development ?   Some examples are :

  • Housing :  less than 50 houses;  and the site is less than 2 hectares in size.
  • Business / industry / storage :  buildings less than 10,000 square metres in size; and the site is less than 2 hectares in size.
  • Other developments :   buildings less than 5,000 square metres in size;  and the site is less than 2 hectares in size.

Both requirements must be met in each case to be in the “local” development category.

So what is different about a “local” development?

  • The planning authority are supposed to deal with the application in two months (unlike Major or National applications which are four months).
  • The decision may be taken by the council officers (called a “delegated” decision), rather than by the councillors on the planning committee.
  • If the application is “delegated” (dealt with by the officers), you cannot appeal against its refusal, or against conditions that you don’t like, to the Scottish Ministers.  You can only request that the Council’s  “Local Review Body” reviews the decision.
  • If the local application is not “delegated”, it will be referred by the officers to the planning committee for its decision, and usual appeal rights to the Scottish Ministers will still be available.

How do I know if my application will be delegated?

This is one of the most confusing parts of the new planning system.  Each council is given the right to decide this itself, in a document called its “Scheme of Delegation”.   All councils therefore have different schemes of delegation and you need to check this document – or phone your planning consultant!  Ever helpful, many councils did not bother to make their Schemes of Delegation available on the web, but the Scottish Government resolved this by publishing a link to them all, at


Have a look at some of the Schemes by using this link, but don’t expect an easy read. Many are big documents in which the details of the scheme are hard to find, and others are worded in a legalistic manner.

Typical reasons for a planning application to be “delegated”, as found in council Schemes of Delegation are :

  • The number of houses in the development is below a certain number :  for example  25, 20 or 10,
  • Buildings are below certain size limits,
  • The site is below a certain size,
  • The development would not require a “bad neighbour” newspaper advert,
  • No statutory or council-department consultee objects (for example  SNH or a  Roads Department),
  • The development accords with the development plan,
  • The application does not concern council land, and is not submitted by a councillor or official, or their relative.
  • There are no, or very few objections to the development (some examples are 6, 8 or 10 letters).

Some introduce uncertainty :

  • Some councils do not allow delegation when a senior officer considers that the application raises an issue which requires to be dealt with by the committee,
  • A councillor sees the application on the “weekly list” and calls for it to be submitted to the committee for decision,

And others are designed to achieve a political aim :

  • It can be delegated when the officer is going to refuse the application, regardless of the number of objections.

(This last one is used by Dundee City Council to ensure that all applicants who have received “local” refusals can only appeal to the Council’s Local Review Body, and not to the Scottish Ministers).   This list is not exhaustive, nor do all councils have each of these reasons in their Scheme of Delegation.


So I ask again : how do I know for sure that my application is going to be delegated, or not delegated?

You can’t be sure!  Most Schemes of Delegation include thresholds for the number of objections : if the number received exceeds the threshold, then the application is usually required to go to committee (Dundee example mentioned above excluded!).   As you can’t know in advance how many people are going to send in objections, you can’t be sure whether the application will be delegated.  Also, you can’t always anticipate objections from consultees.   As indicated above, some schemes allow discretion of councillors and officials, which usually you can’t anticipate in advance.

I don’t want my application to be delegated because it may be refused, and I want to be able to appeal to a body independent of the council to be sure of a fair hearing.

The only way to influence whether an application is not going to be delegated is to understand the council’s Scheme of Delegation.  For example, you could try and make sure that it exceeds thresholds such as the number of houses, or you could try and persuade enough neighbours to make “soft” objections to exceed that threshold.  In Dundee this wouldn’t work as explained above.  In some councils, you could try to persuade your local councillor to request that the application be referred to the planning committee for decision – check if the Scheme of Delegation allows this.  Remember :  even if your application starts out in the “delegated” category, all applications which go to the planning committee are not delegated and you retain appeal rights to the Scottish Ministers.

So I get a “delegated” refusal – what can I do about it?

Read my separate comment on “Local Review Bodies”.


February 2012

Dec 152011



As in most parts of planning law, the answer is not simple.

Section 28 of the Planning Act * defines that planning permission is required if you wish to carry-out any development of land. Section 26 defines the meaning of development, which includes “any material change in the use of any buildings or other land“. So if you want to change the use you make of land or a building, planning permission might be required.

But the Government acknowledged that many changes of use do not have any adverse impact on neighbours, communities or the environment, so the “Use Classes Order “ * groups together various uses into 11 Classes.  The Classes and the uses they contain as shown in the table below.   No planning permission is required if the change you want to make remains within the same class : it is not a “material” change of use. Hence use of this word in Section 26.  But if your new use would result in a change from one class to another, planning permission is usually required.

There is another category of uses, known as “sui generis” uses, which are specifically excluded from all the use classes.  These are un-neighbourly uses which it would unwise to allow to start unregulated. Some of these uses are listed in the Use Classes Order : see list under the table.

It is still not quite as simple as this. The Government then took the view that some material changes of use (i.e. from one class to another) do not have any adverse impact on neighbours, communities or the environment, so a mechanism is used to remove the need for planning permission for these changes.  This is known as “permitted development”.   The General Permitted Development Order* grants planning permission for a list of 72 classes of development which otherwise would require formal planning permission from the planning authority.  Four of these classes relate to changes of use, and are indicated in the third column of the table below.  It should be noted that they only apply in the direction indicated and not in reverse.  Two “sui generis” uses : sale or display of motor vehicles, and hot-food carry-out shops, have permitted development rights to change to uses within the Use Classes Order (see bottom of table).

The Classes in the Use Classes Order, and permitted changes from class to class are shown in the table below.


Use ClassDescription of uses“Permitted development” changes
Class 1Shops    Retail sale of goods other than hot food; post office;  travel or ticket agency, sale of cold food   for consumption off the premises, hairdresser, undertaker, the display of   goods for sale, hiring of domestic goods or articles,  laundrette or dry cleaner,  or for the reception of goods to be washed.  All where the sale,display or service is provided principally to visiting members of the public.None
Class 2Financial professional and other services   Financial professional and other services appropriate to be found in a shopping centre.  These typically   include betting shops, lawyer, accountant, estate agent, health centre, dentist, doctor or vet surgery. (where all are principally used by members of  the public).To Class 1
Class 3Food and drink   Provided that the food or drink is consumed on the premises.To Classes 1 and 2
Class 4Business     Offices (other than those described in Class 2), research and development of products and processes, which can be carried out in any residfential area without detriment to amenity.To Class 6 with limit of 235 square metres.
Class 5General industrial    Carrying out an industrial process, other than one which would fall into Class 4.To class 4, or to Class 6 with limit of 235 square metres.
Class 6Storage and distributionTo Class 4
Class 7Hotels and hostels   Hotel, boarding house, guest house, hostel with no significant element of care; other than premises licensed for sale of alcohol other than to residents or diners eating on the premises; and other than a Class 9 (houses) use.None
Class 8Residential institutions  Residential accommodation with care, hospital, nursing home; residential school, college or training centre.None
Class 9Houses   House (but not a flat) occupied by a single person, people living together as a family, or as a household of not more than 5 people.  Bed and breakfast or guesthouse with bedroom limits.None
Class 10Non-residential institutions    Creche, day nursery, day centre;  provision of education; display of works of   art (but not sale or hire); museum, public library, public or exhibition   hall; or public worship, religious instruction, or social activities of a religious body.None
Class 11Assembly and leisure   Cinema, concert hall, bingo hall, casino, dance hall, discotheque,   swimming bath, skating rink, gymnasium, or for indoor and outdoor sport and   recreation not involving motorised vehicles or  firearms.None
Hot food shops (not classified)To Classes 1 or 2
Display or sale of motor vehicles    (not classified)To Class 1 with limit of 235 square metres.


Planning permission is always required for uses not contained in any class (these are known as “sui generis” uses).   The exception is the permitted development changes allowed for hot foot and motor vehicles shown at the bottom of the table.  The Use Classes Order contains a list of specifically excluded classes, which are :  theatres, amusement centres, funfairs, sale or display of motor vehicles, sale of fuel for motor vehicles, taxi / car hire businesses, scrap yards, mineral storage and distribution, public houses, works registrable under the Alkali Act, and hot-food carry-out shops.


* “The Planning Act” is The Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (as amended)

“The Use Classes Order” is The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Scotland) Order 1997

“The General Permitted Development Order” is The Town and Country Planning (General

Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992   (as amended).