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FAQS for Planning - development control

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Planning - development management

Development Management is responsible for the determination and monitoring of planning applications, and other associated applications (listed building consent, advertisement consent etc) submitted to the Council under the Planning Acts.

Q: Do I need feu superiors consent as well as planning permission?  
If the feu of the land lies with someone other than the owner of the land/property, then you will need to obtain their consent to build or make any alterations, in addition to planning permission.

Q: What do I need to submit in order to apply for a feu superiors consent?  
In the event that feu superiors consent is required, a drawing and nominal fee will have to be submitted.

Q: What is a feu disposition?  
A Feu Disposition states the conditions under which the ground/property is sold.

Q: What is feu superiors consent?  
Feu is a relic of Scottish feudal times and relates to land tenure. Sometimes the rights to the land that your property is built on (or that you wish to build on) lie with someone else. This means that you must seek their permission or consent to make any alterations.

Q: How long does the decision-making process on planning applications take?  
For more information, please contact us on 0845 600 70 90 or by e-mail at

Q: How can I get copies of the plans of my house?  
For more information, please contact us on 0845 600 70 90 or by e-mail at

Q: How can I look at the planning history file for an existing building?  
For more information, please contact us on 0845 600 70 90 or by e-mail at

Q: How is planning permission enforced?  
Development undertaken without planning permission, alterations to listed buildings without consent or the failure to comply with conditions of a planning permission can result in the Council serving an Enforcement Notice or Breach of Condition Notice. The Notice will state the breach of planning, the steps necessary to remedy the breach and the period for compliance. The fact that unauthorised development has taken place does not automatically mean that enforcement action will be taken. The Council has a general discretion to take enforcement action when it is considered to be expedient to do so. An applicant, for instance, may seek retrospective consent for the unauthorised development. However, once issued, failure to comply with a Notice is an offence for which substantial fines can be imposed by the Courts. In some cases a Stop Notice can be served to achieve an immediate cessation of unauthorised activities. It is Government advice that enforcement action is only taken as a last resort where all other means of negotiation have been exhausted. However, there will be cases where negotiation cannot produce an acceptable solution and enforcement action will be the only means open to the Council if a breach continues.

Q: What happens when a planning application is submitted?  
The application is checked by our administration team to make sure we have everything we need to process it. For more information about what is needed to make an application valid, please see the notes that accompany the application forms. If anything is missing, we will write to the applicant or the applicant's representative/ agent explaining what else is needed. When everything is in order, the application will be registered as valid. The date that an application is validated is the starting date of the period in which we aim to make a decision on the application. The application will be allocated to a case officer and we will send an acknowledgement letter to the applicant or to the applicant's representative/ agent. This letter states the date by which we aim to have made a decision on the application, and the case officer's contact details. The case officer will be the point of contact throughout the application process.

Q: How can I find out whether planning permission has been granted for something which is currently being built?  
If you have the address of where the works are being carried out, you can find out whether there are any planning permissions which relate to that address.

Q: How is a decision on a planning application made?  
For more information, please contact us on 0845 600 70 90 or by e-mail at

Q: How can I comment on a planning application?  
Any comments you wish to make should be made in writing as soon as possible. The Neighbour Notification form or public advertisement will give a date by which comments should be received. If you have missed the time limit, it may still be possible to comment on it, as the period for receiving objections is often extended. If they are relevant planning considerations, your comments will be taken into account in arriving at a decision. You will be informed in advance of the date of the Committee meeting (and furnished with a copy of the Director's report). Please note that when your letter of objection is submitted to the Council it will be in the public domain.

Q: Is there a time limit within which I have to carry out the work specified on my planning application?  
Yes, normally construction should be started within 5 years of the date of planning permission. Any time limits are specific in the consent documents.

Q: Where can I get help to object to a planning application?  
If you are a notified neighbour, the rear of the notice you receive from the applicant will give you general advice. You can also contact Planning Aid (Scotland) online at, or you can write to them at 11a South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4AS.

Q: On what grounds can I object to a planning application?  
You can normally object to proposed planning applications under considerations that are considered 'material' to the application. These objections can cover such things as the proposed development limiting the natural light to your property and garden, detracting from the general or residential amenity of the local area (including designs that are out of keeping with the local area) or having an adverse effect on the environment. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.

Q: How can I look at the plans for a current planning application?  
For more information, please contact us on 0845 600 70 90 or by e-mail at

Q: Do planning applications count as consultations?  
No. Although a planning application is open for the public to comment on, the application itself is not a council service, so it doesn't count as a consultation.


Page Last Modified : 24/06/2014 13:49:47