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Circular 6/1992

DescriptionCircular 6/1992
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateFebruary 01, 1992

Circular 6/1992


The Chief Executive
Regional and Islands Councils

The Chief Executive
District Councils
(except in Highlands, Borders and Dumfries and Galloway Regions)

Our ref: PGD/1/17

21 February 1992

Planning Series:

National Planning Policy Guidelines (NPPGs) provide statements of Government policy on nationally important land use and other planning matters, supported where appropriate by a locational framework.

Circulars, which also provide statements of Government policy, contain guidance on policy implementation through legislative or procedural change.

Planning Advice Notes (PANs) provide advice on good practice and other relevant information.

Statements of Government policy contained in NPPGs and Circulars may, so far as relevant, be material considerations to be taken into account in development plan preparation and development control.


1 The Town and Country Planning (General Development) (Scotland) Order 1981 (the 1981 GDO) has been reviewed and consolidated. As a result the 1981 GDO has been replaced by 2 new Orders, one containing the procedural provisions and the other setting out new classes of permitted development. This circular deals only with the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Scotland) Order 1992 - the "Procedure Order" - which comes into effect on 13 March 1992. A copy of the Order is enclosed with this circular. The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 which comes into force on the same date is covered by Circular 5/1992.

2. The new Procedure Order reiterates the procedural aspects of the 1981 GDO including the procedures connected with planning applications, appeals to the Secretary of State and related matters so far as they are not laid down in the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972, and also dealing with the maintenance of registers of planning applications, applications for established use certificates and other related matters. In addition, the new Order includes a number of changes which are explained in the following paragraphs.

Neighbour Notification

3. The Government remains committed to a statutory scheme of neighbour notification. The arrangements have been amended with 2 aims in mind. First, the requirements of the scheme must be matched to the information available on neighbouring property and, second, the opportunity should be taken to improve the arrangements where possible.

Non-Domestic Property

4. The requirement to notify a named individual owner, occupier or lessee remains for neighbouring non-domestic property. Where information on the names of owners, occupiers or lessees cannot be obtained from the valuation roll, the developer is required to send notices addressed to "the Owner", "the Occupier" and "the Lessee" at the premises concerned. Where the developer is unable to meet this requirement, because there are no premises on the land to which notices can be sent, the developer should then include with the planning application a certificate:

  • identifying the neighbouring land which has not been the subject of neighbour notification; and
  • stating that the reason for non-notification was that set out in Article 9(4), ie that no premises existed on the land.

The planning authority is then required to publish a notice in a local paper in a form prescribed by Schedule 5 of the Order.

Domestic Property

5. With the domestic valuation roll no longer being updated, it has become increasingly difficult to identify the names of owners, occupiers and lessees of domestic property. While the community charge register provides the names of occupiers, information is not available on owners. The notification requirements for domestic property have therefore been changed. Applicants must now send 2 notices to the property concerned, one addressed to "the owner" and the other to "the occupier". In most cases the occupants will be owner/occupiers, but the double notification will assist in ensuring that non-resident owners are notified.

General Requirements for Both Domestic and Non-Domestic Property

6. The applicant must also now Include with the notification to neighbours a location plan of the development which should be sufficient to identify the site. This additional information will make notification more helpful to the person notified and reduce the need for neighbours to visit the offices of the planning authority to consult plans.

7. A location plan should also be included with the planning application showing the site of the proposed development and the neighbouring properties notified. This will be an additional safeguard, allowing the planning authority to spot any property which has not been notified, although it should be stressed that the authority are under no duty to check that certificates are valid. Applicants are reminded that false certification is an offence and subject to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale. This penalty will increase to level 5, when the relevant provisions of the Planning and Compensation Act 1991 come into force in early 1992. Simultaneously, the time limit on prosecution of any such offence will be extended from 6 months to 2 years to provide greater opportunity for the offence to come to light.

Statutory Consultees

8. Article 15 of the Procedure Order sets out the bodies (statutory consultees) that planning authorities are required to consult for certain types of development. Planning authorities should note the following extensions to the list of statutory consultee:

a. Development affecting roads

A requirement for the planning authority to consult the British Railways Board as well as the Secretary of State for any development likely to materially increase the volume or character of traffic using a level crossing over a railway is added.

b. Development in an Area of Coal Working

The reference to the National Coal Board has been changed to British Coal Corporation.

c. Development in an Area of Special Interest

The requirement to consult the Nature Conservancy Council for Scotland on development in an area of special interest has been extended to apply to development which the planning authority consider may affect an area of special interest. The reference to the 1949 Act has been changed to section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

d. Theatre Development

The Theatres Trust has been added to the list of consultees where development involves any land on which there is a theatre. This puts the current advice set out in SDD Circular 53/1978 on a formal basis.

e. Consultation with River Purification Authority

The development of land for mining operations, the development of land for a cemetery and fish farm development have been added to those developments that require the planning authority to consult the river purification authority.

f. Fish Farming Development: District Salmon Fisheries Boards

SDD advice- set out in Circular 8/1990 - to planning authorities to consult District Salmon Fisheries Boards where development consists of fish farming has now been made a statutory requirement.

g. Development within 250 metres of a refuse or waste deposit site

The planning authority are now required to consult the waste disposal authority for any development which is within 250 metres of land which is used, or has been used within the last 30 years, for the deposit of refuse or waste.

h. Development affecting historic gardens and designed landscapes

A requirement has been added for the planning authority to consult the Countryside Commission for Scotland and the Secretary of State for any development proposed in areas identified in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland published in 1988 by the Countryside Commission for Scotland and Historic Scotland (formerly Historic Buildings and Monuments, Scottish Development Department.)

i. Development affecting sites & archaeological interest

A requirement has been added for planning authorities to consult the Secretary of State for development which affects the site of a scheduled monument. Where unscheduled monuments are affected by development, planning authorities are encouraged to consult the appropriate Regional Archaeologist. The Secretary of State intends to issue further advice and guidance in the near future on the appropriate treatment of archaeological sites within the planning system.

J Development affecting a category A listed building

A requirement has been added for a planning authority to consult the Secretary of State for development which affects a category A listed building, that is development of the sort most likely to affect listed buildings of national or International importance. The information to be provided concerning the application made to the planning authority should be sufficient to enable the Secretary of State and the planning authority to form a judgement not only on the intended development for the listed building itself but also any associated development of which the development of the listed building forms only a part. The Secretary of State and the planning authority will wish also to be able to form a judgement about the likely significance of the environmental effects of the proposed development. This new requirement is in addition to the existing requirements, now set out at Article20, to notify the Secretary of State before granting consent for any development involving the alteration or extension of a listed building.

Notification of Owners

9. Planning authorities should also note that the prescribed form, under section 24 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972, notifying owners of land of a planning application has been amended to include a statement explaining that owners' rights to retain or dispose of their property as they see fit are unaffected by any grant of planning permission resulting from the application.

Notification of Applications Affecting Listed Buildings

10. During consultation a number of respondents raised questions concerning article 20 (notification of applications affecting listed buildings) in view of the delegation of powers to planning authorities to deal with planning applications for category C listed buildings. This delegation was an administrative change implemented by a direction under paragraph 6(1) of Schedule 10 to the 1972 Town and Country Planning Act. This direction remains in force as does the guidance in SDD Circular 17/1987 which accompanied the direction. The circular explains that although the requirement to notify applications for category C buildings is removed, applications in respect of category A and B listed buildings must continue to be notified. Copies of Circular 17/1987 can be obtained from Historic Scotland, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh EH9 1SH (0131-668 8600).

Manpower and Financial Considerations

11. The changes included in the new Order are not expected to have significant expenditure or manpower implications for local authorities.

Further Copies and Enquiries

12. Enquiries about the content of this circular should be addressed to Mr S Bruce (031 244 4079). Further copies and a list of current planning circulars may be obtained from Room 6/84, New St Andrew's House, Edinburgh, EH1 3SZ (031 244 4082).