Householder permitted development rights: guidance - updated 2021

Guidance explaining householder permitted development rights and what can be built without submitting a planning application.

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8. Things to Consider

Water mains, sewers and ensuring surface water drainage

Householders and developers are encouraged to contact Scottish Water to undertake a property search in order to ascertain whether any proposed extension, or buildings, are constructed over or adjacent to its existing underground pressurized water mains as access is required to allow sewers to be maintained or repaired. Similarly, Scottish Water advice is that the increase in run-off from the additional roof area resulting from extending a property is appropriately dealt with to reduce the risk of localised flooding or indeed flooding downstream. Scottish Water would also expect to see that surface water drainage is dealt with on site and not discharged into the public sewerage system. Contact Scottish Water.

Old mine works

In former coal mining areas prior written permission is required from the Coal Authority for any ground works which would enter or disturb any coal mine entries (current or abandoned) or the coal itself at any depth from the surface downwards. Contact the Coal Authority.

Protected species

If a dwellinghouse contains a bat roost and a proposed alteration, extension or enlargement would affect it, a licence may be required from Scottish Natural Heritage prior to commencement. Bat roosts, even when not in use, are protected. Proposed works should if possible be designed to avoid impacting on bats or bat roosts. Further information, including on how the presence of a bat roost in a dwellinghouse might be identified, and on how if necessary to apply for a licence, can be found on SNH's website at:

If householders think bats may be present in their property or if they are unsure about the effect of any proposed works on a bat roost, they should contact Scottish Natural Heritage for further advice. Other protected species commonly associated with houses include nesting birds such as the swift, house martin and house sparrow. All wild birds are given some protection under the law, particularly their nests. If a dwellinghouse supports a bird nest which is in use or being built and the proposed works would affect the nest site, the works should be planned to avoid the nesting season. If works are carried out during the season, an offence may be committed. Further information about birds and the law can be found on SNH's website at:



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