Householder permitted development rights: guidance - updated 2021

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

This document is part of a collection

2. Before Starting

2.1 Home improvement projects, such as an extension, should be carefully considered. Time spent planning can save money. It can also ensure the work is completed on time and as required. It is the property owner's responsibility to ensure that the relevant statutory requirements are met. If the development fails to comply with the relevant legislation, the owner is liable for any remedial action (which could go as far as demolition and restoration).

2.2 The position, design and scale of householder developments can help maintain the character of neighbourhoods. These can also help reduce the impact on the wider environment and local biodiversity. Some developments can make homes more sustainable by helping to reduce energy use, whilst the installation of microgeneration equipment can help generate energy and reduce costs.

2.3 Most planning authorities offer advice on how the rules apply, as well as advice on the relevant processes and procedures. Further guidance for planning and building regulations is also available from

Things to Check

  • Building Standards: the proposed work will likely require to comply with minimum building standards. A building warrant may also be required before you start the work, you can verify this with your local authority building standards department.
  • Legal position: check the legal position to ensure that there are no restrictions on the land or the type of work (for example Article 4 directions removing permitted development rights, legal title or rights of way). You may wish to consult a professional such as a planning consultant or solicitor.
  • Planning history: planning permission granted in the past may have a condition or other restriction prohibiting the kind of work proposed. If in doubt check with your planning authority.
  • Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas: Listed Building Consent may be needed if you live in a listed building. If you live in a conservation area you may need to apply for planning permission. If in doubt check with your planning authority.
  • Scheduled Monuments: Work proposed in or near a scheduled archaeological site should be planned to avoid direct impact on the monument and impacts on its setting minimised, where sites are not scheduled certain precautions may be required. If in doubt check, for scheduled monuments check with Historic Scotland and for unscheduled sites with your planning authority.
  • Other Consents: Check that the proposed work does not require a consent or approval such as a road or advertisement consent.
  • Other things to consider: a range of other issues like biodiversity, water mains and old mine works are detailed in Section 8.



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