Planning Circular 3/2009: notification of planning applications

Guidance on changes to the processes and requirements for notifying Scottish Ministers of planning applications.


23. The information that planning authorities must provide to the Scottish Government is set out in the Notification Direction. This is a legal requirement and it is vital that all relevant information is provided when the application is first notified to ensure there are no unnecessary delays in processing times and in decision-making. Scottish Ministers' 28-day consideration period cannot commence until all necessary information has been provided in compliance with the terms of the direction. The following text is intended to assist planning authorities in identifying the information which must be provided to Ministers.

  • (a) Planning application and plans
    • a full copy of the application form
    • a full set of plans as considered by the planning authority
    • supporting documents (e.g. transport assessment, retail impact assessment etc.)
    • a note of the postcode for the development site where it is not clear from the application form
  • (b) Environmental statement/strategic environmental assessment
    • where an application has been subject to EIA, a full copy of the environmental statement including any appendices
    • for 'Schedule 2' developments, a copy of any screening opinion
    • where there is an SEA relevant to the proposed development, the environmental report should be included with the submission
  • (c) Appropriate assessment
    • a copy of any appropriate assessment by the authority under the terms of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, & c.) Regulations 1994
  • (d) Consultation responses and representations
    • copies of all internal and external consultation responses, even if all they offer is "no comment", ensuring the respondents are clearly identified
    • copies of all individual letters of representation and petitions (including details of the organiser, if known). Where proforma letters are involved, one copy and a list of all the other names and addresses will suffice.
    • A full list of names and addresses of all those who made representation
  • (e) Comments on consultation responses and representations
    • The committee report and/or other statement providing the planning authority's comments on consultation responses and representations
  • (f) Reasons for proposing to grant planning permission
    • A statement clearly explaining the reasons why the authority proposes to grant planning permission. The statement will usually be the committee report. But where that does not provide a full explanation, for example, where a planning authority decides to grant planning permission against the advice of its officials, a separate statement of the reasons for the decision will be needed.

Electronic submission of notification documents to Scottish Government

24. Many planning authorities have now adopted methods for handling planning applications electronically. With the commencement of the e-planning project, all planning authorities will publish application documents on their websites. The Scottish Government would expect, wherever possible, that planning authorities provide the information required by the Notification Direction by means of a link, or series of links to the relevant case files on their websites.

25. Submission should be made by e-mail to the following address:

Sending documents by post

26. Where it is necessary to send hard copies of some or all of the required documents, they should be addressed to:

The Scottish Government
Planning and Architecture Division
Area 2-H (South)
Victoria Quay




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