We offer a free, impartial and confidential Advice Service to help with any planning issues, whether about your own home or wider planning issues in your community. We also provide information about the planning system, with specific information sheets about common issues, and details of how to contact the planning authority in your local area.
The Scottish Government provides funding to support the development and running of the Advice Service.
PAS provides a free, impartial, independent, enabling, and professional planning advice service (subject to eligibility) to help people understand and engage with the planning system. Our advice service is provided by volunteers, who are all chartered planners based throughout Scotland. Our planning advice service deals with hundreds of enquiries annually from members of the public and community groups.
We offer clients of the Advice Service advice on how to represent themselves, or how to secure the services of an appropriate professional. We do not have an advocacy role and do not submit planning applications or make representations on behalf of clients. Planning can be complex. We aim to make the system as straightforward and accessible for you as possible.
Please complete the enquiry form here. Alternatively, you can contact us on 0300 323 7602. Calls cost no more than a national rate call.
Please note that we are currently experiencing a very high level of demand for our Advice Service and it is taking longer than usual to allocate cases to an advisor. We are also in the process of moving to a new database system from the end of April 2021. Thank you for your patience during this time.
We can help
- Community Councils
- Community Groups
- Tenants’ Associations
- Residents’ Associations
- Social Enterprises
- Development Trusts
- First business start-ups (within 18 months of establishment and no affiliations with other businesses)
- Individuals building their own home
PAS aims to be to be as inclusive as possible in providing planning advice. In particular, we seek to assist those who may experience, or be at risk of, hardship or have difficulty engaging with the planning system, including seldom-heard groups such as ethnic minority groups.
We are not able to help
- Individuals employed as architects, surveyors, planning consultants, specialist planning lawyers, or other consultants, and seeking advice on behalf of a client
- Anyone who is currently using the services of professional consultants on the details of the enquiry, such as architects, surveyors, planning consultants, specialist planning lawyers, or other consultants
- Anyone who is seeking advice about building more than their own residential property
- Established businesses
- Statutory bodies
- Political parties (however, we encourage individual elected members, MSPs and MPs to refer their constituents to our service)
For more information on eligibility for our advice service please contact Deanne on 0300 323 7602 or email email@example.com
“Town Planning is not mere place-planning, nor even work planning. If it is to be successful it must be folk planning” – Patrick Geddes
Scotland’s planning system puts a strong emphasis on involving people and communities to have their say on the future development of their place. Planning determines where development should happen, where it should not happen, and how it affects and fits into its surroundings. The planning system is essential for economic growth, protecting the environment, promoting sustainability and creating places which improve the quality of life for all. We aim to simplify this process and encourage people to get more involved with the planning system.
Below are a series of information sheets on various aspects of the planning system.
- The Development Plan – Find out about how future land uses for your area are decided, planning policies, and how to get involved preparation of the development plan – download the Development Plan information sheet
- Development Management – Find out about how to apply for planning permission, how applications are determined and how to comment on applications – download the Development Management information sheet
- Material Considerations – Find out what are, and are not, relevant matters in commenting on planning applications – download the Material Considerations information sheet
- Planning Appeals and Local Reviews – Find out how decisions on planning applications can be challenged – download the Appeals and Local Reviews information sheet
- Enforcement – Find out how the planning system deals with unauthorised development – download the Enforcement information sheet
- Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas – Find out how planning protects our built heritage – download the Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas information sheet
- Rights and Challenges in the Scottish Planning System – A basic guide to the avenues available to anyone who does not agree with a planning decision – download the Rights and Challenges information sheet
- Planning and Transport – Find out how transport-related matters impact the planning system – download the Planning and Transport information sheet
- Glossary of Common Planning Terms in Scotland – download the Glossary information sheet
- Young People – Introduction to the Planning System – download the Young People info sheet here
Find out more about Local Place Plans – what they are and how your community might benefit from one – on our Local Place Plans page.
Planning (Scotland Act 2019 – The following information sheet provides an overview of the content of the new Planning (Scotland) Act 2019. Some parts of the new Act are already in force whilst regulations and guidance are currently being prepared for other aspects of the Act. This information sheet indicates which sections of the Act have been enacted so far (September 2020). We are grateful to one of our PAS volunteers for preparing this information sheet. Planning Act information sheet
You may also find useful information about the planning system on the following websites:
- Scottish Government
- Royal Town Planning Institute
- Architecture and Design Scotland
- Historic Scotland
- Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
- Scottish Natural Heritage
- Transport Scotland
- Royal Institute of Architects in Scotland
- Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
- Built Environment Forum Scotland
- Development Trust Association Scotland
- Citizens Advice Scotland
- Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
- Scottish Community Development Centre
- Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum
- Sustainable Scotland Network
- The Scottish Public Service Ombudsman
If you are looking for advice about the planning system in England and Wales, please visit:
How do I contact my local planning authority?
The Development Plan is a document prepared by the local authority which sets out how your local area may change in the future. It explains what type of development (homes, shops, new schools etc.) should take place where e.g. preferred locations for new homes and businesses, and which areas should not be developed.
If you want to find out more about opportunities and timescales for becoming involved with local or strategic development plans, look for the Development Plan Scheme on your planning authority website.
Most planning authorities will have information about current consultations and how you can get involved in the development plan section of their website. Some have newsletters that you can sign up to in order to be kept informed.
Making your opinions known early on can be much more effective than trying to influence decisions on planning applications later on. To find out about the Development Plan in your area or otherwise contact your planning authority, click on the authority name below.
Current development plan
ePlanning team, Aberdeenshire Council, Viewmount, Arduthie Road, STONEHAVEN AB39 2DQ Tel.: 01467 534 333 Email: Contact Website: Aberdeenshire Council – Planning Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Planning Authority: website Current Development Plan Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan (April 2017) Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Plan (March 2014)
Argyll and Bute
Cairngorms National Park
City of Aberdeen
City of Dundee
Dundee City Council Dundee House (Floor 6) 50 North Lindsay Street Dundee DD1 1LS Tel.: 01382 434000 Email: Contact us Website: Planning Division – Dundee City Council TAYplan Strategic Development Planning Authority: Website
Current Development Plan
City of Edinburgh
Planning Helpdesk Waverley Court 4 East Market Street Edinburgh EH8 8BG Tel: 0131 529 3550 Email: Contact us Website: Planning and Building Standards – City of Edinburgh Council SESplan Strategic Development Planning Authority – website
Current Development Plan
City of Glasgow
Glasgow City Council 45 John Street, GLASGOW G1 1LY Tel.: 0141 287 6060 /8555 Email: Contact us Council Website: Planning Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Planning Authority: Website Current Development Plan Glasgow City Development Plan (March 2017) Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Plan (July 2017)
Dumfries and Galloway
Dumfries and Galloway Council Development Planning Militia House English Street Dumfries DG1 2HR Tel.: 030 33 33 3000 Ext: 64109 Email: Contact us Website: Dumfries & Galloway, Planning and Building Standards Current Development Plan Dumfries and Galloway Local Development Plan 2 (2019)
Development Services Kilncraigs Greenside Street ALLOA FK10 1EB Tel.: 01259 450000 Email: Contact us Website: Clackmannanshire Council Planning and Building Standards Current Development Plan Clackmannanshire Local Development Plan (August 2015)
Planning and Economic Development Opera House, 8 John Finnie Street, KILMARNOCK KA1 1DD Tel.:01563 576790 Email: Contact us Website: East Ayrshire Council: Planning and the Environment Current Development Plan East Ayrshire Local Development Plan (April 2017) Minerals Plan Minerals Local Development Plan (2020)
Planning Development and Enterprise East Dunbartonshire Council, Southbank House, Southbank Business Park,KIRKINTILLOCH G66 1XQ Tel.: 0300 123 4510 Email: Contact us Council Website: Planning and Building Standards Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Planning Authority: Website Current Development Plan East Dunbartonshire Local Plan (February 2017) The Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Plan (July 2017)
Development Planning and Policy John Muir House Court Street Haddington EH41 3HA Tel.: 01620 827 216 Email: Contact us Website: East Lothian Council – Planning and the Environment SESplan Strategic Development Planning Authority – website
Current Development Plan
East Renfrewshire Council Planning and Building Standards 2 Spiersbridge Way Spiersbridge Business Park Thornliebank G46 8NG Tel.: 0141 577 3001 Email: Contact us Website: Planning – East Renfrewshire Council Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Planning Authority: Website Current Development Plan East Renfrewshire Local Development Plan (June 2015) Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Plan (2017)
Current Development Plan
- The Highland-wide Local Development Plan (April 2012) is the overarching development plan for the Highland area and contains many of the general policies.
Alongside the Highland-wide plan, there are three area local development plans:
Development Management Regeneration and Planning Municipal Buildings Greenock PA15 1LY Tel.: 01475 712416 Email: Contact Us Council Website: Planning and the Environment Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Planning Authority: Website Current Development Plan Inverclyde Local Development Plan (2019) Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Plan (July 2017)
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
Development Management National Park HQ, Carrochan Road, Carrochan, Balloch, G83 8EG
Tel.: 01389 722615
Email: Contact Us Council Website: Planning Current Development Plan Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Local Development Plan 2017-2021
Planning and Development Midlothian Council Fairfield House 8 Lothian Road DALKEITH EH22 3ZN Tel.: 0131 2713 302 Email: Contact us Midlothian website: Planning SESplan Strategic Development Planning Authority – website
Current Development Plan
Planning & Development Moray Council Council Office High Street ELGIN IV30 1BX Tel.: 0300 123 4561 Email: Contact us Website: Planning and Building Standards Current Development Plan: Moray Local Development Plan (July 2015) Please note: the southern part of Moray, which lies within the Cairngorms National Park, is covered by the Cairngorms Park Local Plan.
Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles)
North Lanarkshire Council Fleming House 2 Tryst Road CUMBERNAULD G67 1JW Tel.: 01236 632500 Email: Contact us North Lanarkshire Planning and Building Standards: Website Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Planning Authority: website Current Development Plans North Lanarkshire Local Plan (September 2012) Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Plan (July 2017)
Development Services Orkney Islands Council Council Offices School Place Kirkwall ORKNEY KW15 1NY Tel.: 01856 873535 ext 2504 Email: Contact us Website: Planning Current Development Plan Orkney Islands Local Development Plan (April 2017)
Perth and Kinross
The Environment Service Perth & Kinross Council Pullar House 35 Kinnoull Street PERTH PH1 5DG Tel.: 01738 475300 Email: Contact us Perth and Kinross Council Planning: website TAYplan Strategic Development Planning Authority: website Current Development Plan Perth and Kinross Local Development Plan (2019) TAYplan Strategic Development Plan (October 2017)
Planning Renfrewshire House Cotton Street PAISLEY PA1 1LL Tel.: 0300 300 0144 Email: Contact us Renfrewshire Planning and Building Standards: Website Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Planning Authority: Website Current Development Plan Renfrewshire Local Development Plan (Aug 2014) Glasgow and the Clyde Valley Strategic Development Plan (July 2017)
Planning and Building Standards Scottish Borders Council Council Headquarters Newtown St Boswells MELROSE TD6 0SA Tel.: 0300 100 1800 Email: Council Contact Form (Planning applications) (Development plan) Scottish Borders Planning and Building Standards: website SESplan Strategic Development Planning Authority: website Current Development Plan Scottish Borders Local Development Plan (2016) SESplan Strategic Development Plan (2013)
Planning and Building Standards Headquarters Montrose House 154 Montrose Crescent Hamilton ML3 6LB Phone: 0303 123 1015 Email: Contact us South Lanarkshire Planning and Building Standards: Website Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Planning Authority: Website Current Development Plan South Lanarkshire Local Development Plan (June 2015) South Lanarkshire Minerals Local Plan (2012) The Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Plan (July 2017)
Planning and Building Standards West Dunbartonshire Council Aurora House 3 Aurora Avenue CLYDEBANK G81 1BF Tel.: 0141 951 7930 Email: Contact us West Dunbartonshire Planning and Building Standards: Website Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Planning Authority: Website Current Development Plan: West Dunbartonshire Local Plan (March 2010) The Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Plan (July 2017)
Planning and Building Standards West Lothian Civic Centre Howden South Road Livingston EH54 6FF Tel.: 01506 280000 Email: Contact us Website: West Lothian Council – Planning and Building Standards SESplan Strategic Development Planning Authority – website
Current Development Plan
What people are saying about our Advice Service:
“I see the work of PAS as essential for communities to ensure they can respond appropriately”
“I’m so grateful, after only one phone call with a PAS volunteer the fear and stress of the whole scenario vanished. I’m so grateful. Thank you”
“This is an extremely helpful service – it makes planning issues much more equitable”