We offer a free, impartial and confidential telephone 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.
Submit an enquiry
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 below. If it does not show, or if you are accessing this page on a smart phone, click here to access it directly. Alternatively, you can contact Deanne on 0300 323 7602; email@example.com. Calls cost no more than a national rate call.
We can help
- Community Councils
- Community Groups
- Tenants’ Associations
- Residents’ Associations
- Social Enterprises
- Development Trusts
- Business Start-ups (within 18 months of establishment)
- 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 one dwelling
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
“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 what a place looks like. Planning decides 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
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:
For confirmation that your enquiry has been successfully submitted, simply scroll back up to the top of the form and you will see a confirmation message.
How do I contact my local planning authority?
On this page, you can link directly to your planning authority and find out about the Development Plan for your area. 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 at this stage 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.
Argyll and Bute
City of Aberdeen
City of Dundee
City of Edinburgh
City of Glasgow
Dumfries and Galloway
Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles)
Perth and Kinross
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”