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Pre-Application Advice Service

This page explains our pre-application service. We believe that having an opportunity to get advice and feedback about your proposal before you make an application is an invaluable part of the planning process.

We offer this service free of charge in order to:

  • simplify the submission of a planning application
  • outline the policies of the development plan (and other material considerations) that would affect the proposal
  • identify any special or unusual implications of the proposal
  • assist you with the level and type of information required for the application

What to submit

The simplest way is to complete one of our preapplication enquiry forms and e-mail to with other supporting documents and drawings attached. Or you can send the information attached to a letter to our Headquarters in Balloch (see address below). We require the following information to process your enquiry:

  1. Your name
  2. The address or detailed description of the site (including co-ordinates)
  3. Details for providing a written reply
  4. A description of your proposal.

We suggest that you also submit the following information:

  • A site plan at a scale of not less than 1:2500 or a plan marked with clear metric measurements;
  • If you propose building works, a sketch of the proposal to scale or with metric measurements (height, width, length, distance from boundaries etc);
  • If you propose a change of use, details of the existing and proposed uses; and
  • Photographs and any other additional information that will help us with your enquiry.

You may wish to seek assistance from an architect or planning consultant who could make the pre application enquiry on your behalf, but this is not always necessary.

Registering an enquiry

When we receive your written enquiry we will log the details onto our system and acknowledge receipt of your enquiry. The acknowledgement will give a reference number for future correspondence.

Once registered, your enquiry will be allocated to one of our planning officers. You will be contacted within 20 working days of our receipt of your enquiry, either to:

  • Request further information; or
  • Arrange a site visit and/or a meeting (where needed to gather information); or
  • Provide a written response.

We will always aim to meet this customer care standard; however, more complex enquiries may sometimes need more time to provide you with a response. If we do need longer to respond we will contact you to agree a suitable extension of time.


Our officers will provide you with advice on how the proposal is likely to be viewed by the Authority if an application were to be submitted. This view will be based on the relevant policies and other material considerations. You will also be provided with details of the type and level of information required to be submitted with any future application and guidance on how to proceed.

Any pre-application advice we provide is not a formal decision by the Authority and cannot bind its future decision making. Any views or opinions expressed are given in good faith and to the best of our professional ability, but will be without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application following statutory public consultation, the issues raised and evaluation of all available information.

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act

Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, we may receive a request to provide information regarding enquiries for pre-application advice and of any advice given. The Act however exempts personal information and information, whose disclosure could result in substantial financial loss or be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person. Otherwise, you need to be aware that pre-application advice is not considered to be confidential.

If you wish your enquiry to be treated as exempted information please provide a covering letter that sets out the reasons why, any information in the enquiry, needs to remain confidential.

Further information

The advice in this leaflet relates to pre application enquiries for local developments only. It is not intended for development where a Pre-Application Consultation is required for applications categorised as Major in the Hierarchy of Development Regulations*

  • *The Hierarchy of Development Regulations 2009. Details can be found in Circular 5/2009 on the Scottish Government’s website at
  • **The ‘development plan’ comprises the relevant Council Structure Plan and Council Local Plan and our Local Plan. Details of which plan relates to your site can be found on our website at
  • ***Material Planning Considerations are those matters that the planning officer considers to be relevant to the planning decision. Further information can be found on the Planning Aid Scotland website at

Contact us

Please contact our Planning Information Manager for further information on any of the above. Telephone 01389 722024 E-mail

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