This page begins with a general summary followed by a more detailed look at some commonly asked questions. I hope you find the information here helpful. If you can’t find what you’re looking for please feel free to give me a call.

Do I need planning permission?

Generally all but the most of minor of works will require some of contact with the planners even if just to confirm that you don’t need planning permission. Please read on for more information.

Do I need a building warrant?

Generally for an extension yes, for a loft conversion nearly always and for any internal structural alteration yes. Please see here for more information on internal alterations.

Do I need a Structural Engineer / Structural Calculations?

If any part of the existing building structure is going to be altered or something new built then generally you will. The best thing to do is to check by asking a Structural Engineer.

How do I find a Structural Engineer?

You can call me if you wish, I’m a Structural Engineer who is happy to offer free advice to help you get started. My contact details are at the bottom of the page.

The following table sets out typical time scales for obtaining permissions from South Lanarkshire and Glasgow City councils.

Generally all councils take about the same time to process a non controversial planning application. Building warrants are slightly different as the councils have different sets of criteria.

Simple & Smaller Projects – The process and how long it takes

The easiest way to break this down is to use an industry recognised plan of work as a template which sets out in detail the stages of a project and is simplified here for ease The majority of the time is generally eaten up by time taken for the councils to process the applications.

Phases Time weeks
Phases 1 – 3 Concept design, Design, Obtain Planning Permission     10
Phase  4 Building Warrant – Develop Drawings & Structural Design     10
Phase 5 – 7  Tender & Construction                                                      4 -10

What is the difference between Planning Permission and a Building Warrant?

Briefly for domestic work Planning Permission relates to how the outside of your home will look and what impact it will have on the surrounding properties and area.

A building warrant relates to the Scottish Building Standards. Again simplistically, these standards relate to what materials and components you are going to use to build with. The standards are wide ranging but the intent is to make sure that what you are building will be safe, work properly and not damage the environment, by for example emitting excessive carbon dioxide or polluting water courses.  If you want to read more about the Scottish Building Standards the best place in my view is to start with the “Technical Handbook – Domestic” as this tells you what you need to do rather than the actual legislation.  Click here to access the Standards.

Permitted development

These are set of rules that allow you to build certain thing such as garages, small extensions, some types of loft conversions and so on without applying for planning permission but 99% of the time you still require a building warrant.

CAUTION! It very easy to make a mistake here and if you do it can cause problems later on when you try and sell or a neighbour complains.

I always recommend that you confirm this with the Local Authority and apply for a “Certificate of Lawfulness” as this is the only way you can get a legally binding document confirming what you propose does not need planning permission… play it safe… get confirmation and file with your title deeds. Click here to take you to the permitted development rules.

Why does it take so long to get Planning Permission and a Building Warrant?

Well in my view and comparing the past with the present… historically Local Authorities had well staffed and resourced Planning and Building Control Departments… now this is less often the case.

Can I speed up the Planning Permission and a Building Warrant application process?

YES – By submitting your Planning and Building Warrant applications at the same time. This is a bit more risky as if the Planners require an alteration to the design then the Building Warrant application may need to be amended and this will take time and cause a delay.