Guidance for Householders Review

Our Guidance for Householders is being reviewed and we’d like your comments on the proposed changes.

Guidance for Householders draft for consultation front cover April 2017

What the Guidance is for

The Guidance is for people considering altering or extending their house.  This includes dormers, conservatories, extensions, decking, garages and outbuildings.  It aims to assist in creating high quality and well designed alterations and extensions that:

  • complement the existing house, leaving it as the dominant element
  • maintain the quality and character of the surrounding area and
  • respect the amenity of the adjacent neighbours

Dormer ExtensionsSide Extensions

Street Alterations

What are the changes?

The main changes include:

  • reordering the document
  • clarification of some text
  • text on self-contained extensions
  • bungalow extensions and
  • roof terraces.

Changes have been made as a result of internal consultation with planning teams and reviewing the use of the Guidance in decision making.

Have your say

You can give us comments using the consultation hub, which also contains a link to the draft revised Guidance.  After the consultation we will consider if any further amendments to the document are required before reporting the changes to Planning Committee for approval.

Consultation on the Guidance will close on 2 June 2017.

Pre-application planning advice

A large part of our work involves giving pre-application advice on a wide range of planning proposals. To help us make better use of our resources, we’re changing what we provide pre-application advice on.

Changes to pre-application advice

The Planning and Building Standards Customer Service Charter approved by Planning Committee in December last year sets out the level of service you should expect.

Pre-application advice for major developments will continue to be handled by the relevant area team. For other pre-application advice, the charter states:

  • Pre-application advice will normally be restricted to large, unusual or contentious cases or on smaller complex cases where policies or guidance are open to interpretation
  • We will generally not give advice on the following types of development as we have guidance online
    • householder development
    • windows
    • driveways
    • straightforward change of uses
    • adverts
  • When asking for advice, you should use the pre-application advice form to ensure we get all the information we need
  • We will send the enquiry to the relevant area team who will decide if a meeting is necessary
  • We will advise you to where to find information online
  • We will provide a formal response for more complex proposals
  • We aim to respond within 10 working days
  • We advise on the use of professional agents to assess if permission is needed and to make the appropriate application/s

Our helpdesk planner at the Planning and Building Standards reception area (9am-1pm) can offer general planning guidance but is unable to give pre-application advice. For more detailed advice you can send us a pre-application form if it meets the above criteria.

How we deal with requests for pre-application advice is part of a number of changes we’re introducing and we’ll keep you informed on the blog as these happen.

Planning and pre-application advice
Planning and pre-application advice

Penrose makes plans

Penrose the bear
Penrose Trelawney Rumble-Tum Me-Handsome Bear

If you go down to the Planning service today, you might get a big surprise – Penrose the bear is coming to see the Head of Planning and the team! And who you may ask is Penrose Trelawney Rumble-Tum Me-Handsome Bear, or Penrose for short? Well, he is a bear living in a house on Honeycomb Lane in Bearside, Edinbearugh. He wants to make sure that his home, which is a listed building and has a hole in the roof, is mended and looked after.

Penrose, who is only 3 and half teddy bear high, goes with Sarah Jane (the head of this unusual family of animals) to visit the Planning service for advice on their plan to open a dancing school, using the house’s conservatory. But will Penrose get Planning permission? What will he say to the Development Management committee to make them say “yes” to a bearillant idea? To find out, simply head to the Black Diamond Radio website and listen to the full story.