New planning rules

NEW rules to make it easier for people to make changes to their homes will come into force in February next year.

Within certain constraints, the rules will allow a range of works - including extensions, access ramps, sheds, garages and decking - to be built without applying for planning permission. Certain restrictions will still apply for conservation areas and listed buildings.

Following a consultation earlier this year, Planning Minister Aileen Campbell has now laid regulations in Parliament confirming the changes.

Just over 40 per cent of all applications are for planning permission on existing homes and these changes aim to remove around a fifth of those, around 4,000 a year, from the planning system.

The Planning Minister commented: “We are removing, in certain cases, the need for householders to get planning permission. That frees people up to go ahead and make improvements to their homes and saves them money, while creating jobs for tradespeople and continuing our efforts to make planning an aid to increasing sustainable economic growth.”