Do I need planning permission? It all depends says Bell Ingram’s Planning Consultant Catherine Newton

Do I need planning permission to keep a donkey; race pigeons; cut down a tree; build a shed; or form a hill track?

The answer to all these planning questions around land use and development is invariably, “it depends”. It depends on what, where, when, why and who the development is for. And it also depends on legislation, local development plan policies and guidance.

The same applies to the question I’m asked most frequently, ie. what planning permission is needed to develop new houses in the countryside? My answer is – you’ve guessed it is – “it depends”!

As Bell Ingram’s Planning Consultant, I provide professional advice to clients and colleagues on an infinitely varied range of planning projects across Scotland and the North of England.

My expertise is in everything related to town and country planning, and my knowledge and experience allows me to make an initial assessment on whether or not a new house in a specific countryside location would be supported in principle by the Planning Authority and if further investigation and appraisal would be cost effect and beneficial to the client.

For example, I often work with my colleague Andrew Fuller from our Oban office to identify rural plots with development potential for clients who are in the process of selling estates and farms, and want to add value to the sale.

Most recently I was able to provide timely planning advice to a client before he agreed the sale of his house and surrounding land south of Oban. I was aware that there is a clear planning policy presumption in favour of rural development in certain parts of the countryside near Oban. I undertook a site visit and successfully identified two suitable plots of land for small scale development where, in accordance with policy criteria for new houses in the countryside, development would have no adverse impact on the character of the landscape.

In this case, the Planning Authority was able to agree that the sites offered an appropriate opportunity for new homes, subject to a high standard and sustainable design being agreed through the submission of a subsequent planning application. Ultimately our client did not want to go as far as submitting planning applications, but was satisfied that the development potential had been identified to support the sale of the house and the land.

The bottom line is that I can give clear and pragmatic planning advice on the best approach, based on the client’s needs and aspirations. Much of my work starts with a quick phone call from a colleague or a client recommendation … so if you need planning advise at early stage please just get in touch.

Catherine Newton

Planning Consultant
Tel: 01738 621 121

Article posted on 29/03/2021

Sign up to our newsletter

Areas of interest