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Circular 5/1992

DescriptionCircular 5/1992
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateFebruary 21, 1992

This Circular has been revoked by Circular 2/2015: Consolidated Circular on Non-Domestic Permitted Development Rights

Circular 5/1992


The Chief Executive
Regional and Islands Councils

The Chief Executive
District Councils (except in Highlands, Borders and Dumfries and Galloway Regions)

Our ref: PGD/1/16
21 February 1992

Planning Series:

National Planning Policy Guidelines (NPPGs) provide statements of Government policy on nationally important land use and other planning matters, supported where appropriate by a locational framework.

Circulars, which also provide statements of Government policy, contain guidance on policy implementation through legislative or procedural change.

Planning Advice Notes (PANs) provide advice on good practice and other relevant information.

Statements of Government policy contained in NPPGs and Circulars may, so far as relevant, be material considerations to be taken into account in development plan preparation and development control.


1 The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 - the "Permitted Development Order" - has been laid before the House of Commons and, subject to Parliamentary procedure, will come into effect on 13 March 1992. A copy of the Order is enclosed with this circular.

2. The Permitted Development Order contains the consolidated . and amended provisions relating to permitted development of the former Town and Country Planning (General Development) (Scotland) Order 1981. A new " Procedure Order", which makes provision for the making and handling of planning applications and related matters is also to come into effect on 13 March 1992 and is the subject of separate advice in Circular 6/1992.

3. -The principal purpose of the Review of the 1981 GDO was to consolidate the Order which had been amended significantly since its introduction and, in doing so, to make the format and language more "user friendly" . The review went on to consider whether existing classes. of permitted development were too broad to ensure environmental protection or whether permitted development should be extended to reduce unnecessary burdens on developers and authorities. As a result the new Permitted Development Order introduces extensions of permitted development in some areas and restrictions in others.

4. A list of the changes made to permitted development is attached at Annex A to this circular. The main changes, and other aspects on which more detailed advice was requested during the consultation exercise, are explained below. Annex B provides an index relating the provisions of the 1981 Order to their equivalents or amended versions in the new Permitted Development Order.


Format of Schedule 1

5. Schedule 1 to the Permitted Development Order sets out new classes of permitted development and performs the same function as Schedule 2 to the old GDO. The new format replaces the former 28 "Classes" of permitted development with 22 new "Parts". The Parts are further subdivided into classes to provide a clearer distinction between the different types of development permitted by the old classes, e.g. the old Class V on agricultural buildings and operations becomes the new Part 6 and is subdivided into 4 classes, numbered 18-21, covering "buildings, private ways and engineering operations", "the winning and working of minerals", "land drainage works" and "peat". Roman numerals are no longer used.

6. Every class in the Order begins with a description of the permitted development in bold type. This is always sub-paragraph (1) of the class number. Sub-paragraph (2) will set out the circumstances, if any, in which the permitted development does not apply, while sub-paragraph (3) will normally relate to conditions, e.g. Class 14(1) permits the temporary use of land and buildings, 14(2) explains that development is not permitted if the operations are mining operations, while 14(3) lists the condition that buildings, structures etc must be removed once the operations have been carried out. In some classes there is also a sub-paragraph providing any necessary interpretation of the class which will be either sub-paragraph (3) or (4) depending on whether the class has conditions attached.

Development within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse (Part 1)

7. A significant proportion of enquiries to planning departments and planning applications involve proposals to alter or extend a dwellinghouse. It is therefore important that the provisions on householder development are as clear as possible, enabling planning, authorities to respond promptly to requests for information and advice as well as to deal expeditiously with applications for planning permission. With this aim in mind, the layout and language of the householder development provisions have been simplified, while the use of floor area rather than cubic capacity in determining the limits of permitted development should make it easier to calculate whether any proposal breaches those limits. Floor area is defined in the same way as "Gross External Floor Area" set out in the Code of Measuring Practice produced by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers. This takes the area of each floor in a building into account, although areas with a headroom of less than 1.5 metres should be excluded. This definition is widely used by valuers, architects, quantity surveyors and others in the building professions.

8. It is also important that the householder provisions strike the proper balance between the right of individuals to do as they wish with their property and the need to maintain safeguards over the amenity of residential areas in general and listed buildings and conservation areas in particular. The changes, listed in detail in Annex A, therefore provide for stricter controls in conservation areas and within the curtilage of a listed building. The changes also aim to protect against an incremental increase in the density of residential areas by reducing the proportion of the garden area which may be covered, by an extension, from 50% to 30%. Permitted development has been extended in a number of areas where the existing controls are overprotective e.g. the installation of solar panels will now be permitted except in conservation areas.

9. Part 1 also permits the provision of a hard surface within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse except in a conservation area. This new provision would therefore allow the creation of a patio and a parking space for a car or caravan, unless the hardstanding involved the formation of an access to a trunk road or created an obstruction to the view of road users, particularly vehicular traffic.

10. Permitted development has not been extended to include liquified petroleum gas tanks, as suggested in the 1990 consultation paper, because the issue remains under consideration in the current review of the Building Regulations.

11 The new provisions make it clear that re-roofing which materially affects the appearance of the roof, or re-cladding in conservation areas require planning permission. Where re-roofing is undertaken using the same material or equivalent the appearance of the roof will not be materially affected and authorities should not therefore seek a planning application in those circumstances. Part 2 permits stone cleaning of the exterior of any building, except where the building is in a conservation area or is a listed building.

12. There are limits to the extent to which subordinate legislation, such as the Permitted Development Order, can be made immediately understandable to the householder. Authorities are therefore encouraged, where they have not already done so, to prepare easy-to-follow guides for home owners and tenants explaining what can be done to their property without applying for planning permission. Any guidance of this sort should include the effects of any Article 4 Directions and conservation area designation. Where planning permission is required, many householders would find it useful to have published advice from the planning authority on the design of extensions and alterations. The existence of such advice should help avoid the cost of abortive drawing work for the householder and aid the efficient processing of planning applications.

Agricultural and Forestry Buildings and Operations (Parts 6 and 7)

13. Part 6 of the Permitted Development Order re-enacts much of the permitted development of Class V of the old GDO, although some changes have been made to enhance environmental protection. Larger buildings, either over 465 square metres or 12 metres in height become subject to planning control, thus ensuring that the effect on the landscape can be fully considered.

14. Protection against malodorous development is improved by the introduction of a "cordon sanitaire", which withdraws permitted development for the construction, extension or use of buildings for intensive livestock or for the storage of slurry or sewage sludge within 400 metres of a "protected building". A "protected building", as defined in Part 6, is a building normally occupied by people other than one within an agricultural unit or a building, whose use falls within the Special Industrial Use Classes of the Use Classes Order. Planning permission will be required for any change of use to a livestock unit within the cordon sanitaire.

15. Planning authorities should exercise particular care when considering planning applications for houses and other new "protected buildings" within 400m of established livestock units to minimise the potential for future problems of nuisance.

16. A further change to the provisions makes it clear that separate parcels of land cannot be taken into account in calculating the existing threshold of 0.4 hectares, above which permitted development applies. An exception is made in the former crofting counties.

17. The Government has also consulted on the introduction of a notification regime for all agricultural and forestry buildings not subject to planning control. In the light of the responses to consultation, the Government has proceeded with the scheme and the provisions to implement it have been included in the Permitted Development Order. Detailed guidance on the new arrangements is given in Annex C to this circular. Similar arrangements were introduced in England and Wales with effect from 2 January 1992.

Development by Local Authorities (Part 12)

18. Local authorities will wish to note that the provisions previously contained in Classes XI and XX have been amalgamated into one Part. "Small ancillary building, works or equipment", which authorities are permitted to construct or maintain on their own land, has been defined for the first time. The size of such buildings is now limited to 4 metres in height or 200 cubic metres in capacity. Permitted development for local authorities to deposit mineral waste on sites used for the deposit of waste in 1948 has been removed. This amendment was recommended by the Stevens Report (1977).

Development by Statutory Undertakers (Part 13)

19. Planning authorities will wish to take careful note of the changes to permitted development for the statutory undertakers listed in Annex A. Attention is drawn particularly to the requirement for gas and electricity undertakings to seek approval for the design and external appearance of buildings erected solely for the protection of plant or machinery. Planning authorities should not seek to assess the need for such buildings, but confine their consideration to any detrimental effect the building might have on the amenity of the neighbourhood; to modifications which might be reasonably made to avoid or reduce any such effect; and to whether the proposed development ought to, or could reasonably and without excessive cost, be sited elsewhere.

Minerals Development (Parts 15-19)

20. The provisions relevant to minerals development have been ordered into a more logical sequence starling with mineral exploration, through ancillary mining operations and waste tipping, to the removal of material from mineral working deposits. Separate provisions for British Coal Corporation activities have been retained although largely brought into line with those available to other mineral operators. Transitional provisions from the previous GDO, where no longer applicable, have been removed.

21. A general height limitation of 12 metres exists for development associated with mineral exploration. When this restriction was first introduced it was assumed that the height limit would exclude oil and gas drilling rigs which were. then over 40 metres high. Technological advances in the development of micro-drilling techniques have resulted in such rigs under 12 metres in height. Searching for oil and gas has now been specifically excluded from the exploration permitted development provisions relating to mineral exploration.

22. Three types of permission for ancillary mining operations are now available:

a. a limited range of development which may be carried out without the prior approval of the planning authority;
b. a wider range of development subject to the prior approval of the planning authority;
c. work required for reasons of maintenance or safety.

23. In the context of an underground mine, provision is now made for the specification of an "approved site" (an "authorised site" for BCC) within which the permitted surface development provisions apply. For existing mines the operator is required to deposit, with the planning authority, a plan identifying the area within which his permitted development rights apply. This must be done within 6 months of the order coming into force.

24. The previous provisions for waste tipping are revised and consolidated and now (except in certain circumstances for BCC) preclude remote tipping. Wastes deposited on a site must originate from minerals won at that site or from the processing of such minerals. BCC may continue remote tipping under schemes already approved, or under consideration by the planning authority.

25. Material may be removed from a bona fide "stockpile" unconditionally but removal from small or recently created mineral working deposits requires prior written notification to the planning authority who are empowered to require a scheme for the restoration and aftercare of the site.

Development by telecommunications code systems operators (Tarts 20 and 21)

26. Permitted development rights were introduced in 1984 to facilitate the development of telecommunications systems licensed under section 7 of the Telecommunications Act 1984. The first code system operators were British Telecom and Mercury Communications Ltd. With the introduction of new means of delivering signals to the customer by fixed link, cellular and personal communication networks, other companies such as Racal Vodaphone Ltd, Telecom Securicor, Cellular Radio Ltd (Cellnet), Mercury Personal Communications Network Ltd, Microtel Communications Ltd, Unitel Ltd, Kingston Communications (Hull) plc and certain TV cable operators have also been granted licences. These licences impose certain obligations on the operators for the protection of the environment which include for example:

  • restrictions in conservation areas and SSSis and for listed buildings and archaeological sites, in such cases a process of consultation is formally required; and
  • restrictions on overhead wires and poles.

27. Annex D gives a summary of the telecommunications code and the key licence requirements. It should be noted that British Sky Broadcasting is not a code system operator.

28. The present provisions have proved complicated to operate and have revealed certain anomalies. Both industry and public authorities now face increasingly complex technological and economic challenges and good telecommunication helps to make them more efficient and competitive. To assist in that process the permitted development rights for code systems operators have been extended to include the following:

  • up to 10 microwave antennas may be installed on a mast or tower. The present limit of 2 antennas made little operational sense and discouraged sharing by different operators of the same mast or tower;

  • up to 2 microwave antennas may be installed on any building irrespective of the height of the building;

  • small buildings, not exceeding 200 cubic metres in capacity and 4 metres in height may be erected for housing apparatus; and

  • moveable buildings housing apparatus may be erected for a period of up to 6 months on land which is the subject of a planning permission.

29. Restrictions to protect visual amenity remain. Permitted development does not apply to:

  • antennas on dwelling houses;
  • antennas in conservation or national scenic areas;
  • antennas over 1.3 metres in any dimension (excluding any feed element).

Controls over Satellite Antennas (Parts 1 and 21)

30. Permitted development for the installation of satellite antennas are to be found in Part 1, covering development within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse, and in Part 21, other telecommunications development. The restrictions applicable to both types of development are that:

  • no dish may be more than 90cm;
  • all dishes must be sited with the minimum of visual intrusion.

31. For dwellinghouses one antenna is allowed per building, but the dish must not exceed the highest point of the roof, which does not include chimney stacks. If the house is in a conservation area or a national scenic area, the antenna may not be placed on a wall fronting onto a road.

32. For all other buildings, no permitted development exists in conservation areas or national scenic areas. Outside those areas, up to 2 antennas may be installed.

33. Where a householder in a block of flats submits a planning application because there are already 2 antennas on the building, planning authorities should encourage the householder to explore the possibility of sharing. It Is relatively straightforward for one antenna to service a number of households and shared systems have already been installed in many new private developments as well as local authority accommodation.

34. It should be noted that nothing in the Order affects the requirement for listed building consent to erect a satellite antenna on a listed building.

35. Further advice to householders is given in a Scottish Office publication called "A Householder's Planning Guide on the Installation of Satellite Television Dishes".

Article 4 Directions

36. Article 4 Directions made under the previous powers remain in force by virtue of Article 8(b) of the Permitted Development Order. However, it will be difficult to cross refer existing directions with the new Orders. Planning authorities should review their existing directions and ensure that restrictions on permitted development in their area are still appropriate. Where it is no longer appropriate to restrict permitted development, they should cancel their existing directions or submit more limited Article 4 directions for the Secretary of State's approval. In their review, planning authorities should also take account of the changes made by the new Order. For example the new Order introduces additional safeguards to improve siting of satellite dishes; and introduces general restrictions on certain classes of permitted development in conservation areas and within the curtilage of a listed building. In these circumstances some authorities may feel that existing Article 4 directions covering these kinds of development should be amended or cancelled.

Financial and Manpower Implications

37. The changes to the General (Permitted Development) Order withdraw permitted development in a number of cases. This should involve a small increase in the number of planning applications involving an extra demand on authorities' manpower and resources which will not be fully offset by the fee income generated. However, there are additional extensions to permitted development which will reduce the demand on resources. Given the simplification of the Orders, less time and effort should be required to explain the provisions to applicants and to new staff. Any slight increase in applications which might occur should be accommodated within authorities' existing resources. Overall, It is however anticipated that the changes should have a broadly neutral effect on manpower and resources.

Further Copies and Enquiries

38. Enquiries about the content of this circular should be addressed to Mr S Bruce (031 244 4079). Specific enquiries about the Minerals Classes in Parts 15-19 should be addressed to Mr B Spiers (031 244 4248). Further copies and a list of current planning circulars may be obtained from Room 6/84, New St Andrew's House, Edinburgh EH1 3SZ (031 244 4082).



Part 1: Development within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse

1 The limits for alterations and extensions are expressed in floor area terms rather than volume.

2. The proportion of garden area which can be covered by an extension has been reduced from 50% to 30%.

3. An alteration to a roof which would materially affect its appearance Is no longer permitted development.

4. Permitted development has been extended to allow -

  • the formation of hardstandings, except in conservation areas;
  • the formation of a means of access to a road which is not a trunk or classified road, except in conservation areas;
  • the installation of solar panels and velux windows on up to 10% of a roof area, except in conservation areas.

5. A condition has been added to the installation of a satellite antenna to ensure that the installation is sited with the minimum of visual intrusion.

6. Householder permitted development rights in conservation areas are withdrawn as follows:-

  • the enlargement of a house consisting of an alteration or addition to Its roof;
  • the cladding of the exterior of a house.


  • A limit of 4 square metres has been imposed on the floor area of a building or enclosure or pool within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse;
  • the enlargement or other alteration of a house in a conservation area or within the curtilage of a listed building is limited to 16 square metres or 10% of the floor area ofthe original house.

Part 2: Sundry Minor Operations

1. Development involving gates, fences and walls surrounding a listed building is no longer permitted development.

2. Stone cleaning is specifically included within Class 9 as permitted development but listed buildings and conservation areas are excluded from this Class.

Parts 3, 4 and 5

No change to these provisions covering Changes of Use, Temporary Buildings and Uses and Caravan Sites.

Part 6: Agricultural etc Buildings and Operations

1 . A 400 metre cordon sanitaire is introduced in agricultural permitted development in order to protect residential property from obnoxious odours. In future, buildings used for the intensive accommodation of livestock within 400 metres of residential, hotel or office property will require planning permission.

2. All buildings over 465 square metres and buildings over 12 metres in height will require

planning permission.

3. Any excavation within 25 metres of a railway line would require planning permission.

4. An area of agricultural land of 0.4 hectares or more shall not take account of separate parcels of land. This provision will not apply to crofts.

5. New arrangements are introduced requiring authorities to be given prior notification of all agricultural etc buildings which are not subject to planning control. Full details are set out in Annex C.

Part 7: Forestry Buildings and Operations

New arrangements are introduced requiring authorities to be given prior notification of all forestry buildings which are not subject to planning control. Full details are set out Annex C.

Part 8: Industrial and Warehouse Development

Permitted development for industrial and warehouse development is extended to allow:

  • the building of extension for social, recreational or welfare purposes Including creches except where the original building contains hazardous substances;
  • the creation of hardstandings or surfaces.

Part 9: Repairs to Private Roads and Private Ways

No change.

Part 10: Repairs to Services

A condition is added to ensure that land is restored to its previous condition after completion of works or a 9 month period from the beginning of works whichever is the sooner.

Part 11: Development Under Local or Private Acts or Orders

No change.

Part 12: Development by Local Authorities

Permitted development already exists for local authorities to construct small buildings necessary for the exercise of any function except as statutory undertaker. The new GDO puts a limit on the size of such buildings of 4 metres in height and 200 cubic metres.

Permitted development for the deposit by a local authority of waste material or refuse in a tip used for that purpose before 1947 is withdrawn. In practice, we know of only one case affected where Monklands DC has been trying to prevent Glasgow DC from tipping on a pre-1947 site.

The threshold of £50,000, below which development by a planning authority is permitted, is uprated to £100,000.

Part 13: Development by Statutory Undertakers

For docks, piers, h arbours, canals and inland waterways, the use of land for the spreading of dredged material has been limited to operational land.

The class for water undertakings has been revised and extended to reflect in a more comprehensive way the current needs of the water authorities. Increases have been made to the limits to which buildings on operational land may be extended to bring these matters Into line with changes made to other classes.

The existing road transport undertakings class has been extended to accommodate tramways.

A condition is added to the permitted development rights for gas and electricity undertakings requiring them to seek approval from the planning authority for the design and external appearance of buildings erected solely for the protection of plant or machinery.

A condition has been added to the permitted development rights for gas suppliers. At present the placing and storage on land of pipes and apparatus to be included in a main pipe is permitted development. The condition requires the gas supplier on completion of development or at the end of 9 months from the beginning of the development, to remove the pipe or apparatus and restore the land to its condition prior to the development taking place.

The permitted development rights for the Post Office have been extended to include the installation of postal pouches except in conservation areas.

Part 14: Aviation Development

These classes set out the permitted development rights for airport operators and the Civil Aviation Authority in more detail; there are no substantial changes.

Parts 15 to 19: Minerals

These classes have been re-ordered. Permitted development for the deposit of waste materials or refuse begun before 1 July 1948 has been revoked, as has the now out-dated provision on pre-1946 underground working by The "National Coal Board". Oil and gas exploration is specifically excluded from these classes.

Development at an underground mine will in future only be permitted on an approved or authorised site. Within 6 months of coming into force of the order minerals operators will be required to deposit a plan of the site within which permitted development will take place. Any extension to the site will require planning consent.

Class 63 consolidates and revises tipping rights. Permission to tip is confined to the mine or ancillary mining land already used for tipping. Only waste derived from mining or the working of minerals or from the treatment or preparation for sale of minerals may be deposited.

Permission for British Coal Corporation to continue remote tipping is confined to schemes already approved by the planning authority. A transition period of 3 months is allowed to continue remote tipping where a scheme is still to be approved.

Permitted development has been extended to enable development to be carried out for the purpose of maintenance or safety of a mine or disused mine.

Parts 20 and 21: Development by Telecommunications Code System Operators and Other Telecommunications Development

Permitted development for code systems operators has been extended to allow operators:

  • to erect small buildings not exceeding 200 cubic metres in volume and 4metres in height for housing apparatus;
  • to install up to 10 microwave antennas on a mast or tower;
  • to install up to 2 microwave antennas on any building irrespective of the height of the building;
  • to use land for which planning permission has been granted, for 6 months for the temporary stationing of moveable buildings housing telecommunication apparatus in connection with the development authorised by the planning permission.

Part 22: Development at Amusement Parks

No change.




1981 GDO Reference

1992 Permitted Development Order Reference

Permitted Development

Article 3

Article 3

Directions Restricting Permitted Development

Article 4(1), (2) and(8)

Article 4

Notice and Service of Article 4 Directions

Article 4(3)-(5)

Article 5

Cancellation of Article 4 Directions

Article 4(7)

Article 6

Directions restricting development under Class XXV(2) or XXVI(2) of 1981 GDO or Class 54 or 66 of 1992 Permitted Development Order

Article 4A

Article 7

Classes of Permitted Development:

Schedule 1

Schedule 1

  • Development Within the Curtilage of a Dwellinghouse

Class I

Part 1, Classes 1-6

  • Sundry Minor Operations

Class II

Part 2,Classes 7-9

  • Changes of Use

Class Ill

Part 3 Classes 10-13

  • Temporary Buildings and Uses

Class IV

Part 4 Classes 14-15

  • Caravan Sites

Classes XXXI and XXII

Part 5 Classes 16-17

  • Agricultural etc Buildings and Operations

Classes V and XIII

Part 6 Classes 18-21

  • Forestry Buildings and Operations

Class VI

Part 7 Class 22

  • Industrial and Warehouse Development

Classes VII and XXVII

Part 8 Classes 23-26

  • Repairs to Private Roads and Private Ways

Class Viii

Part 9 Class 27

  • Repairs to Services

Class IX

Part 10 Class 28

  • Development under Local or Private Acts or Orders

Class X

Part 11 Class 29

  • Development by Local Authorities

Classes Xl, XII, XIV and XX

Part 12 Classes 30-33

  • Development by Statutory Undertakers

Class XV (excluding J)

Part 13 Classes 34-43

  • Aviation Development

Classes XV.J and XIX

Part 14 Classes 44-52

  • Minerals

Classes XVI, XVII, XXV and XXVI

Parts 15-19 Classes 53-66

  • Satellite Antennas

Classes I (2A) and XXlV

Parts 1 and 21 Classes 6 and 68

  • Microwave Antennas

Classes XXII and XXIV

Parts 20 and 21 Classes 67 and 68

  • Development at Amusement Parks


Part 22 Class 69

Bad Neighbour Development

Schedule 2

Schedule 2







1. This Annex provides guidance on the operation of the new prior notification arrangements for agricultural and forestry buildings which have been included in Parts 6 and 7 of Schedule 1 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992- the" Permitted Development Order".

2. The Permitted Development Order grants planning permission for a wide range of development associated with agricultural and forestry uses of land. The new prior notification arrangements apply to:

a. the erection of new agricultural and forestry buildings;

b. the "significant extension" or "significant alteration" of existing agricultural and forestry buildings; and

c. the building or alteration of farm or forestry roads,

which are permitted development under Parts 6 and 7 of Schedule 1 to the Permitted Development Order.

3. "Significant extension" and "significant alteration" mean any extension or alteration which would result in:

a. the cubic content of the original building being exceeded by more than 10%; or

b. the height of the building exceeding the height of the original building.

4. The new arrangements mean that the planning permission granted under Parts 6 and 7 'cannot be exercised unless the farmer or other developer has notified the planning authority and allowed 28 days (from. the date on which the planning authority receive the notification) for initial consideration of what is proposed. Planning authorities must decide whether to require full details of the proposed development to be submitted for their approval and ensure that the developer is informed of their decision within the 28 day period. If no request for details is received within the 28 day period, the developer may proceed to exercise his permitted development rights.

5. The prior notification procedure provides planning authorities with a means of regulating, where necessary, important aspects of new farm and forestry development for which full planning permission Is not required by virtue of the Permitted Development Order. Provided all the Permitted Development Order requirements are met, the principle of whether the development should be permitted is not for consideration. The formal submission of details for approval should only be required in cases where the authority considers that a proposal is likely to have a significant impact on its surroundings. Many proposals notified to authorities under the Permitted Development Order will not have such an impact.

6. Long-term conservation objectives will often be served best by ensuring that farming and forestry are able to function successfully. Therefore, in operating the controls, planning authorities should always have full regard to the operational needs of the farming and forestry Industries; to the need to avoid imposing any unnecessary or excessively costly requirements; and to the normal considerations of reasonableness. However, they will also need to consider the visual effect of the development on the landscape and the desirability of preserving ancient monuments and their settings, known archaeological sites, the settings of listed buildings, and sites of recognised nature conservation value such as SSSis.

Efficient Handling of Notifications and Details Submitted for Approval

7. The Secretary of State attaches great importance to the prompt and efficient handling of notifications and any subsequent submissions of details for approval under the provisions of the Permitted Development Order. Undue delays could have serious consequences for agricultural and forestry businesses, which are more dependent than most on seasonal and market considerations. The procedures adopted by authorities should be straightforward, simple, and easily understood. Delegation of decisions to officers will help to achieve prompt and efficient handling, and should be extended as far as possible. Authorities should prepare simple forms which developers can use for the purposes of prior notification, along the lines of the example in the Appendix to this Annex. This will help to minimise the number of cases in which submission of details may be necessary. It is essential that authorities acknowledge receipt of each prior notification, giving the date on which it was received, so that the developer will know when the 28 day period begins. Where the authority do not propose to require the submission of details they should not merely wait for the 28 days to expire but should inform the developer as soon as possible, to avoid any uncertainty and possible delay. Where the authority do decide submission of details is required, they should write to the developer as soon as possible stating clearly and simply exactly what details are needed. Care should be taken not to request more information than is absolutely necessary.

8. There will often be scope for informal negotiations with the developer, as an alternative or preliminary to requiring a formal submission of details. If, as a result of discussions, the developer's original proposal is modified by agreement, he or she is not required to re-notify it formally to the authority in order to comply with the terms of the Permitted Development Order condition, but the authority should give their written approval to the modification to make it clear that the developer has authority to proceed with the modified proposals.

Records of Notifications

9. Although there is no statutory requirement to do so, it is suggested that planning authorities should keep records of notifications (i.e. applications for determination as to whether the prior approval of the authority will be required) in the same way as they keep records of applications for determination as to whether planning permission is required under section 51 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972. Such records would be helpful in assessing the affect of the new arrangements on authorities' workload and in reviewing the effectiveness of the scheme.

Consideration of Details Submitted for Approval

10. The new arrangements do not impose full planning controls over the developments to which they apply - those developments remain "permitted development" under the Permitted Development Order. Therefore the principle of development will not be relevant to the consideration of details submitted for approval under the terms of the Permitted Development Order. The objective should be to consider the visual effect of the development upon the landscape as well as the desirability of preserving ancient monuments and their settings, known archaeological sites, the setting of listed buildings, and sites of recognised nature conservation value such as SSSIs. A Planning Advice Note, giving advice on the siting and design of farm and forestry buildings, is being prepared. To ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the new arrangements, planning authorities should take account of this advice in their consideration of developments.

11. Details submitted for approval should be regarded in much the same light as applications for approval of reserved matters following the grant of outline planning permission. Subject to the normal criteria governing the use of conditions in planning permission, conditions may be imposed when approval is given. (SDD Circular No 18/1986 gives further advice on this subject.)


12. There is no statutory obligation to consult at any stage in the arrangements but authorities may, when considering submitted details, wish to consult outside bodies such as roads authorities concerning access arrangements or the Nature Conservancy Council for Scotland regarding possible effects on SSSIs. Likewise, there is currently no statutory right for individuals or groups to have access to notifications or other information supplied by a developer. However, EC directive 90/313/EC requires Community governments to Implement measures to provide freedom of access to information on the environment by 31 December 1992 at the latest. It seems likely that this will result in authorities being required to allow access to notifications and other information except in certain circumstances e.g. where to do so would breach public security or commercial confidentiality. Further guidance on the Directive will be provided in due course. At the moment it is up to authorities to decide whether to allow access to information according to the circumstances of particular cases. In view of the EC directive and for consistency with other legislation (e.g. the 1988 Environmental Assessment Regulations) there should be a presumption in favour of making information available unless it is confidential.

Crown Development

13. Development by the Forestry Commission is Crown development. In carrying out developments of the types described in this circular, the Commission and other Crown developers will follow the procedure for notifying local planning authorities described in SDD Circular No 21/1984.


14. The prior notification arrangements are intended to fit in with the existing enforcement provisions in the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972 and with the new enforcement powers contained in the Planning and Compensation Act 1991 which will be brought into force during 1992. S0EnD Circular No 22/1991 gives a brief description of the new enforcement provisions and guidance on existing enforcement procedures is contained in SDD Circular No 6/1984.

15. Anyone who wants to carry out development under the permitted development provisions is required to notify the planning authority - this is a condition of the planning permission granted under the permitted development provisions. If a developer fails to notify an authority the usual enforcement action for a breach of planning control would be open to the authority.

16. Where a development has been notified and the authority have requested further details, the development cannot proceed until the details have been submitted and approved. It is therefore in the developer's own interests to submit the details as soon as possible. If however the developer proceeds without submitting details or without, or in contravention of, the authority's approval the normal enforcement measures would again be available for use as the authority deem appropriate in the circumstances of any particular case.


Prior Notification Form

Notes for Guidance

(Please keep these notes for future reference)

How Planning Controls Apply to Farm and Forestry Buildings

1. Anyone intending to -

a. build or significantly alter/extend (see paragraph 4 below) a farm or forestry building; or

b. build or alter a farm or forestry road,

is required to notify the planning authority of their intention to carry out such development. This notification applies to the exercise of permitted development rights only i.e. to development for which planning permission is not required. The types of development for which planning permission is required are described in paragraph 2 below.

2. Planning permission is required for -

a. development on farm holdings of less than 0.4 hectares;

b. the construction, alteration or extension of a dwelling;

c. any building or works not designed for agriculture;

d. the construction, extension or alteration of any building over -

i. 465 square metres in area or
ii. 12 metres in height or 3 metres in height where the building is within 3km. of an aerodrome;

e. development which is within 25 metres of a metalled trunk or classified road;

f. the construction or carrying out of any works to a building used, or to be used, for intensive livestock accommodation or storage of slurry or sewage sludge where that building is within 400 metres of a "protected building". A protected building is a building normally occupied by people but does not include buildings forming part of a working farm or certain special industrial buildings.

3. Where the work proposed does not fall within any of the descriptions in paragraphs 1 or 2 neither planning permission or prior notification is required.

4. A significant alteration or extension is one which would result in -

a. the cubic content of the original building being increased by more than 10%; or
b. the height of the building exceeding the height of the original building.

Use of this Form

5. The form attached to these notes can be used only to notify planning authorities of proposed developments which do not require planning permission as described in paragraph 1 above. It cannot be used to apply for planning permission - advice and appropriate forms for planning applications can be provided by the planning authority.

What You Need to do

6. Please provide details of the development on the attached form. The notification must be accompanied by elevation drawings and a map showing the location of the proposed building.

7. A fee of £20 must be included with each notification form. Please do not post cash. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to


8. It will help if you discuss your proposal beforehand by contacting an officer of the authority.

Your contact is:

Telephone number:

The completed form (along with your fee of £20) should be returned either in person or by post to:



What Happens Next

9. The authority has 28 days from receipt of the notification to respond. You should receive an acknowledgement informing you of the date of receipt. Work cannot begin within the period of 28 days from the date on which the authority received your notification unless the authority indicate in writing that they are content. If they do not respond within this 28 day period, then the development can proceed exactly as notified.

10. If informal discussions take place with the authority and the original proposal is modified by agreement, there is no requirement to renotify the authority. The authority should give written approval to the modification to make it clear that the modified proposals can proceed.

11. If the authority indicate, within the 28 day period, that they require the formal submission of details for approval, work cannot begin until details have been approved by the authority.



This Annex summarises key clauses of the Telecommunications Code contained in Schedule 2 of the Telecommunications Act 1984.

Paragraph 2 gives operators the right to install apparatus on private land with the prior agreement of the occupier;

Paragraph 3 provides that operators' activities should not interfere with access to other land, without the agreement of the occupier of the other land;

Paragraph 5 enables an operator to go to the Courts to apply for a compulsory order authorising it to install its apparatus on land where prior agreement with the occupier is not forthcoming;

Paragraph 9 gives operators powers to carry out works in the street and install apparatus in, on, under or over the street (subject to the Public Utilities Street Works Act 1950);

Paragraph 10 gives operators the right to fly lines over any land without the occupier's consent (although any termination points will require consent);

Paragraph 15 enables water and sewerage companies to make agreements with licence holders for the placing of telecommunications apparatus within their control;

Paragraph 17 allows for objections to overhead apparatus more than 3 metres high by owners or occupiers of land affected;

Paragraph 18 requires an operator to fix a notice giving details of how and where to object to the installation of such overhead apparatus;

Paragraph 19 enables an operator to require the occupier of land to lop a tree if it overhangs the street and interferes with telecommunications apparatus;

Paragraph 20 sets out a procedure to be followed whereby an operator may be required to alter or remove apparatus in the way of development;

Paragraph 22 requires an operator to remove apparatus if it is no longer required;

Paragraph 23 provides for the procedures to be followed when a local authority, public utility or another code system operator wants to alter the apparatus of a code system operator in the course of any street works.


The licence reflects the different types of telecommunications systems. Some of the key licence requirements are as follows:

2.1 Fixed link

  • subject to various exceptions, lines in sensitive areas must be installed underground and new poles must not be erected. Prior notice of any Installation to the planning authority is generally required and the authority's representations must be taken into account;
  • written notice must be given to the local planning authority of any apparatus in proximity to a Grade 1 listed building and, if the authority objects, installation may not take place without the authority of the Secretary of State;

  • in areas other than sensitive areas, operators must seek to ensure, wherever possible, that new lines are installed underground and, where requested, existing lines are resited underground. They must use existing facilities (e.g. ducts), wherever possible, and have regard for the visual amenity of properties near to the apparatus.

2.2 Cellular

  • the two national cellular radio operators have not been given 'powers to place apparatus in the street; their powers are confined to the installation of masts, antennas and associated equipment on private land;

  • prior notice of all installations above ground must be given to the local planning authority; any reasonable conditions imposed by the authority must be observed;

  • for installations in sensitive areas or near to Grade 1 listed buildings, forty days notice must be given to the planning authority; if the authority objects, the agreement of the Secretary of State is required;

  • operators must take reasonable steps to ensure that the minimum number of items of apparatus is erected, that visual amenity is protected where possible and that the sharing of masts is explored.