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Do I need planning permission?

To alter, extend, build or change the use of premises you may need to apply for planning permission

Advice and guidance

Planning Services can provide pre-application advice and guidance on development which needs approval from the Council, including:

Make a request by email to our ePlanning Team. If possible, include a location plan and sufficient drawings, plans or other information to enable us to respond to you. There is no charge for this service.

Please note: any guidance or advice we provide prior to submission of a planning application is informal and is not binding on any decision subsequently taken by the council.

Planning applications are determined in accordance with Local Development Plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Developer's guidance: drainage, sustainable drainage systems and flooding

Developers are encouraged to engage with the council as early as possible to ensure that plans are fully realised. Our Flooding Team has produced a developer's guide for developments that include:

  • the provision of sustainable drainage systems
  • notable surface water infrastructure
  • proposals at risk of flooding or likely to result in an increase in flood risk elsewhere

Please note: Scotland's 4th National Planning Framework has been published. This has resulted in the need for review and revision of our developer's guide to reflect new policies and emerging guidance from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Some parts of the guide may therefore be out of date.

To discuss drainage, sustainable drainage systems, and flooding, please email our Flooding Team or call 01294 310000.

Permitted Development Rights - Domestic

Not all alterations and extensions to domestic property need planning permission. Permitted Development Rights allow for a variety of extensions and alterations without the need to submit an application for planning permission.

These rights include alterations such as:

  • single storey ground floor extensions
  • front porches
  • access ramps
  • replacement windows
  • low level timber decking
  • driveways
  • heat pumps
  • CCTV cameras 

For more information on domestic permitted development, please see the Scottish Government website.

Other permissions

Other permissions may still be required even if planning permission is not:

Permitted Development Rights – non-domestic, agricultural, forestry and commercial developments

There are other Permitted Development Rights which are set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 (as amended). For site specific advice, please email us.

Certificates of Lawfulness

Apply for a 'Certificate of Lawfulness for a Proposed Use' as written confirmation your development is 'Permitted Development'. This is a legal document for which there is a fee. 

Contact Planning



  • general enquiries about planning permission, phone 01294 324319 during office hours
  • Local Development Plan and planning policy enquiries, phone 01294 324763


Planning Services, North Ayrshire Council, Cunninghame House, Irvine, KA12 8EE

Please note: to meet with one of our team at Cunninghame House, please contact us to make an appointment. For your convenience, officers are available to meet with you at other locations within North Ayrshire.