Planning constraints in conservation areas

Conservation areas have much stricter controls than elsewhere.

You will need planning permission for most householder developments including:

  • house extensions including porches
  • roof alterations
  • garages
  • small sheds or outbuildings with a footprint greater than 4 square metres
  • decking if it has a footprint greater than 4 square metres
  • replacement windows and doors
  • satellite dishes
  • walls, fences and gates
  • provision of a hard surface for any purpose

This list does not cover everything that you may need planning permission for. Before starting any work you should contact us to find out if you need permission. At this point we may be able to tell you if the work will be acceptable. See How to make a planning application.

Applications should usually be made in full, rather than in principle so that the full impact of the design and scale of the proposal can be considered.

All new development or work must preserve or enhance the area's special character.

You must also check if a building warrant is needed for any building or demolition work you want to carry out. See Building warrants and regulations.


If you want to demolish an unlisted building, gate, wall or fence in a conservation area you may need conservation area consent. Please contact us to check if you need consent before carrying out any demolition work.

If you need conservation area consent to demolish, you can apply:

Send completed forms to our Planning and Building Standards office


If you want to prune, lop, top or fell a tree in a conservation area, you must tell us before you do anything. We will then decide if a tree preservation order is needed.

To notify us of your proposals, we encourage you to submit your proposed tree works application online using ePlanning Scotland.

The advantages of submitting an application via ePlanning Scotland are:

  • you will save time, money and paper
  • there is step-by-step guidance and information on how to submit your application
  • you can save your work and break away at any time. When you return to the application your previous entry will be waiting for you
  • no printing or postage involved
  • as the application comes directly to us, we receive it faster and can begin to check it earlier
  • applications are quicker and easier to validate because it ensures that all the information needed for the application is complete, is in the correct format and meets our application requirements
  • it reduces your carbon footprint

Alternatively you can make an application on paper using:

There is no charge for notifying us of your proposed tree works.

What you don't need permission for

Planning permission is not needed for work to the inside of a house or for simple repairs unless you live in a listed building. Listed building consent will be needed if you are going to change the character of a listed building either inside or out. See How to make a planning application.

For more information contact our Planning and Building Standards office