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Do I need planning permission?


Before demolishing any building, you should ask us to check if any permission is needed. This is because the planning rules on demolition can be complicated.  Information on demolition and the need for a building warrant can be found on the demolition work page.

If you need to carry out work or occupy part of the road or footpath while you carry out the demolition you may also need an Occupation of a road permit.

In general, planning permission is not required to carry out most demolitions. However, special rules apply if the building is in a conservation area or is a listed building. 

Prior notification procedure

Although most buildings do not require planning permission for demolition, before you begin demolition work, you must apply to us for a decision as to whether our 'prior approval' will be needed for the way you carry out the demolition and how you propose to  restore the site after the building is demolished. This "prior notification procedure" is only needed if you want to demolish:

  • a house
  • a building containing one or more flats
  • a building having a mutual wall with, or having a main wall adjoining the main wall of a house or a building containing one or more flats

See the page on demolition work.

You do not need to carry out the notification procedure for the above types of building if: 

  • the building needs to be demolished urgently in the interests of health or safety or health. If this is the case, you should write to us giving your reasons for carrying out the demolition as soon as possible
  • the demolition is related to other proposals to develop the site which already have planning permission
  • demolition is required or permitted under an Act of Parliament or through a planning agreement or obligation (section 75 agreement).

You do not need to submit a prior notification to demolish other types of building such as shops, offices, warehouses, commercial, industrial or leisure developments, unless they are physically attached to a house or flat.

Demolition of listed buildings

All proposals to demolish, or part demolish, listed buildings will need listed building consent. The same applies with any Scheduled Ancient Monument, which will require Scheduled Monument Consent. There is no fee for listed building consent.

Demolition of a scheduled ancient monument

This work needs Scheduled Monument Consent and you should contact Historic Environment Scotland to discuss your proposal before you apply.

Demolition in a conservation area

If you intend to totally or mostly demolish an unlisted building or other structure within a conservation area, then conservation area consent will normally be needed. An application for consent will need to include your reasons for the demolition and detailed plans of existing and replacement buildings if any are being proposed. There is no fee for conservation area consent.

Demolition that needs planning permission

Although planning permission is usually not needed to demolish a building, there are two circumstances in which it is:

  • if you own or have an interest in a building which has been made unsafe or uninhabitable by something you have done or by not carrying out works to the building and it is possible to make the building safe by repair or temporary support works, then you will require planning permission to demolish the building. If this is the case, you should use the planning permission form rather than the prior notification form.
  • where demolition works are likely to have significant effects on the environment, we must issue a screening opinion (this is an opinion provided by the Council that says whether or not a planning application for a proposed development will need to be accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment. If EIA is needed, then a planning application will need to be submitted to us for demolition rather than the prior notification procedure.

If you need planning permission or listed building consent you can do this on the ePlanning Scotland website. If you live in a council house you should contact your local housing office. As well as planning permission you may need a building warrant.