Planning Questions and Answers

Some common questions about planning permission

Q. Can I appeal against a Planning Decision?

A. If an applicant is not satisfied with a planning decision or a condition set in respect of their proposed development, the planning authority will able to review the case within three months from the date of the decision notice. The notice of review should be addressed to the Head of Legal and Regulatory Support, Argyll and Bute Council, Kilmory, Lochgilphead, PA31 8RT. The review shall be conducted by 3 Elected Members appointed as the Local Review Body (LRB).

Q. Can I start work before permission is granted?

A. No works should start on a development project without all the necessary consents (including planning permission) being in place. To do so without planning permission may result in enforcement action being taken against you. You should also ensure that any necessary building warrants, SEPA discharge consents, approvals or Hydro board notifications are in place before any work starts on your site.

Q. How do I find out if I need planning permission?

A. The Council website has lots of information and advice about Planning in general and has advice on what might be classed as Permitted Development.
If you are in any doubt, or for further information and advice on planning permission please contact your local Area Planning and Building Standards Office.

Q. How quickly are decisions made?

A. The Council will try to make decisions on planning applications within 2 months. Decisions on more complicated and controversial schemes are likely to take longer.

Q. How do I comment / object on an application?

A. Any member of the public, is free to comment (on planning grounds only) to the Council on an application. All comments should be made to the relevant local Area Planning and Building Standards Office. All comments that are received in time (and are in writing) are acknowledged and reported to elected members as part of the decision making process. Comments can also be made through our online Public Access system by retrieving the relevant case and then following the steps.

Q. What are concessionary fees?

A. In some circumstances the fee payable for your planning application is reduced - please contact your local Area Planning and Building Standards Office to find out more or go to our online Fee Guidance Note

Q. What happens to the planning application once it is submitted?

A. On receipt of a planning application an acknowledgement is sent to the applicant or appointed agent. If there is anything wrong / missing with your application, we will let you or your agent know.

Q. What information do I require to submit a planning application i.e. forms and plans?

A. The Council's website has lots of information and Notes for Guidance to help you fill in our application forms. If you are still unsure please contact the Planning Central Validation Team on 01546 605518 or at

Q.What is the cost of applying for planning permission?

A. The planning fee depends on the specific detail of the development - please refer to our online Fee Guidance Note for help or if you require any further information please contact your local Area Planning and Building Standards Office

Q. Where can planning applications plans / forms be inspected?

A. All Planning application information, plans and documents can be accessed through our online Public Access system. Hardcopy information and plans, can be inspected at the relevant local Area Planning and Building Standards Office during normal office hours and staff will be available to help you interpret plans and to provide any other general information. Plans can sometimes be available for inspection in your local post office (rural areas only).

Q. Who should I make any cheques payable to?

A. All cheques should be made payable to Argyll and Bute Council.

Q. How does the Freedom of Information Act relate to planning applications or representations on applications?

A. With a few exceptions (commercially confidential information or information on protected species) all information made in connection with a planning application is available to any person that requests it for a small photocopying charge. This includes letters of representation (comments) made on an application. In accordance with Data Protection guidance, all personal information (email address, signature and telephone numbers) are blocked out of current documents before they are published on the website.

Q. How do I speak to a Planning Officer?

A. Please contact your local Area Planning and Building Standards Office

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