Simplified Planning Zones

Simplified Planning Zones: Delivering New Homes in Argyll and Bute – A New Planning Initiative

Simplified Planning Zones: Delivering New Homes in Argyll and Bute – A New Planning Initiative!

Argyll and Bute Council is working alongside planning and property consultants Rapleys LLP and architectural practice Inch Architecture and Design to help deliver new self/custom-build housing for the local area.

The Council is eager to explore innovative ways of delivering housing which suits the needs of the local community and responds to the challenges of building new homes in a rural authority. This project aims to put the community in control by offering a self/custom-build package which will allow local residents to shape the place they live in.

Argyll and Bute Council has been selected by the Scottish Government to take forward a Simplified Planning Zone (SPZ) pilot to deliver new homes.

An SPZ is an area where the need to apply for planning permission is removed for certain types of development. An SPZ requires the preparation of an SPZ Scheme by the planning authority, which is a series of documents that details the types of development and nature of uses that are permitted together with any limitations, conditions and guidelines that a development proposal must comply with. This, together with a customisable house type and the aim of providing prepared building plots, seeks to help the self/custom home builder achieve their ideal home.

Two sites have been identified within existing settlements where the adoption of an SPZ could be beneficial for each community. These are:

  • A      0.89ha site within the settlement of Salen, Isle of Mull
  • Former      Lochgilphead Primary School


We ran an initial consultation to find out people’s views on the proposed Simplified Planning Zones and get a range of information to help inform the design and content of the SPZ scheme documents. The consultation included engagement events on Mull and in Lochgilphead and our thanks go to those who came along and to everyone who has provided their thoughts and feedback.

Next steps

The next stage of the process is the preparation of the draft Simplified Planning Zone scheme documents which will then be subject to consultation.

Please check back here for updates regarding the next consultation stage.

Further information and contact

If you would like to speak to one of the SPZ team please call 01546 604158 or you can email

Download PDF documents: Argyll and Bute and Rapleys privacy notices below:

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