Service Status - Planning

Approximate timescales for processing of applications, and guidance on contacting officers and submitting applications.

Last reviewed - 02nd May 2024

Non Statutory & Advert fee’s amended from 1st April 2024.

Please be advised there has been an increase to the Non Statutory & Advert fee’s which can be viewed via our website at the following links.

Adoption of Local Development Plan 2 (LDP2)

LDP2 has now been adopted by Argyll and Bute Council. For the avoidance of doubt, the Argyll and Bute Local Development Plan 2015 and its associated Supplementary Guidance March 2016 and Supplementary Guidance 2 December 2016 are superseded and no longer form part of the development plan.

Deposit copies of the written LDP2 statement are being printed and the Council will place a formal notice in the local press advising that the plan has been adopted (expected to be published w/c 11th March 2024).

The LDP2 web page will be updated and formal notification sent to those on the LDP2 contacts database later today/tomorrow (5th/6th March 2024).

 The Development Plan for Argyll and Bute (excluding the LLTNP Area) now comprises NPF4 and LDP2; applications require to be assessed taking both National and Local policy into account but affording precedence to the content of LDP2 (as the newer document) where there is any conflict between the two.

The requirements of LDP2 will require to be applied in full to all determinations undertaken moving forward, including applications that are already in the planning system but currently remain undetermined. The requirement to retrofit updated policy requirements to applications that have been prepared and submitted during an earlier policy regime will require officers to review casework which is already at an advanced stage in its assessment and may, in some cases, impact upon officers recommendation. Officers will wherever possible seek to ensure that customers are advised of any additional impact upon determination time periods, and/or requirement for additional information arising from LDP2 at the earliest opportunity.

Transition Arrangements for LDP2 (re. Sustainability Checklists):

Planning applications submitted prior to 22nd February 2024

To avoid unnecessary delay, case officers have been instructed to review the supporting information already on file and reach their own view on whether the key aspects of the Sustainability Checklist have already been met. Where they have not, then any request for the submission of additional information should be proportionate and focus on addressing gaps in the Checklist requirements where possible. Where Agents are in a position to voluntarily complete and submit a Sustainability Checklist (for applications that remain undetermined at 5th March 2024) then this would be of assistance to officers and would be expected to expedite their ability to reach a formal determination.

Planning applications submitted from 22nd February 2024 onwards:  

Where a Sustainability Checklist has not been submitted with a new application, then officers will formally request the submission of this further information by means of a Reg. 24 request indicating that the planning authority does not intend to determine the application in the absence of the further information requested. Agents are accordingly requested to avoid unnecessary delays to determination of applications by including the completed Sustainability Checklist with all new applications submitted at this time.

Future Ongoing/TBC:

  • The Development Policy Team are currently working on a more succinct Sustainability Checklist to be applied to applications for householder development – it is anticipated that this will be taken forward as a further Technical Note in March/April 2024.
  • A full review of the identified policy requirements for additional information contained both within NPF4 and LDP2 remains underway with the intention that further guidance is published on the requirement for additional information and that identification of these matters will be included within a revised pre-application advice service and also as a validation requirement to ensure that such matters are identified and addressed at the earliest possible stage in the planning process.
  • A current public consultation on the pre-application advice service closes on 8th March 2024.

 Resources for Agents/Applicants:

Templates of both the Sustainability Checklist (reference LDP2 Policy 04 & TN06) and Sustainable Buildings Checklist are attached.

Responding to General/Casework Enquiries

Customers are advised that due to the high volume of electronic communications and enquiries we are currently receiving it may take longer than normal for a response to be issued to general planning and case work enquiries.

Where possible email and telephone enquiries will be responded to within 5 working days. Where this is not possible enquiries will be acknowledged and an alternative timescale for response provided. 

Validation of new applications 

The Central Validation Team are currently reviewing new applications within 5 working days from receipt.

All submitted applications continue to be validated in line with the National Validation Standards published by the Heads of Planning Scotland. Customers are advised to ensure that any plans and supporting documents are prepared in compliance with these requirements in order to increase the likelihood of their application being validated at the first attempt and to avoid further delays being incurred through the requirement to submit further/amended information before the application can be formally registered.

Determination of Planning Applications

There continues to be a significant backlog of planning applications and casework arising from significant pressure upon the service from high customer demand and reduced availability of staff resource over an extended period of time. Consequently, it is currently taking longer than usual  to determine ‘local’ planning applications. Whilst officers are working hard to address this issue, customers are advised that ‘local’ applications (excluding legacy items) are currently taking less than 17 weeks to determine on average. We apologise for the delay.

Where an extension of time is required then officers will make contact to advise that determination will be delayed and advise of the revised timeline for determination of the application.

Where officers identify that there is a procedural barrier (e.g. requirement for submission of further supporting information) to reaching a positive determination of a planning application then they will seek to identify and communicate such matters at the earliest opportunity, and arrange for a formal extension to the statutory determination period.

Where circumstances allow, applications that will make a significant contribution toward the delivery of new housing or employment will be prioritised, this will also be the case where it is identified by the applicant/agent that an application is time sensitive in relation to grant funding or is urgently required for the purpose of health and/or safety.

Responding to Pre-Application Enquiries

The handling of non-statutory pre-application enquiries continues to be impacted by other work pressures, including prioritisation of planning application casework. The target period for responding to pre-application enquiries has accordingly been temporarily revised to 30 working days.

It is advised that pre-application responses are consequently taking longer than usual and customers are advised 51% of enquiries are responded to within 6 weeks.

Planning Offices

Council offices have limited opening hours to members of the public (Service Points | Argyll and Bute Council ( As a service we are well equipped to work flexibly from home and officers are currently working on a hybrid basis.  However, this does mean that officer availability in office locations is limited, and processes which require hard copy documentation may take slightly longer to complete.

Contacting the Planning (Development Management) Service

You can help us by getting in touch through appropriate channels:

  1. Viewing planning application details – please utilise Public Access. If you have problems using the online service please use the Planning Enquiries online form, or telephone 01546 605518 for assistance.
  2. Submission of representations/objections/support to planning applications – please use Public Access, or submit by e-mail to the relevant area office e-mail address (see below). (Hard copy representations will still be accepted but may take longer to process).
  3. General Enquiries – please use the Planning Enquiries online form, or telephone 01546 605518
  4. Apply for Planning Permission – Please submit new applications using the e-Planning portal. (Hard copy applications posted to the Central Validation Team will still be accepted but may take longer to process). Correspondence relating to invalid applications should be issued by e-mail to       
  5. Pre-application Advice – general advice is available online; where input from planning officers is required then enquiries should be submit using the online form (this is a chargeable service)
  6. Report an unauthorised development – please use the Planning Enforcement online form, or telephone 01546 605518
  7. Submission of Casework Related Documentation – submission of documentation relating to casework (supporting information, amended plans, consultation input, details pursuant to conditions etc.) should be submitted by e-mail to the relevant area office e-mail address (see above). (Documentation submitted by post or issued direct to case officers will still be accepted but may take longer to process).

It is requested that applicants / agents submitting documents/applications do so either via the Scottish Government ePlanning Portal or electronically to the appropriate area office detailed below:

Deemed Extension to Planning Permission, Planning Permission in Principle, and Listed Building Consent:

It is advised that the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020, the Coronavirus (Scotland)(No.2) Act 2020, and the Town and Country Planning (Emergency Period and Extended Period)(Coronavirus)(Scotland) Regulations 2020, the Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Act 2021, and the Town and Country Planning (Miscellaneous Temporary Modifications)(Coronavirus)(Scotland) Regulations 2022 make provisions for a deemed extension to the implementation period for a range of permissions that have, or will expire, during a defined ‘emergency period’. Details of the affected permission types, the qualifying dates (or ‘emergency period’), and expiry of any deemed ‘extended period’ during which the permission will remain live are set out in the table below. It is noted for information that the range of permissions covered, the ‘emergency period’ and the ‘extended period’ are matters defined in law by the Scottish Parliament and as such are not issues which are open to any discretion in their interpretation by the Council as Planning Authority.

Permission Type

Original Expiry Date Between:
(defined ‘emergency period’)

Expiry Date Extended To:
(termination date of ‘extended period’)

Planning Permission granted under s58 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) 1997 as amended

Between 6th April 2020 and 30th September 2022 (inclusive)

31st March 2023

Planning Permission in Principle granted under s59 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act as amended

Between 6th April 2020 and 30th September 2022 (inclusive)

31st March 2023

Listed Building Consent granted under s16 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas)(Scotland) Act 1997 as amended

Between 26th May 2020 and 30th September 2022 (inclusive)

31st March 2023


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