Checking regulations now will save you a lot of pain later
Don't assume that your project will automatically need planning permission. Many alterations do not, but if you are extending your accommodation you should always check this out. The best place to start checking is with your local council building control department. Your architect, surveyor or builder will also be able to advise you or contact the Scottish Executive building standards department for general information on building regulations and planning.
The building regulations are slightly different in Scotland.
- As in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, building work must comply with the relevant building standards whether or not planning permission is required. An informal discussion with the local planning office is advised.
- Any change to the structure of the building will normally require a Building Warrant to ensure that it meets the relevant building standards and that any work will not affect neighbouring buildings.
- The building owner is responsible for applying to the local Council for a Building Warrant, and it should be obtained before work starts. The warrant is valid for three years.
- You may apply for a warrant after work has started, or even finished, but you will incur a 25% fee surcharge. The fee is payable at the time of application and is based on the estimated cost of the building work. Applications should normally be submitted with detailed plans.
- Work will be subject to inspection by the local Council at key stages, and they should be notified when work starts.
Further information is available at www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Planning or from your local Council.
If you are planning work on a run down or historic property, you may be eligible for financial help. Check with your local council where a range of grants may be available. Not all authorities have the funding and you will probably be means-tested, but if a dwelling is deemed to be in a state of disrepair, you may be in line for financial help.
Historic property grants may be available from organisations such as Historic Scotland, although the property must be deemed to be of historic interest.