Do you need Planning Permission for Internal Alterations in Edinburgh?
Are you planning to make internal alterations to your home in Edinburgh? If so, it’s important to understand the planning permission requirements for these types of alterations. Planning permission is a legal requirement that ensures any changes to a property comply with local planning policy and don’t negatively impact the surrounding environment.
Before you begin any internal alterations, it’s essential to determine whether or not planning permission is needed. Failure to obtain the proper permissions can result in an enforcement notice being issued and you may have to reinstate the work.
- Understanding the planning permission requirements for internal alterations in Edinburgh is crucial before making any changes to your property.
- Planning permission is a legal requirement that ensures changes comply with planning policy and don’t negatively impact the environment.
- Failure to obtain the proper permissions can result in an enforcement notice being issued, problems selling your property
When is Planning Permission Needed for Internal Alterations in Edinburgh?
Homeowners in Edinburgh who are considering making internal alterations to their property may be wondering if they need planning permission. The answer to this question depends on the extent and type of alteration being made.
In general, planning permission is not needed for internal alterations to a property. This includes things like knocking down internal walls, reformating the house or flat layout, and updating the kitchen or bathroom.
However, If your home is a listed building planning permission and Listed Building consent are required for ALL alterations, both internally and externally.
It’s important to note that even if planning permission is not required, building regulations will still apply to most internal alterations. This ensures that the work is done safely and in compliance with relevant standards.
If you’re unsure whether or not your planned internal alterations require planning permission, it’s always best to check with your local planning authority or consult a professional.
The photos below show a project that did not require planning approval.
This was internal alterations to a main door ground floor tenement flat in Bruntsfield, the project included moving the kitchen from the box room into an existing bedroom, removing a window, and cutting down the cill to install a stunning new double glazed door to allow direct access to the garden.
This project was out of the conservation area and did not require planning permission
When is Planning Permission Not Required for Internal Alterations in Edinburgh?
As mentioned earlier, minor internal alterations that do not affect the external appearance of the property will generally not require planning permission. This includes:
- Replacing or updating kitchen units and worktops
- Replacing or updating bathroom suites
- Replacing or adding internal doors
- Carrying out electrical or plumbing work
- Adding or removing internal walls
It’s important to note, however, that these exemptions may not apply in certain circumstances, such as if the property is a listed building or located in a conservation area. It’s always best to check with your local planning authority to confirm whether or not planning permission is required.
Planning Permission Requirements for Internal Alterations in Edinburgh
When applying for planning permission in Edinburgh, there are several key factors that need to be considered to ensure your application is successful.
Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings
If your property is located in a conservation area or is a listed building, you will need to follow specific guidelines and gain planning permission before undertaking any internal alterations. These changes will need to be sympathetic to the original design and character of the building and may require the use of traditional materials and methods
1. Conservation areas
If you live within a conservation area there are no permitted development rights, this means that if you want to make any changes that will affect the external appearance of your home, you will require planning approval.
However, you can make internal alterations without requiring planning approval.
While regulations can vary depending on the specific conservation area and local planning authority, there are certain types of internal alterations that might not require planning approval in a conservation area.
It’s important to note that even if planning approval isn’t required, you may still need to comply with building regulations. Always check with your local planning authority before proceeding with any changes. Here are some types of internal alterations that might not require planning approval:
- Minor Internal Alterations: Small changes to the interior layout, such as rearranging rooms, removing or adding non-load-bearing walls, and changing the use of a room within the existing structure, often don’t require planning permission.
- Decorative Changes: Cosmetic changes like painting, wallpapering, and adding new finishes usually don’t require planning permission.
- Repair and Maintenance: Routine repairs and maintenance work, such as replacing like-for-like materials (e.g., repairing damaged plaster with plaster), generally don’t require planning permission. This includes basic maintenance of roofs, gutters, and other parts of the building.
- Installation of Services: Installing or replacing services like electrical wiring, plumbing, heating systems, and alarms might not require planning permission, though building regulations will likely still apply.
- Internal Insulation: Adding internal insulation to improve energy efficiency, as long as it doesn’t alter the external appearance of the building, might not require planning permission.
- Internal Alterations for Disabled Access: Making internal alterations to improve access for disabled people might be exempt from planning permission if they are necessary for practical reasons.
- Replacement of Fixtures and Fittings: Replacing internal fixtures and fittings, such as kitchens and bathrooms, might not require planning permission if the new installations are of a similar scale and design as the existing ones.
Always contact your local planning authority or consult a professional before making any changes to a building in a conservation area to ensure you’re following the appropriate regulations.
The photos above show a project that required planning permission and Listed Building consent
This project involved internal alterations to a magnificent Listed ground floor apartment, the works included removing the small kitchen and making this a second bedroom, adding a kitchen to the huge lounge to make a stylish Living/Dining/kitchen, and redesigning the bathroom
This was an A-listed apartment that formed part of a large baronial villa.
2. Listed Buildings
If your property is a listed building then ANY changes that you want to make internally or externally will require Listed Building Consent and planning approval
Historic Scotland is keen to see all original features preserved, such as fireplaces, ornate cornices, doors, etc.
Listed building consent and planning permission are required for listed buildings in order to protect and preserve the historical, architectural, and cultural significance of these structures.
Listed buildings are those that have been recognized and designated by the government or relevant authorities as having special architectural or historic interest. This designation aims to safeguard the buildings for future generations and maintain the character of the built environment.
Here’s why these permissions are required:
- Preservation of Heritage: Listed buildings often have historical, architectural, or cultural value that contributes to the identity of a region or nation. The permissions ensure that any alterations, extensions, or changes made to the building are carried out in a way that respects and preserves its unique character and heritage.
- Prevention of Inappropriate Changes: Without proper regulations, there’s a risk that well-intentioned but inappropriate alterations could be made to listed buildings. These changes might compromise the building’s original features, materials, or design elements, which can negatively impact its historical significance.
- Maintaining Visual Harmony: Listed buildings often exist within a context, such as a historic district. Ensuring that changes to these buildings are carefully considered helps maintain the visual harmony of the surroundings and prevents jarring or out-of-place alterations.
- Expert Oversight: Obtaining listed building consent involves submitting plans and proposals to the relevant authorities. This process allows heritage and architectural experts to review the proposals and provide guidance on how to make changes while preserving the building’s integrity.
- Educational and Cultural Value: Listed buildings can offer educational value by showcasing architectural styles and construction techniques from different eras. Preserving them helps future generations learn about their cultural heritage.
- Tourism and Economy: Historic buildings often attract tourists, contributing to the local economy. Maintaining the authenticity of these buildings enhances their appeal to visitors.
- Legal Protection: Unauthorized alterations to listed buildings can result in legal action and penalties. The permissions process helps ensure that any changes made are within the boundaries of the law.
In essence, listed building consent and planning permission for listed buildings strike a balance between the need for development and modern use while respecting the historical and cultural importance of these structures.
These regulations help ensure that any changes made are well-considered and aligned with the building’s significance and the surrounding environment.
In addition to planning permission, you will also need to comply with building regulations when making internal alterations to your property. These regulations cover areas such as structural safety, fire safety, and ventilation, and are designed to ensure that the changes you make are safe and sustainable.
Obtaining Planning Permission for Internal Alterations in Edinburgh
Once you have determined that planning permission is required for your internal alterations in Edinburgh, the next step is to go through the planning application process. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to obtain planning permission:
- Check the planning fees: Before starting the application process, it’s important to check the planning fees. Different fees apply depending on the type and scale of the development. You can find the planning fees on the City of Edinburgh Council website. A listed building consent application does not require a fee.
- Prepare the necessary documents: The application form requires you to provide detailed information about your proposed internal alterations. You will need to include floor plans, elevations, and any other relevant drawings. Additionally, you may need to provide a Design and Access Statement, which explains the design principles and access arrangements for your project.
- Submit the application: You can submit your planning application online through the Planning Portal or by post. Make sure to include the correct fee, the necessary documents, and any additional information required by the council.
- Wait for a decision: The City of Edinburgh Council will assess your planning application and determine if planning permission should be granted. The process typically takes eight weeks, but it can take longer for more complex proposals.
- Appeal a decision: If planning permission is refused, you have the right to appeal the decision. The decision notice will provide guidance on how to make an appeal.
It’s important to note that some internal alterations may fall under permitted development and not require planning permission. However, it’s always best to check with the City of Edinburgh Council to ensure that you are within the permitted development guidelines and do not require planning permission.
Obtaining planning permission for internal alterations in Edinburgh can be a complex process, but by following these steps and seeking professional advice when needed, homeowners can ensure that their proposals are approved as smoothly as possible.
Contact us to assist you with this.
Building Regulations for Internal Alterations in Edinburgh
If you’re planning internal alterations to your Edinburgh property, it’s crucial to comply with building regulations. Building regulations ensure that the alterations are safe and meet the required standards.
Building regulations cover a range of areas, such as structural stability, fire safety, ventilation, insulation, and electrical and plumbing systems.
Under the building regulations, it’s important to ensure that the alterations don’t compromise the structural integrity of the property. This includes any changes to load-bearing walls or beams. You should also consider the impact of the alterations on fire safety, such as the installation of smoke alarms and fire-resistant materials. Additionally, alterations to plumbing and electrical systems may require the services of qualified professionals.
It’s important to note that building regulations are separate from planning permission. Even if you don’t require planning permission for your alterations, you may still need to obtain building control approval. Failure to comply with building regulations could result in enforcement action, including fines and potential legal action.
If you’re unsure about the building regulations for your internal alterations, it’s recommended to seek professional advice or contact your local council’s building control department.
Permitted Development and Internal Alterations in Edinburgh
Permitted development rights allow homeowners to make certain internal alterations without needing to go through the planning permission process. These rights are granted by the government and apply to specific types of alterations, such as small-scale extensions, loft conversions, and internal remodels.
However, it’s important to note that the rules around permitted development are complex and can vary based on several factors, such as the size and location of your property. In some cases, you may still need to apply for planning permission even if your alterations fall under permitted development.
If you’re unsure whether your proposed alterations are covered by permitted development rights, it’s always best to double-check with a qualified professional. They can provide guidance on the specific rules and requirements for your area.
Planning Permission vs. Building Control in Edinburgh
When it comes to internal alterations in Edinburgh, it can be confusing to understand the roles of planning permission and building control. While they may seem similar, they serve distinct purposes.
Planning permission is concerned with the look and use of a development. It ensures that the changes made to a property are in line with the local development plan and do not infringe on other people’s rights or interests. It is also concerned with the impact the development may have on the environment.
Building control, on the other hand, focuses on the safety and welfare of people in and around the building. It ensures that the alterations are in line with building regulations and the relevant standards, such as fire safety and structural stability. This process checks that any work done does not pose a risk to the occupants of the building or the public.
In some cases, both planning permission and building control may be required for internal alterations. For instance, if you plan to subdivide a property into flats, you will need both permissions. However, in some situations, only one may be required. For example, if you plan to install a new staircase in your home, you may only need to obtain building control approval.
It is important to note that building control approval is separate from planning permission. Even if you are not required to get planning permission, you may still need building control approval. Both processes are necessary to ensure that your internal alterations are safe, compliant, and legal.
Home Improvements and Planning Permission in Edinburgh
When it comes to home improvements in Edinburgh, it’s important to understand whether or not planning permission is required before commencing any work. Some home improvements may be exempt from planning permission, while others require it. Below, we will explore common home improvement projects and their associated planning permission requirements.
If you’re considering adding an extension to your home in Edinburgh, it’s likely that you will need planning permission. This is because extensions generally involve a significant change to the external appearance of a property. However, if the extension falls within certain size limits and other criteria, it may be exempt from planning permission.
If your extension does require planning permission, you will need to submit a planning application to your local council. This will involve providing detailed plans and drawings of your proposed extension, as well as paying any relevant fees.
Converting your loft into a living space can be a great way to add extra room and value to your home in Edinburgh. However, it’s important to note that planning permission may be required for loft conversions, especially if you plan to alter the roof’s structure or height.
If your loft conversion requires planning permission, you will need to submit a planning application to your local council. This will involve providing detailed plans and drawings of your proposed conversion, as well as paying any relevant fees.
This Loft conversion was permitted development and did not require planning approval.
Conservatories are a popular way to add extra living space to a property in Edinburgh. If your conservatory meets certain criteria, such as size and location, it may be exempt from planning permission. However, if your conservatory does not meet these criteria, you may need to apply for planning permission.
If your conservatory requires planning permission, you will need to submit a planning application to your local council. This will involve providing detailed plans and drawings of your proposed conservatory, as well as paying any relevant fees.
It’s worth noting that if you live in a listed building or a conservation area, planning permission may be required even for home improvements that are typically exempt. If you’re unsure whether or not you need planning permission for your home improvement project in Edinburgh, it’s best to seek professional advice.
The Planning Approval Process in Edinburgh
Once you have submitted your planning application, the process of obtaining planning permission for internal alterations in Edinburgh can take several weeks to several months. The timeline depends on the complexity of the project, the size of the alterations, and any objections or challenges that arise during the process.
During the first stage of the planning approval process, the local planning authority will review your application and decide whether it is valid. If your application is incomplete or missing any necessary documents, the process may be delayed until you provide the required information.
Once your application is deemed valid, the planning authority will begin an assessment of your proposed alterations. This assessment will consider a range of factors, including the size and scope of the alterations, the impact they may have on the surrounding area, and any objections or concerns that have been raised by neighbours or other parties.
If there are any objections or concerns, the planning authority will investigate and attempt to resolve them. This may involve scheduling a public hearing or consultation to gather feedback and input from interested parties.
After completing the assessment, the planning authority will make a decision on your application. There are three possible outcomes:
- Approved: Your application has been granted planning permission, and you may proceed with your internal alterations.
- Approved with conditions: Your application has been granted planning permission, but there are specific conditions that must be met in order to proceed with your internal alterations.
- Refused: Your application has been denied planning permission. You may appeal the decision or modify your proposed alterations and submit a new application.
If your application is approved, you will receive a planning permission notice outlining the conditions of approval. It is important to read this notice carefully and ensure that you comply with all the conditions specified.
Overall, the planning approval process for internal alterations in Edinburgh can be complex and time-consuming. It is important to consult with a professional and ensure that you provide a thorough and complete planning application to increase your chances of a successful outcome.
In conclusion, understanding planning permission for internal alterations in Edinburgh is crucial for homeowners looking to make changes to their properties. By following the guidelines and criteria for planning permission and building regulations, homeowners can ensure the safety and compliance of their alterations.
Obtaining planning permission can be a daunting process, but by following the step-by-step guide and seeking professional advice when needed, homeowners can navigate the process successfully. It is essential to note that building control and planning permission are distinct processes that serve different purposes, and homeowners should be aware of when each is required for their alterations.
Finally, for larger home improvement projects such as extensions or loft conversions, planning permission may be needed, and homeowners should be aware of the specific planning permission requirements for these types of alterations.
We hope this article has provided valuable insights into planning permission for internal alterations in Edinburgh and empowered homeowners to make informed decisions about their home improvements. Remember, with the right knowledge and guidance, improving your home can be a rewarding experience.
Q: What is planning permission?
A: Planning permission is the approval required from the local council before making certain alterations or changes to a property. It ensures that the proposed changes comply with local planning regulations and any relevant restrictions or guidelines.
Q: When do I need planning permission for internal alterations in Edinburgh?
A: Planning permission is typically required for internal alterations in Edinburgh when they involve changes to the structure or external appearance of the property. This includes extensions, loft conversions, or any alterations that may affect the character or layout of the building. However, minor internal alterations that do not impact the external appearance or structural integrity may be exempt from planning permission.
Q: What are the specific planning permission requirements for internal alterations in Edinburgh?
A: The specific requirements for planning permission for internal alterations in Edinburgh depend on various factors, such as the type of alteration, the location of the property, and any relevant designations or restrictions. It is important to consult the local council’s planning department or seek professional advice to determine the specific requirements for your proposed alterations.
Q: How can I obtain planning permission for internal alterations in Edinburgh?
A: To obtain planning permission for internal alterations in Edinburgh, you need to submit a planning application to the local council’s planning department. The application should include detailed plans and drawings of the proposed alterations, along with any additional documents or information required. There may be a fee associated with the application process. It is advisable to seek professional advice and guidance to ensure your application meets the necessary requirements.
Q: What are the building regulations for internal alterations in Edinburgh?
A: Building regulations are a separate set of rules and standards that ensure the safety, accessibility, and energy efficiency of a building. While planning permission focuses on the external appearance and layout, building regulations govern the technical aspects of the alterations, such as structural integrity, ventilation, fire safety, and electrical installations. It is important to comply with both planning permission and building regulations when making internal alterations.
Q: Are there any exemptions or permitted development rights for internal alterations in Edinburgh?
A: Yes, there are certain exemptions and permitted development rights that may allow you to make internal alterations without the need for planning permission in Edinburgh. These exemptions typically apply to minor alterations that do not significantly impact the external appearance of the property or its structural integrity. However, it is advisable to consult the local council’s planning department or seek professional advice to determine your specific eligibility for exemptions or permitted development rights.
Q: What is the difference between planning permission and building control in Edinburgh?
A: Planning permission and building control are two distinct processes in Edinburgh. Planning permission focuses on the external appearance and layout of the proposed alterations, ensuring they comply with local planning regulations, while building control ensures that the alterations meet the technical standards and regulations related to safety, accessibility, and energy efficiency. In most cases, both planning permission and building control are required for internal alterations in Edinburgh.
Q: Do I need planning permission for other types of home improvements in Edinburgh?
A: Yes, planning permission may be required for other types of home improvements in Edinburgh, such as extensions, conservatories, or changes to the external appearance of the property. The specific requirements for planning permission depend on the nature and scale of the proposed improvements. It is advisable to consult the local council’s planning department or seek professional advice to determine the planning permission requirements for your specific home improvement project.
Q: What is the planning approval process in Edinburgh?
A: The planning approval process in Edinburgh involves submitting a planning application to the local council’s planning department. Once the application is received, it goes through a review process, during which the council evaluates the proposed alterations based on local planning policies and regulations. The decision-making process may involve consultations with relevant stakeholders and the public, and the final decision is communicated to the applicant. The length of time it takes to receive planning approval can vary depending on the complexity of the proposal and the workload of the planning department.