List of frequently asked questions relating to planning applications.

Planning FAQs

Published by: Fife Council

List of frequently asked questions relating to planning applications.

Q.      I want to make a comment on a planning application - what's the best way to do this?

We would advise you to make your comments online.   This is the quickest way to submit your comment.  Your comments will be immediately displayed online along with your name. 

You will need to register with our site to be able to do this.  Once registered you can track applications and setup email notifications.


Q.      Do I need planning permission to change the use of my property?

Depending upon the current use of the property you may be required to apply for planning permission.  The information on Changes of Use may help you decide whether you need to submit an application.   

The Use Class Order can be viewed which will give you an overview of the Use Classes.  We will only be able to tell you the current Class if an application has already been submitted for a change of use for the property. 


Q.      Can I appeal against a decision when I have objected to the application?

In accordance with planning legislation only the applicant or agent of an application can appeal against the council's decision.


Q.      I have already carried out work. Does this require Planning Permission.

To establish if planning permission should have been obtained you will need to complete a Certificate of Lawfulness (Existing Use).   These forms can be completed online.  The information submitted will be assessed to determine whether planning permission is required.


Q.      How long does the decision making process on a planning application take?

Fife Council will try and make decisions on local planning applications within 2 months of the validation date.  For major and national applications the time period is 4 months.


Q.      Are the planning regulations different for Listed Buildings or Conservation Areas?

It is likely that if you live in a Conservation Area or your building is listed that planning permission, and/or Listed Building Consent will be required for any type of development work.   To find out if your building is listed or you live within the Conservation Area you can search using on our Listed Building Map or Conservation Area Map.


Q.      I would like to find information relating to a planning decision that was approved several years ago. How can I get this information?

We have planning information on our online planning system from 2000.  Related documentation for applications is available from 2006.  We can carry out a Property History Search on your behalf and can search pre 2000 if requested (fees apply).  You will need to send your request in writing to us along with the relevant fee.   Please read our Property History Search guide for full details.

Please note that the search fee is not refunded in the event that we find no planning information recorded against a property.


Q.      If my planning application is refused will I get my fee back?

The planning application fee is an administration fee, and as such, there is no refund.


Q.      Do I need both a building warrant and planning permission?

It is more than likely you will also require a Building Warrant.  A building warrant relates to construction and insulation matters etc, whereas planning permission tends to deal with design aesthetics and the external appearance.


Q.      What plans do I need to submit with my application?

In addition to completing your application form you are required to submit drawings.

All drawings must meet the following criteria:

  • All documents must be legible, accurate and measurable
  • The plans should be to a metric scale and have a scale bar on each drawing
  • Imperial drawings and measurements are not acceptable.
  • If a drawing says "do not scale" it will be rejected.  The plans need to be fit for the planning purpose and we must be able to scale accurately from the drawings submitted.
  • Signatures and dates, where required, are essential
  • One coloured set of plans are required.  We will contact you if we require additional plans.  This may be the case for an Environmental Impact Assessment, wind turbines and major applications.  
  • All location and block plans must conform to certain criteria.

The following drawings are required for each application:

  • Location plan at a scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500 which clearly identify the site in relation to neighbouring land.  The site boundary must be outlined in RED.
  • Block plan or site plan at a scale of 1:500 or 1:200 which shows existing and proposed buildings, car parking, access, turning areas.
  • Existing floor plans and elevations (if applicable) at a scale of 1:100 or 1:50
  • Proposed floor plans and elevations at a scale of 1:100 or 1:50.

Please note that we may request additional information depending upon the characteristics of your application.  If you submit your plans electronically you do not need to send us a paper copy as well.

Please refer to our detailed guidance on validation standards for further information.  


Q.      Why is my application to be decided by committee, where can I find further information?

Some applications are decided at Committee rather than the case officer and this can be due to a number of reasons.  The application may have attracted more than five separate individual representations (i.e. excludes five letters of representation from a single person/organisation) which are contrary to the officer’s recommendation, a statutory consultee may have objected where the officer's recommendation is for approval.  


Q.      Where can I find further information on Fife's Committees?

Fife Council has several Area Committees which consider planning applications. 


Q.      What can I comment on when viewing a planning application?

 To ensure that your comments are considered as part of the decision making process they must be relevant. i.e. Material Consideration.  Any petitions received with multiple signatures will be classed as one comment. It may take a few days for written comments to appear on the online site. We will contact you as soon as possible after a decision has been made on the application. 

Please note that the Council cannot be held responsible for any defamatory comments that appear on our website, however, we reserve the right to remove any defamatory comments.


Q.      I am submitting my application by post, where do I send it?

Any postal correspondence should be sent to

Development Management

Economy, Planning and Employability Services

Kingdom House

Kingdom Avenue




Q.      Can I get advice on whether my proposal is acceptable prior to submitting it?

We can provide you with pre-application advice for householder and non householder proposals. A Householder application will cost £55.  The cost of  non-householder advice is based on half the planning application fee.  There is a maximum fee for this type of application at £500.  Major applications have a maximum of £800.   Please read our guide for full details.


Q.      Who is neighbour notified on a planning application?

Fife Council will notify neighbours within  20 metres of the boundary of the land for which the development is proposed.

A letter will be sent addressed to the owner, lessees or occupiers at the address of the neighbouring land. Neighbour notification can only take place if there are premises on the land identified as ‘neighbouring’.

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