Do I Need Planning Permission?

You will probably need planning permission if you want to build something new, alter a building or change the use of a building or land.

Housing Blackburn

The planning system exists to make sure that new development does not affect the quality of life for local residents, and does not put a strain on local roads, schools and other services. West Lothian Council supports new development which is appropriate and will improve the choices and opportunities available for local residents.  

The council's Development Management service deals with all planning applications.

Not everything needs planning permission; some minor works can be permitted development. Permitted development rights don't apply if you live in a conservation area or a listed building.

Even if what you're proposing doesn't need planning permission, it will probably need a building warrant.

Please note, if your project does need planning permission and you do the work without applying for and receiving planning permission, the council is authorised to take enforcement action, up to and including taking direct action over an unauthorised development. If you carry out work without first obtaining planning permission you run the risk of having to make changes to your development, or of the council removing it. 

You can check the required permissions and other important information using the links below.

A new building, the change of use of a building or land, or engineering works, will normally need full planning permission
An image relating to Householder planning application guidance
If you are thinking of extending your house, or building within your garden, the guidance below will tell you whether or not you need planning permission for the works you want to do.
While flues for biomass heating systems or combined heat and power systems might not need planning permission, care should still be taken over their location; they should be sited as far as possible from your neighbours' windows, for example. Air source heat pumps and micro wind turbines can create noise which can affect your neighbours.
Planning permission will normally be required for extensions to business premises, and for works involving a change of use.
If you want formal confirmation from the council that the works you're proposing constitute permitted development, and don't need to be the subject of a planning application, you can apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness.
Information on any other consents you might require for your development.
Planning permission in principle can be useful for establishing the principle of a development without having to submit detailed plans.
Advice and assistance for anyone who is considering letting their home, or part of their home, as holiday accommodation, either privately or through a company like Airbnb