Planning guidance and advice

Large scale industrial and business developments

Pre-application advice

If you would like to seek informal advice from the planning authority before applying for permission please see our pre-application advice page.

Sustainable design

We strive to encourage applicants to opt for buildings that are designed to respond to the local landscape and the local climate. Our Sustainable Design Guide helps make sure that all development is well-designed, sustainable and sympathetic to its environment.


If your proposal lies within a particularly sensitive area then you may have to submit a drainage statement or a drainage impact assessment. Development proposals within or bordering medium to high risk flood areas will have to be accompanied by a flood risk assessment. Flood Risk and Drainage Impact Assessment offers guidance on drainage and flooding issues and the preparation of the aforementioned documents.

Trees and woodland

Planning proposals should consider the impact of development upon existing trees and woodlands and identify opportunities for the planting and management of new trees and woodlands. Trees, Woodland and Development Supplementary Guidance.

Affordable housing

If your proposal lies within a site allocated for housing then you may have to make an affordable housing contribution. Please read our Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance

Health and safety

There are a range of public health and safety factors that need to be assessed when considering development proposals, covering issues such as noise, odour, slope stability and pollution. Where these put health and safety at risk, they are classed as physical constraints to development. We have a Physical Constraints Supplementary Guidance to provide prospective developers with an up to date list of such constraints on development.

Waste management

We have prepared this guidance to enable developers to incorporate waste management requirements at the initial design stage of any proposed development, in the same way other essential services are considered. Managing Waste in New Developments Supplementary Guidance.

Environmental management

Environmental management is important for all construction projects, however the detail required for a particular project is directly proportional to the perceived risks from the project. This guidance note has therefore been prepared to set out a robust Project Environmental Management Process (PEMP) for large scale (for example, Major and Environmental Impact Assessment) projects. Construction Environmental Management Process for Large Scale Projects.

Protected species

Guidance on Highland Statutorily Protected Species has been prepared to aid applicants when considering development in relation to their responsibilities towards protected species. Key species to be aware of, the varying levels of protection afforded to them and how they should be dealt with in a development proposal so as to avoid breaking the law and to further the conservation of biodiversity.  


You are encouraged to consider the use of bi-lingual Gaelic and English signs in your development.  Please see our Gaelic Signage for Private Developments Advice Note for more information.  We can also provide translation assistance – contact your local planning office for details.

Design statement

If your proposal is within a Conservation Area, National Scenic Area, Site of a Scheduled Monument, within the curtilage of a Category A listed building, historic garden, designed landscape or World Heritage Site you are likely to need to submit a design statement with your application form.  See our Design Statements and Design and Access Statements advice note for more information.

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