New changes to agricultural and forestry tracks permitted development rights

Today (Monday 15 December) marks the introduction of revised planning permitted development rights for agricultural and forestry tracks. All proposed new, or alterations to existing, roads, tracks or footpaths (known collectively as ‘private ways’) on agricultural or forestry land must now go through a prior notification process with the Planning Authority before any development can commence. The only exception are private ways within National Scenic Areas which, unless forming part of an approved afforestation scheme, will always require a full application for planning permission.  

The Highland Council will soon be publishing guidance for private way applications and farmers, crofters, foresters and other land managers should ensure that they are familiar with this document and, more generally, what has changed and what is now required of them. The changes require planning authorities to approve the route, design and means of construction of proposed private ways and careful consideration must be given to all of these issues by prospective developers.  

Failure to adhere to the prior notification process invalidates permitted development rights for the private way in question and may also result in enforcement action. There is currently no fee for making a prior notification application.

Pre-application advice for private ways is available through the Council’s Pre-application Advice for Local Development Service. You can make a request for advice. To make a prior notification application, you can apply online or download application forms at:

15 Dec 2014
Tell us something about this topic How is this webpage?