The Scottish Government has recently announced that regulations will shortly be  brought into force to amend and extend existing  permitted  development  rights.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2011 ("the 2011 Order") will come into force on 21 November 2011.  The 2011 Order relates to  permitted  development  rights ("PDRs"), which are essentially uses to which land can be put without requiring planning permission.  The 2011 Order will amend existing PDRs under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 ("the 1992 Order"), and will provide for new ones.  

The 2011 Order amends Class 70 of the 1992 Order in relation to demolition of certain buildings.  Under that Class, developers must seek prior approval from local planning authorities before the developer commences development.  'Prior approval' entails the authority confirming that neither planning permission nor an environmental impact assessment is needed by the developer before it carries out the demolition.  Local planning authorities are now required to notify neighbouring properties where they receive an application by a developer for prior approval.  A neighbouring property is a property which falls within 20 metres of the boundary of the property to be demolished.  Neighbours can make representations within 14 days of being notified.  This procedure only applies to certain buildings - for example, dwellinghouses and buildings containing one or more flatted dwellings.  

The 2011 Order also introduces changes to kinds of permitted development within the curtilage of (the area immediately surrounding) dwellinghouses.  For example, Class 1 of the 1992 Order will be broken down in Classes 1A to 1D to comprise different kinds of PDRs in relation to dwellinghouses, such as single- or multi-storey extensions.  Some of the current restrictions will be relaxed: for example homeowners will no longer need planning permission for a single-storey extension which would increase the floor area of the original dwellinghouse by  up to  20%.   

The changes will only apply to development commenced after 6 February 2012 and which are completed before 6 August 2012