Do you need planning permission for home improvements?

Do you have plans to extend your kitchen, install replacement windows or new solar panels, or chop down a tree in your garden? If so, don’t just rush into the job - make sure to find out first whether your development needs planning permission or not.

Many home improvement projects need official planning permission before work can begin. But don’t worry if you aren’t sure whether you need permission - because Argyll and Bute Council’s local planning team can offet expert assistance.

The authority’s free service, called ‘Planning for Firm Foundations’, is here to help and can establish whether planning permission is needed.

Call 01546 605518 and you will be put through to the person you need to speak to - or you can access the new online information system and pre-application form by clicking on the link to the right of this article.

Councillor Sandy Taylor, chairman of the authority’s planning, protective services and licensing (PPSL) committee, said: “People who are thinking about a building or renovation project should seek the advice of our planning professionals, sending a copy of initial drawings or a written description of their proposals using our downloadable form to our planning officers.

“We will get back to you with an initial view, confirming if you need planning permission.

“A lot of people are thinking about installing solar panels and heat pumps nowadays some of which may need permission.

My advice is to always check with your local planning office before making an investment decision, and using our pre-application process will give more certainty and identify any issues at an early stage.”