The Development Management section of the Planning and Development Service manages the
process of applying for planning permission, and offers an advice service to anyone considering
making an application.
The submission of a pre-application enquiry will help you to gain clear, impartial and professional
advice at an early stage regarding any key issues that you need to address prior to submitting a
formal development proposal. Advice can be provided for developments requiring planning
permission, advertisement consent, conservation area consent or listed building consent.
You do not have to request pre-application advice prior to submitting a planning application, and
you can submit a planning application at anytime. However, pre-application advice can help to
identify schemes that are unlikely to gain approval from entering the process, and as a result can
save you time and money. Applications submitted without pre-application advice will generally be
determined as submitted, without prolonged negotiation.
Making an Enquiry
Enquiries for pre-application advice should be made in writing using the Pre-Application Enquiry
Form. The form is available via the Development Management pages on the Council’s website
or if you wish a paper copy to be sent to you please contact the duty
planning officer on 0131 2713302. The pre-application enquiry service is a discretionary one which
the Council does not charge for. If you are unsure whether planning permission is required for your
proposed development please contact the duty planning officer who can advise you accordingly.
Prior to making an enquiry the Council recommends that you discuss your proposal with your
neighbours and resolve any boundary or land ownership disputes.
In addition to the need for planning permission you should also contact the Council’s Building
Standards team on 0131 2713320 to ascertain whether a building warrant is also required for your
proposed development.
What happens to my enquiry?
The Council will record your enquiry on its back office database, allocate your enquiry to a case
officer, acknowledge receipt of your enquiry and then endeavour to provide a full written response
within 42 days.
Prior to responding to your enquiry the case officer may contact you to discuss your enquiry or to
arrange a meeting if further information or clarification is required. In the majority of enquiries the
case officer will also carry out an unaccompanied site visit and in some cases informally consult with
other specialists such as the Council’s Transportation Team.
In the full written response to your enquiry the Council will provide advice on the following points:
Which development plan policies are considered to be the most appropriate to the
determination of a subsequent planning application;
Whether the principal of the proposed development is considered to be in compliance with
development plan policies*;
What material considerations, if any, shall be given weight if the proposed development is
contrary to development plan policies*;
Suggested improvements to the proposed layout, form and design with the view to
improving the content of any subsequent application, turning a potentially unacceptable
scheme into a quality development;
Which external agencies may have to be consulted as part of the formal application process;
Whether the proposed development, if supported by the Council, would be subject to
developer contributions (generally only applicable to larger developments).
*The development plan for Midlothian comprises the Edinburgh and the Lothians Structure Plan and
the Midlothian Local Plan; in most cases prospective applicants for planning permission would be
advised to check the policies in the Local Plan.
ny pre-application advice will be recorded and considered in the determination of any subsequent
application. The pre-application enquiry and the response given by the Council will be available for
inspection by the public subject to the Council’s redaction (data protection for your benefit) policy,
which can be viewed via the Development Management pages on the Council’s website
Further information
urther information on the planning system and how to apply for planning permission is available on
the Council’s website www.midlothian.gov.uk
or via the Scottish Government’s website
The following documents can also be viewed on the Council’s website:
Midlothian Local Plan
Supplementary Planning Guidance on rural housing, dormer extensions and rear extensions
Adopted Development Briefs
Pre-Application Enquiry Form Guidance Notes
n requesting pre-application advice it is important to remember that the more information you can
provide at the start of the process and the better the quality of submission, the quicker and more
comprehensive the advice given by the Council will be.
1. C
ontact Details:
You can seek pre-application advice yourself, or you can employ an agent. Please note that if
you employ an agent all correspondence and communication will be through them to avoid
duplication of responses and to improve efficiency of the process. If you are using an agent
please provide their contact details.
2. Site Details:
ostal Address/Location
Please give the full postal address of the site or building subject to the enquiry. If the site does
not have a postal address please describe the site’s location making reference to
inimum of one classified public road or street name.
Interest in the Site:
Please state whether you are owner, occupier, interested party or agent acting on behalf of another.
Current Use, Occupation and Buildings:
Please describe the current use of the site or the last known use (with cessation date) if the
site is vacant or in disuse. In describing the use of the site please describe the activities taking place.
For example if the use is retail please state what goods (i.e. grocery store, bakers, florists) are
being sold, if the use is industrial, please state the industrial processes taking place (i.e. metal
fabrication, car repairs). Also provide a brief description of the buildings on site in terms of their size
and form. For example, a residential unit can be described as a traditional two storey
dwellinghouse, comprising slate roof tiles, stone and render walling and timber window frames.
3. Proposal
escription of Proposal:
Please provide a detailed description of your proposed development including its intended use
and scale of building/engineering works. Proposals for buildings should include a description of
the intended size, form, design and materials.
Please provide, as far as you may be aware, details of any previous planning applications, pre-
application enquiries or enquiries with other Council departments or external agencies, such as
Historic Scotland.
Plans and Supporting Documents:
In the majority of cases plans and drawings (these can be sketched plans at this stage) should
accompany your enquiry. The Council recommends that you submit a location/site plan which
shows the location of the site, the siting of existing buildings, landscape features, site access and
other site constraints and elevation drawings showing the scale, form and design of any proposed
buildings or extensions to buildings. It is also recommended that you submit supporting
photographs of the site, existing buildings and street scene, especially when new building works
are proposed. It is important to remember that the more information you can provide about a
proposal the more accurate and in-depth our feedback will be.
Please note that you are submitting a pre-application enquiry on the understanding that any written advice
provided is based on the information submitted and that the advice is not binding on Midlothian Council.
Any advice given by Council officers for pre-application enquiries does not constitute a formal response or
decision of the Council with regards to any applications.
If you are filling out the enquiry form on your computer, to return to us by email then typing your name in the
Signature field of the form will be accepted as a signature.
f you have any further information relating to your enquiry that cannot be fitted onto this form,
please attach as a separate document.
Pre-Application Enquiry Form
his form is for requesting pre-application advice when you know planning permission will be
required and you want an informal pre application assessment of the acceptability of the scheme.
Prior to filling in the form please read the accompanying guidance notes carefully.
1. C
ontact Details
2. S
ite Details
Postal Address/
Interest in site
Current Use
3. Proposal
Description of
Plans and
As far as I am aware the information provided is accurate and that in submitting a pre-application
enquiry you have read the accompanying guidance and understand that the advice offered by officers
is informal and will be based on the information provided and is
provided entirely without prejudice to
any ultimate planning application decision:
If you have any further information relating to your enquiry that cannot be fitted onto
this form, please attach as a separate document.