Forms and Guidance



Processing Agreements

A Planning Processing Agreement (PPA) is a project management tool and is used to set out the key processes involved in determining a planning application, identifying what information is required, and from whom, and setting timescales for the delivery of various stages of the process.  The agreement is about the process leading to determination of the application in a timely manner. It is not about the planning merits of the proposal.

Planning Processing agreements can deliver a number of benefits including:

  • Greater transparency in decision-making for everyone involved in the process;
  • Greater predictability and certainty over the timing of key stages;
  • Identifies and overcomes blockages;
  • Faster decision-making;
  • Clearer lines of communication between the local authority and applicant;
  • More effective and earlier engagement of key stakeholders

For more guidance on the use of Planning Processing Agreements and how they work see the document guidance and template document below:

Developer Obligations

We operate a system of Developer Obligations, also referred to as 'Planning Gain', in relation to infrastructure requirements resulting from a proposed development.  Developers are encouraged to contact the Planning Obligations Unit prior to submitting a planning application or a Proposal of Application Notice, in order to ascertain the likely level of contributions required. The guide (link below) provides general guidance on the requirement for developer contributions and contact details for the Planning Obligations Unit.

  • Developer Obligation frequently asked questions (PDF)

Freedom of Information

There is a possibility that, under the Freedom of Information Act, we will be asked to provide information regarding enquiries for pre-application advice and copies of any advice provided or correspondence entered into. This information may only be withheld if its disclosure could prejudice commercial interest, inhibit the free and frank provision of advice or exchange of views during the planning process, or could prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs.  Those seeking pre-application advice should provide a covering letter that sets out the reasons why, and for how long, any information relating to the case needs to be confidential.

It will then be for us to decide whether information can be treated as exempt from disclosure and it should be recognised that the thrust of the legislation is to make information accessible unless there is a pressing reason why not. Each case will be assessed on its merits. The passage of time may remove the need for exemption as information becomes less sensitive. Generally, notes and correspondence relating to pre-application discussion will not be treated as confidential, once a planning application has been submitted and the case is in the public domain.

Contact Details

For further information or advice on the process please contact the Manager (Development Management & Building Standards Manager).


We make every effort to ensure that the advice given in the pre-application process is as accurate as possible. However any advice given by our officers for pre-application enquiries does not constitute a formal decision of ours with regards to any planning application and, whilst it may be a material consideration, it cannot be held to bind us in its validation or formal determination of a subsequent application.

Contact Us

Manager (Development Management)
Environmental Services
The Moray Council, Council Office
High Street, Elgin
IV30 1BX

01343 563276

01343 563263

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