Planning Application Decision Process

Planning applications fall into three main categories: local developments, major developments and those that are identified in the National Planning Framework.

Local Developments: These include alterations and extensions to houses, small developments for new houses/retail.  These applications are usually dealt with where possible within two months.

Major Developments: These are development for 50 houses or more, large retail developments and certain types of waste, water, transport and energy related developments.  The statutory period for dealing with these developments is four months.

National Developments: These are mainly large public works identified in the National Planning Framework.

Who Approves or Refuses a Planning Application?

Most decisions for local development applications are made by the Appointed Officer. We give the Appointed Officer the power to determine applications through the Scheme of Delegation (PDF).

Major development applications and local development applications made by the local planning authority or where the authority has a financial interest are determined by the Planning & Regulatory Services Committee.

The Role of Other Agencies

Some organisations such as the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) must be consulted on certain planning applications.

Procedures at Committee

All meetings are open to the press and public. Normally, The Principal Planning Officer for the relevant team presents the recommendation. Then the Councillors debate and decide on the application. You can see the agendas, reports and minute for the Committee meetings. 

Committee Written Representations

Should the planning application that you submit, or make a comment about, be referred to the Planning & Regulatory Services Committee, including special meetings and The Moray Council (Pre-Determination Hearings), you have the opportunity to submit a further comment, introducing no new information, for the Committee’s consideration following the publication of the Appointed Officer’s Committee report. This must be received by 2pm on the day prior to the Committee.

A further comment can be made during this limited period by email or in writing to: The Clerk to the Planning and Regulatory Services Committee, Committee Services, The Moray Council, Council Offices, High Street, Elgin, IV30 6BU.

What happens after the decision?

You will be notified of the outcome of a decision if you have submitted or made a comment on a development proposal. Information on appealing  a refused decision is available on the page Planning Appeals/Local Reviews page.

Where an application has been refused consent or consent is granted subject to conditions by Committee, an applicant may have the right of appeal to the Scottish Ministers. A reporter from the Scottish Government Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) will deal with the appeal either via written submissions, a public hearing or a public inquiry.  

Where the Planning Authority has objected to an application under Section 36 of the 1989 Electricity Act to build a wind farm, this will trigger a public inquiry. The Scottish Ministers may uphold or dismiss the appeal, or reverse or vary any part of the decision of the planning authority. This may include amending a condition previously attached to the grant of consent. You can get information about all cases dealt with since 2002 by the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals from their website.

Where an application that is of a local nature, i.e. determined via delegated powers by a development management case officer, the applicant will have the right to appeal via our Local Review Body (LRB).  

Contact Us

Development Management
Environmental Services
The Moray Council
PO Box 6760, Elgin
IV30 9BX

0300 1234561

development.control@moray.gov.uk

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