Plans and drawings

Last Updated: 21 February 2023

The plans and drawing you submit need to be set out accurately. This page provides guidelines.

Electronic submission of applications

Please submit plans and documents in electronic format because it helps us to put your application on our website quickly and easily. We rely on digital storage for planning documents. We carry out consultations to relevant parties by email

Paper copies of applications

Major Application (10 or more dwellings, or with a site area of one hectare or more or floor area of 1,000 square metres or more) tend to be more complex and may involve multiple and large scale plans and technical information.

We have assured our parish and town councils that for these type of applications, we will continue to provide them with paper copies of plans and documents. We will ask the developer to provide two sets of paper copies for Major Applications.

Portable Document Formats (PDF's) Drawings and plans

Application forms and documents must be submitted as Portable Document Formats (PDF's). We will not accept any other format. It is a file format that has captured all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image that you can view, navigate, print, or forward to someone else.

Most PDF editing/creation software offer an option called “Fast Web View” or “Optimize” that allows PDF files to display the first few pages of the PDF file when the document is opened, instead of waiting for the full file to be available.

Optimized files re also generally smaller in size and quicker to open. Large files consume bandwidth. They take time to download so it is important that files are optimized so that members of the public are able to open them quickly on home computers, smart phones and other mobile devices.

Sample plans

These are good examples of the standard of drawings we need.

Proposed and existing floor plans (PDF 1MB / 1 page)

Proposed elevations (PDF 885KB / 1 page)

Proposed site plan (PDF 503KB / 1 page)

JPEG Photographs

This format should be limited to single files. Large numbers of images should be presented as PDF.

JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. It is a method of compression that keeps as much information in the photo as it can (colours, digital info, etc.) while keeping the file size at a decent size for storage and email. However, quality may be lost when this file format is used.

Please do not submit forms or plans as JPEGS. We will only accept forms and plans as PDFs.

Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) Photographs

Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) is a better option when submitting multipaged files. It is an industry standard designed for handling raster or bitmapped images.

TIFF files can be saved in a variety of colour formats and in various forms of compression.

TIFF's use lossless compression to maintain image integrity and clarity and are often used for professional photography.

Please do not submit application forms or plans as TIFF's. We will only accept forms and plans as PDFs.

File Size

Keep individual files below 10MB. Large documents should be split into smaller files and clearly labelled Part 1, Part 2 and so on.

Where there are multiple documents or documents are very large you may submit these on a CD or DVD or on USB. You must provide an index on the chosen media and all files and documents must be clearly named.

There are also many options for secure file sharing software which we can accept.

File Naming

Give each drawing and document a unique name and number. Store existing and proposed drawings in separate and clearly labelled files.

Scale and print size

Each drawing must show the scale and print size (1:50@A3 or 1:100@A1). Please do not prepare drawings larger than A1 unless absolutely necessary.

Always use the same scale for existing and proposed elevations and floor plans. Use the same orientation (landscape or portrait).

Don’t use unnecessary colour. Keep colour to a minimum so as to minimise the file size and conserve download speed. The site location plan is the only plan where colour (red and blue) is essential. 

Different types of plans and drawings

When making a planning application please be aware that the council will not accept sub standard drawings.  If the required type of plans and drawings do not achieve the required quality, your application will not be valid.

Site location plan

This should be an up to date Ordnance Survey based plan:

  • drawn to a metric scale of 1:1250. If the site is very large or remote, a smaller scale may be used (1:2500)
  • scaled to fit either A4 or A3 paper
  • show the direction of North
  • include nearby properties, their postal numbers or addresses and at least two named roads
  • the application site should be accurately edged in red

The red line should include all the land necessary to carry out the proposed development.

  • for access to the site from the public highway
  • for installation of non-mains drainage (including pipework and soakaways)
  • visibility splays
  • landscaping
  • car parking/vehicle turning areas
  • open areas around buildings

If any of this land within the red line is outside the ownership of the applicant, Certificate B should be signed and the relevant notice served on the landowner(s).

Any adjacent land or property within the applicant’s ownership or control should be edged in blue.

Existing and proposed site layout plan (block plan)

A site layout plan shows a detailed layout of the whole site and the relationship of the proposed works within the boundary of the site, adjacent roads and neighbouring buildings.

Most applications will need both an existing and a proposed site layout plan.

It should show the proposal in relation to site boundaries, other buildings and trees on or adjacent to the site and meet the following requirements:

  • drawn to a suitable metric scale (For example 1:200 or 1:500)
  • show the direction of North
  • the footprint of the proposed extension or new building etc. should be clearly identified (hatched or coloured). It should be shown in relation to site boundaries and existing buildings on the site with written metric dimensions of the extension/building and distances to all adjacent boundaries

As more members of the public (especially neighbours), parish councillors  and other interested parties view the plans on line, we have had many comments that it is difficult to scale plans on line without some technical knowledge. We acknowledge that it is much easier for neighbours etc. to assess the impact of the proposal on their property if written metric measurements are included.

The following should also be identified on this plan unless these would not influence or be affected by the proposal:

  • all the buildings, roads and public footpaths on land adjoining the site, including access arrangements
  • all public footpaths/bridleways crossing or adjoining the site
  • positions of all trees on the site or on adjoining land
  • the extent and type of any hard surfacing (parking areas, turning areas, pathways and location of refuse and recycling facilities) and boundary treatment (walls, fences or hedges)
  • any buildings to be demolished

Existing and proposed elevations

Elevation drawings show what a building will look like from the outside. Most applications will need both existing and proposed elevations.

  • metric scale of 1:50 or 1:100
  • drawings must be clearly annotated (Existing and proposed) and (Front, rear etc. or north, south etc.)
  • show all elevations of the building to be erected, altered or extended
  • show the whole of the existing building in relation to the proposed extension or alterations
  • where a property is attached to or is adjoining another building, show the elevations of that building so the proposed works may be clearly assessed
  • show the property boundary
  • show external building materials (for example walls, roof, window frames or doors)

Existing and proposed floor plans

Floor plans show the internal layout of a building. Most applications will need existing and proposed floor plans metric scale of 1:100 or 1:50

Drawings must be clearly labelled (Existing and proposed):

  • show all floors of the building to be erected, altered or extended in relation to the rest of the building
  • Label each room and include the positions of, for example, windows, walls, doors or stairs
  • label each floor
  • show any property boundary and parts of adjacent properties
  • state whether there will be any encroachment (foundations etc.) onto adjoining property
  • identify any areas to be demolished

Existing and proposed site sections, cross sections and finished floor/site levels

Site section plans or topographical survey plans should be provided for all applications where the application site is sloping or uneven. They will also be needed when the application site adjoins land on a different level or where any change in ground levels is proposed.

The plans should demonstrate how proposed buildings relate to existing site levels and neighbouring buildings and land.

Floor and site levels

  • metric scale 1:500 or 1:200
  • show existing and proposed site levels and the relationship of the proposed development to adjacent sites and buildings (with written metric measurements as appropriate)
  • include spot ground levels at prominent features and/or contours
  • specify a fixed and identifiable datum point
  • demonstrate how the proposed development will sit within the site
  • show north point

Cross sections

  • show finished floor and ridge levels of buildings
  • show existing and proposed ground levels where significant engineering or cut and fill operations are proposed
  • show the points where the cross-sections have been taken on a site layout plan

Street scene or contextual drawings

Drawings showing elevations in the context of the street scene may be required to show the integration of the proposed design into the existing neighbourhood. These are usually only required for new buildings that are visible from the road.

  • metric scale 1:100 or 1:200
  • show the height and outline of neighbouring buildings and position and size of windows and doors
  • show any differences in finished floor levels
  • show written metric dimensions for gaps between buildings
  • annotated to show the direction the street scene faces

Existing and proposed roof plans

Roof plans show the design of the roof from above and are needed when roof alterations are proposed. Existing and proposed roof plans are normally required.

  • metric scale 1:50 or 1:100
  • show positions of, for example: valley gutters, roof lights, solar panels, sun tunnels or chimneys

Photographs and photomontages

Photographs can often provide useful extra information but they cannot be used as a substitute for metric scaled drawings and plans.

For applications for wind turbines and certain major applications it will be necessary to provide photo visualisations/photo montages. Please check with the planning team if these will be necessary.

They should be prepared to the full technical specification outlined in the Scottish National Heritage, Visual representations of windfarms.

Although this document has been prepared specifically for wind turbine/farm submissions, the technical information given is relevant for all major development.