Building Standards - FAQs

When is a Building Warrant required?

A building warrant is normally required if you intend to erect, alter, extend, demolish or change the use of any building. It is the building owner's responsibility to establish whether a building warrant or any other permission is required prior to the commencement of any building operations.

It is an offence in Scotland to commence work that requires a building warrant prior to a warrant being granted. It is also an offence to occupy a building without a completion certificate having been accepted by the local authority.

We strongly recommend that anyone undertaking building operations contact us for advice on the above procedures.

The Building (Scotland) Act 2003 empowers Local Authorities to take enforcement action if work is carried out without a Building Warrant or contrary to the conditions of a Building Warrant.

What is the difference between Planning Permission and a Building Warrant?

There is an ongoing misconception with many people that a Building Warrant and Planning Permission are one and the same. This is not the case and it is important to differentiate between the two.

A Building Warrant gives you permission for the design and construction of the work. It also includes things like fire protection & escape, drainage, energy conservation and safety & wellbeing of occupants/users. Building regulations make sure that the work meets minimum standards.

Planning Permission mainly relates to the siting, appearance and use of the building and the effect this will have on neighbouring properties and the surrounding environment.

It cannot be emphasised too strongly that, whatever the project, advice from both Building Standards and Planning should be sought to avoid costly and unnecessary work at a later date.

How do I obtain a Building Warrant?

If a Building Warrant is required for a proposed project an applicant must follow a set procedure in order to obtain one. An application form must be completed and forwarded along with the appropriate fee to the Building Standards Service.

Information on the building warrant process can be found by clicking on the button below

Download Customer Journey (PDF)


Guidance regarding application forms, fees and plans can be found here and go to this page for information about making your application.

This guidance deals only with the building standards system and you should be aware that other statutory requirements may also apply to the work proposed, such as planning permission, fire certificates or licensing. Planning permission is a separate matter and further guidance should be obtained from our Development Management Service.

If you need further guidance you can contact using the details below.

Contact Us

Building Standards

0300 1234561

Rate this Page