STATUS: Consultation


Argyll and Bute Council (A&B) are working with Rapleys and Inch Architecture & Design to bring forward two Simplified Planning Zones (SPZ) in Argyll and Bute.

One will be located in Salen, Isle of Mull and the other will be located in Lochgilphead.

A&B intend to bring forward these SPZs to help deliver housing to these rural areas.

There are already two established SPZs in Scotland and both are located in Renfrewshire; Renfrew Town Centre and Hillington Business Park.

Have Your Say! A&B Council and the project team wish to consult with local residents to hear their views and how they can input into the creation of design of the SPZs. Local knowledge and insight is invaluable and we are keen for the public to attend the public consultations and be part of this process.

Please continue reading to find out more about this project.


An SPZ is an area where the need to apply for planning permission is removed for certain types of development. An SPZ requires the preparation of an SPZ Scheme which details the types of development and nature of uses that are permitted, together with any limitations, conditions and guidelines that a development proposal must comply with.

For example an SPZ may contain guidelines on the following:

  • How many houses can be built
  • The height of the houses
  • Car parking arrangements
  • Landscaping

Development which meets the criteria established by an SPZ does not need to go through the ‘normal planning processes’. Development which does not meet the criteria of the SPZ still needs to apply for planning permission in the normal way.

As part of the Scottish Planning Review, the Scottish Government is currently examining how SPZs can assist with the delivery of homes, in particular self-build/custom-build homes.

A&B Council have been selected to take forward this SPZ pilot project in order to assess how it could help deliver self-build/custom-build housing.

Other pilots are being undertaken across Scotland by Aberdeenshire Council, North Ayrshire Council, and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

This pilot will look to create SPZ schemes in Salen, Isle of Mull and Lochgilphead, for approximately 10 homes on each site.

A key part of this pilot is to understand if this planning tool can help alleviate housing issues/demand in the local area and if it can be used on a larger scale in the future. A&B has stated a need for more housing, and members of numerous communities have expressed desires for more housing to be built.

The creation of two SPZ schemes in A&B will aim to make the process of building self/custom build housing more straightforward without the need to negotiate the normal planning application processes.

More information can be found on the attachments at the bottom of this page:

  • Site location plans
  • SPZ factsheet
  • Feedback form

Opportunity to comment

As part of the consultation process the team intend to host a number of public consultations where members of the community and wider public are encouraged to attend.  We wish to hear the views and ideas of the community which will factor into creating two successful SPZs.

As part of the statutory process in line with the Simplified Planning Zone (Scotland) Regulations 1995 we will be holding the following;

  • ‘Pre-Deposit Consultation’ i.e. an exhibition to explain the principles behind the project/SPZ and an opportunity for the public to provide comments/feedback/ideas on what they would like to see included in the SPZ schemes
  • ‘Draft Scheme Consultation’ i.e. a draft version of the SPZ schemes will have been devised and this will allow the community to comment on these.  Following this, further changes can be made to the SPZ scheme to take account of any important comments made

Now that the consultations have taken place we are analysing the feedback which will inform the progression of the SPZ project. We aim to be in a position to provide an update on the project shortly.

Key to the consultation process, is the input from local residents and how they would like future homes to be designed.  Some of the questions we will be posing are:

  • What type/size of housing would you like to see on the site(s) e.g. bungalow, 1 storey
  • What materials would you like future homes to be built/clad with?
  • Are future extensions to the homes important to you?
  • How would you like the self-build housing to be developed:
    • Organise everything yourself (architect, engineer, contractor)
    • Work with a professional to design a home or;
    • Select form a small range of pre-determined options with no option to diverge

Please think about these questions in advance of attending the event and feel free to write down any thoughts or opinions before coming along.

Members of the project team will be in attendance along with A&B representatives to provide further information and answer any questions you may have.

Please spread the word among colleagues, family and friends to ensure everyone that is interested has the opportunity to be part of this exciting initiative!

You will have the opportunity to comment and leave feedback on the day of the event. Alternatively, you can leave further feedback by completing this survey:

However, you can also send any further comments to the email address listed on this website or complete the feedback from also attached.


Furthermore, if you would prefer to send comments by post, please address them to:

Rapleys LLP
Caledonian Exchange
19A Canning Street


Salen, Isle of Mull, site location plan – click here

Lochgilphead site loaction plan – click here

SPZ factsheet – click here

Feedback form – click here


Please click here to view our privacy policy regarding how any data you share will be used.