Planning and Building Standards - Coronavirus update

Planning service

Most recent update 21 October 2020.

We will update you regularly considering the Scottish Government's ongoing work to put in place new working practices following the enactment of the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act.

The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020

The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 came into force on 6 April and has implications for our Planning service and how we operate during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Subsequently, the Coronavirus (No.2 )(Scotland) Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 26 May 2020.

On Monday 24 August the Scottish Government announced that it had taken the decision that, Part 1 of both Coronavirus Acts should be extended, to 31 March 2021. This means that the provisions which extend the duration of

  • planning permission 
  • listed building consent
  • conservation area consent

are to be extended beyond the current expiry dates. 

The Town and Country Planning (Emergency Period and Extended Period) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 have been laid and came into force on Monday 5 October. These amend the expiry of the “emergency period” to 31 March 2021 and the “extended period” to 30 September 2021. Consents to which the provision applies will now lapse at the end of an extended period (which ends on 30 September 2021) unless works have commenced before the end of the extended period.

Read the Town and Country Planning (Emergency Period and Extended Period) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020.

Planning and Building Standards help desk

Our helpdesk at Waverley Court is closed. We have a wide range of planning guidance available on our website. If you still require assistance you can email [email protected]

Pre-application advice service

As officers are working from home, meetings will be via Skype or Microsoft Teams. 

Email

[email protected]

with requests using our request form.

Site visits are only undertaken if considered essential for our understanding of the site context. It's important that you submit sufficient information to let make that assessment.

We cannot take phone payments. You can only pay by BACS.

Paper applications

As our offices are closed, we can’t process paper applications or accept payments by phone.

Apply for planning permission

Applications processing

We are adapting our service so we can support communities and businesses through this difficult time. Our aim is to boost online public input to planning processes so we can make and issue decisions which will both help with a swift recovery and a positive future for the city.  

Paragraph 9(2) of Schedule 6, Part 3 of the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 makes provision for us not to physically publish weekly lists of planning and related applications and make these available for inspection at our principal office and public libraries or physically post site notices for all planning and related applications on the basis that doing so:

  1. may give rise to a significant risk of the transmission of coronavirus, or
  2. is likely to be ineffective or inappropriate due to action taken in order to control the incidence or transmission of coronavirus.

We introduced ways for people to stay informed and comment on planning proposals despite the coronavirus lockdown.

We have

  • publicised applications that we received since the lockdown commenced in March. Site notices were published online between March and October and adverts are published in the press. The posting of physical site notices resumed on 9 October. This will remain under review and any changes will be displayed.
  • issued neighbour notification letters by post, with the planning portal open for comments on applications.

The weekly list shows all

  • applications received
  • decisions made

Due to the closure of our offices we are still unable to receive any paper letters of representation or paper applications. Online representations and applications are being accepted / validated and, where appropriate, delegated decisions are being issued.

New applications will have neighbour notification carried out, and publicity in the form of site notices and adverts will be published in accordance with the amendments to the act, as noted above. Once this period of publicity has ended applications will be progressed to determination where possible.

Since 18 June, we have started to undertake site visits but only if these are essential. Most of these site visits will be external- from a public place or possibly private land such as a back garden. We will contact owners to discuss how to do this in the safest possible way.

Proposal of application notice (PAN)

The chief planner has provided planning guidance on pre-application consultations for public events. This is temporary guidance, linked to The Town and Country Planning (Miscellaneous Temporary Modifications) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020  that suspends the requirement for a physical public event.

Consultations

Our major consultations on Choices for City Plan 2030 and the City Mobility Plan have now closed. We’ve received over 1400 responses for Choices and over 1500 for City Mobility Plan from the consultation hub and other events, a lot more than previous consultations on these types of plan so we’re grateful to everyone who’s contributed. We’ll publish the findings as soon as we can and look at next steps.

Planning committee

Watch past and future commitee webcasts. For future dates, see the committee calendar.

Local Review Body

Following the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 coming into force, the regulations affecting planning have been amended. This includes the regulations governing the Local Review Body.

From 24 April, for a temporary period, the Local Review Body is no longer required to take place in public. The first post-covid Local Review Body took place over video conferencing on 27 May 2020 and can be viewed alongside future Local Review Bodies. For future dates and details, see the committee calendar.

We are still accepting online review submissions. We currently can't accept paper copies of

  • reviews
  • supporting documents
  • representations.

Scottish Government has not given any powers to extend the period for submission of appeals. If you intend to submit a review please ensure it is within time.

Find information about appeals submitted to Scottish Government.

Advice for businesses open during Covid-19

Advice and information to ensure businesses in Edinburgh comply with Scottish Government regulations and guidance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on the advice to businesses during Covid-19 page. 

Updates

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