Planning and Building Standards - Coronavirus update

Planning service

Most recent update 30 July 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.

A key change relates to the duration of listed building consent and conservation area consent under Schedule 4, Part II as follows:

Paragraph 2(2) and (3) amends section 16 of the 1997 Act to extend the duration of a listed building consent or a conservation area consent that would otherwise lapse during the emergency period because works authorised by the consent have not begun. The emergency period is the period beginning with the coming into force of these provisions and ending on 6 October 2020. The changes made to section 16 apply to conservation area consent by virtue of section 66(3) of the 1997 Act.  Consents to which the provision applies will instead lapse at the end of an extended period (which ends on 6 April 2021) unless works have commenced before the end of the extended period.

Planning and Building Standards help desk

Our helpdesk at Waverley Court is closed. You can email planning with any queries.

Pre-application advice service

The pre-application advice service resumed on 4 May. As officers are working from home, meetings will be via Skype or Microsoft Teams. Email pre-application advice with requests using our request form.

Please note that site visits will only be undertaken if considered essential for our understanding of the site context. If not considered essential, a site visit may be declined. It is therefore important that sufficient information is submitted to allow us to make that assessment.

We are unable to take telephone payments therefore payment for the pre-application service can only be made by BACS. Find out how to 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:

(a) may give rise to a significant risk of the transmission of coronavirus, or

(b) is likely to be ineffective or inappropriate due to action taken in order to control the incidence or transmission of coronavirus.

In response to this we have introduced ways for people to stay informed and comment on planning proposals despite the coronavirus lockdown.

We will

  • publicise applications that we received since the lockdown commenced in March - site notices will be published online, and adverts will be published in the press
  • issue neighbour notification letters by post, with the planning portal open for comments to be made on applications.   

The weekly list will show all

  • applications received
  • decisions made
  • site notices published.

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 regulations that came into force on 24th April and suspends the requirement for a physical public event at this time.

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

The Council’s Leadership Advisory Panel has agreed contingency measures relating to the Planning service.

These measures make temporary changes to the Council’s Scheme of Delegation to reduce the number of planning applications which will have to be put on hold until Council committee meetings can be held.

In line with these temporary changes the Statutory Scheme of Delegation was revised on 7 April and subsequently approved by Scottish Government.

Details are available in the report to the Panel (agreed with a motion).

The Development Management Sub-Committee resumed on 20 May using video conferencing. Past and future Sub-Committees can be viewed on the Council Webcast Portal. 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 cannot accept paper copies of

  • reviews
  • supporting documents
  • representations

at this current time. 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.

Updates

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