Following on from this post about the SG’s planning guidance on pre-applications, Edinburgh Council’s planning department has emailed community councils about how it is changing services in response to coronavirus.
Dear Community Councillors
We are writing to make you aware of a recent change to our service.
We are adapting our service so that we can support communities and businesses across Edinburgh through this difficult time. Our aim is to boost online public input to planning processes so that we can make and issue decisions which will both help with a swift recovery and a positive future for the city. To do this we have introduced ways for people to stay informed and comment on planning proposals despite the coronavirus lockdown.
We are now:
- Starting our publication of applications that we have received since the lockdown commenced in March.
- Issuing neighbour notification letters by post, with the planning portal open for comments to be made on applications.
Due to the closure of our offices we are still unable to receive any paper applications or letters of representation. Online applications are being accepted/validated, online representations are being accepted and, where appropriate, delegated decisions are being issued.
We are able to do this following the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act, which alters how we can publicise the applications we have received.
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:
- may give rise to a significant risk of the transmission of coronavirus, or
- is likely to be ineffective or inappropriate due to action taken in order to control the incidence or transmission of coronavirus.
Instead we will make copies of these documents available on the Council’s Planning and Building Standards On-line Services using this link https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/planning-building, in accordance with paragraph 9 (3) of Schedule 6, Part 3 to the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020. This process will start with the weekly list of 27 April 2020.
Further information on our services during the coronavirus lockdown is available on the Council website.
Finally, I would encourage your members to sign up to the Planning Edinburgh blog to keep up to date with changes to our service and how we are planning for the future Edinburgh through City Plan 2030 and the City Mobility Plan.
Place Directorate| The City of Edinburgh Council | www.edinburgh.gov.uk/planningandbuilding