Staff in the Planning and Building Standards service are currently working from the office and home as appropriate and will continue to progress applications, warrants and enforcement cases. However, working practices will need to be adapted due to the current COVID -19 situation.
There will be no attendance at events and only essential external and internal meetings are taking place. Site visits are under review, and the reliance on other businesses to publish adverts and deliver neighbour notifications could impact on the service. We are working to find solutions should this become an issue.
We also expect our capacity to be impacted due to staff shortages so please bear with us. The teams will be doing their best to keep applications and warrants moving under the circumstances. To assist in this, we have made the following changes:
- The Planning and Building Standards helpdesk at Waverley Court is now closed. You can still view and comment on applications at https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/planning-building/planning-online-services We can still be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- We are no longer be able to process paper applications or accept application payments by phone. If you have any queries regarding this, please contact email@example.com
- The Pre-application service will continue to provide written responses, but in accordance with Government advice no face to face meetings will take place.
Further information is available here. We will keep these and other changes under review, and keep you up to date as our service adapts.
In terms of official Council committee business, the recess period will begin from Friday 20 March and will last until 27 April. All committees are suspended during this period. The Local Review Body meeting scheduled for 25 March will take place, but members of the public are encouraged not to attend to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. We are currently exploring alternative ways of working to maintain as much of the service as possible.
The response to the current situation is evolving rapidly and we will endeavour to update information as the situation changes, whilst ensuring the welfare of staff and trying to maintain business continuity for our customers. You can see how you can help the Council to protect the city’s most vulnerable citizens and how we are aiming to provide core services here.
UPDATE 19 March 2020 – In addition to the above, we have taken the decision to suspend our Pre-Application Service to allow us to concentrate our efforts on processing and determining current applications and enforcement cases. We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause, but with a depleted staff and a focus on ensuring front line services are maintained, this has been a necessity.