We’re Hiring!

We’re looking for a skilled and motivated planning officer to join our team.

Our planning service is continuing with our major change programme to help make it fit for the future and be fully able to support the significant change Edinburgh faces in the years ahead.

We are looking for a planning officer who is committed to delivering an efficient, effective and customer-focused planning service and delivering great places.  

You will be responsible for handling a varied and challenging range and volume of planning and enforcement cases, for carrying out projects and contributing to change and improvement, and for supporting the professional development of yourself and your colleagues.

As part of our agile, multidisciplinary workforce, you will be expected to continually gain skills enabling you to work in different teams and operational areas in the planning service.  

We are committed to creating a workplace culture where all our people feel valued, included and able to be their best at work, and we recognise the benefits that a diverse workforce with different values, beliefs, experience and backgrounds brings to us as an organisation.

Find out more at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/planningjobs.

Submit your application using myjobscotland – closing date Wednesday 13 April 2022.

Edinburgh’s Proposed Low Emission Zone takes another step forward

Last week Edinburgh’s proposed Low Emission Zone (LEZ) took another step forward, as sign-off was given by the Council’s Transport & Environment Committee last Thursday for of the official objection period.

The LEZ aims to reduce air pollution, since it presents a significant threat to public health. It is especially harmful to young children, the elderly and those suffering from pre-existing conditions, including heart and lung diseases.

LEZs are being introduced across Scotland’s four largest cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee in response to dangerous levels of air pollution generated by road traffic. The LEZ will improve public health by discouraging the most polluting vehicles from entering an area.

Last year we ran a consultation between June & September 2021 which received over 5,000 responses.

Following the consultation, an objection period ran from 1 February to 1 March 2022. During this time we received 26 objections and 1 letter of support. Objections were from a mixture of individuals, businesses and organisations including some Community Councils.

The most common objections were about;

  • the LEZ boundary should be wider or smaller
  • the process for assessing local exemptions
  • the modelling/evidence base & how robust it was

The next step for the LEZ is to submit the proposal to Scottish Ministers for approval. Assuming approval is granted by Ministers, the LEZ will be introduced on 31 May 2022. There will be a two year ‘grace period’, meaning it won’t be enforced until June 2024.

There are various LEZ related support funds for businesses and households available for other sustainable transport options

The Proposed LEZ will align with the Councils;

Scottish Planning Fees Change 1 April 2022

Fees for planning applications set by the Scottish Government change today for almost all application types.

This means everything submitted to us from today onwards is affected, including:

  • ‘full’ planning permission
  • planning permission in principle
  • certificates of lawfulness
  • advertisement consent

Amongst the changes, standard ‘householder’ fees increase from £202 to £300, whilst the standard fee for construction of a new dwelling increases from £401 to £600.

Details of the changes are set out by The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications) (Scotland) Regulations 2022.

Using the ePlanning.scot Fee Calculator is the easiest way to calculate a fee, and can be used without having to log in or to submit an application.

Once you know your correct fee, paying is also easy, and can be done whilst submitting your application on ePlanning.scot.

For those applicants or agents who need to make an additional payment, or for applicants who may wish to pay after their agent has submitted, you can also pay for your planning application online using this link (for a quick guide to using this payment system, have a look at this blog post from November 2020.)

In addition, fees for pre-application advice are changing on 1 April – details can be found here.

Some other fees related to Planning & Building Standards change today, including;

Scottish Planning Fees Set to Change 1 April 2022

Fees for planning applications set by the Scottish Government change on 1 April 2022 for almost all application types. This means everything submitted to us on or after 1 April 2022 will be affected including:

  • ‘full’ planning permission
  • planning permission in principle
  • certificates of lawfulness
  • advertisement consent

Amongst the changes, the standard ‘householder’ fee increases from £202 to £300, whilst the standard fee for the construction of one new house increases from £401 to £600.

Details of the changes including information on concessions are set out by The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications) (Scotland) Regulations 2022.

Making sure that you calculate your fee correctly will make the validation process quicker and will help avoid delays with your application.  

Once you know your correct fee, paying is also easy, and can be done whilst submitting your application using ePlanning.scot.  

Some other fees related to Planning & Building Standards are also changing on 1 April 2022, including;

Applying to do work to protected trees

Edinburgh has a significant number of protected trees with approximately 180 Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) in place (these include individual trees and groups of trees), and 50 conservation areas. Permission is required to do work to a tree protected by a TPO or a tree within a conservation area.

As a result, we receive large numbers of tree applications, with over 1000 applications submitted last year. To help us deal better with the volume and complexity of these cases we have made a number of improvements, including increasing resources, changing how we validate (check in) tree applications and updating our online information.

RESOURCES

In terms of the team, we have secured some additional resources on a temporary basis which will help us manage the large number of tree applications we are receiving.  We hope this will see continued improvement on the time we take to handle applications and reduce the backlog.

WHAT IS CHANGING?

All tree applications will now be validated by dedicated tree technicians who will review the content of submissions before allocating it to a tree officer.

This means that the tree officers will have all the information they require to assess the application. It will reduce the amount of time that is spent requesting further information so they can concentrate on assessing the applications and hopefully speed up the process.

Will be asking those who make applications for works to trees to:

  • Make sure they apply for the right consent and tick the right box on the ePlanning form i.e. conservation area or TPO.
  • Give the right address for where the tree is actually located (and not just the address of the client)
  • Provide photos of the tree/s and its context
  • Give a detailed description of the works based on BS3998:2010

Applications will no longer be validated unless they have all the information necessary for us to assess it.  We will require the information to be submitted within 14 days, otherwise the application will be returned to the applicant or agent undetermined.  Doing work to a protected tree without permission would be a criminal offence.

ONLINE GUIDANCE ON HOW TO APPLY FOR WORKS TO TREES

At the start of the year we renewed our Planning Trees webpages and updated our guidance on doing works to trees: www.edinburgh.gov.uk/privatelyownedtrees

We have also produced a ‘quick guide’ on applying for work to trees which sets out how to check for protected trees and has a summary of what is required as part of the ePlanning submission.  

CUSTOMER FORUM

We will continue to review the new process and in due course we will be holding a customer forum for agents who make tree applications to get their feedback.

In the meantime, thank you for your patience as we put these changes in place.