Building Standards: Six top tips for your building warrant applications

Tip 1: give us your and your clients’ email addresses

We’ll e-mail you any correspondence to speed up the process. Please make sure the e-mail address you provide is current, legible and spelled correctly.

Tip 2: how to get a 10% discount

If you provide a certificate of design, the fee will be reduced by around 10%. Please make sure you submit the correct fee.

Tip 3: how to get another 3% discount

If you tell us on your application form that you will submit a certificate of construction, you’ll get around a 3% reduction on your fees. You must submit the correct certificate on completion. If you don’t, we won’t accept your submission until we receive the full fee (without the 3% reduction).

Tip 4: stick to the nine month deadline

If you do not provide all the information we need to approve your warrant within nine months of the first technical response, we may refuse it.

Tip 5: completion certification

Make sure you supply all the documents and certificates which we outlined on the guidance when we issued your building warrant.

Tip 6: completion certificates for approved building warrants

Don’t send us completion certificates if your building warrant is not approved – we won’t process them.

Building Standards: Improving our services – what you can do to help

We’re making marked progress with our service improvements – so far, this quarter, our team has issued first reports within 20 working days for 98% of building warrant applications. 70% of building warrants are being granted within 10 days of satisfactory revised information being submitted. Across the city, we’ve also approved £206 million of construction work since the start of 2019.

We’re committed to reducing response and processing times further. But we need your help – here are some simple things that agents and applicants don’t always do – this slows down the time it takes us to process your applications:

Paper plans still needed for approved works?

Following on from your feedback, we will no longer ask you to provide paper plans prior to us granting your electronic building warrant.

However, until we have fully developed our mobile solution, we do still need you to make available paper copies of the approved floor plans, elevations and specification for site inspections. Please make sure you have them ready for our surveyors when they come on site – they may not be able to inspect your works if you don’t.

Three simple things to help us process revised drawings more quickly

We can speed up your revised application if you:

  • provide a covering letter which clarifies your answer to each of the comments raised on the building warrant report
  • and highlight and state on the drawings and specification where you have made the amendments
  • when submitting plans online, make sure your drawings/support documents are correctly labelled and uploaded in correct orientation.

CCNP and notifications

We issue construction compliance and notification plans (CCNPs) with all building warrants. These specify stages of construction when you need to notify us to undertake an inspection. Please ensure these are made available to the contractor.

Building Standards – New futures

We’re committed to investing in people as is key to developing the building standards services which serves our great city. You might have noticed a few changes in our team in recent months.

In our recruitment drive, we promoted Daniel Henderson to team manager for the south-east team and welcomed three new assistant building surveyors – Audrey Vass, Daniel Peart and Stuart Young.

Our apprentices recently visited a site with Senior Surveyor Douglas Collins, who has now retired, where they met Steven McGuire from CALA Homes.

We’re also proud that, for the first time ever, we’ve given three young people the opportunity to start a great career as building standards surveyors through our new apprentice posts. Working in partnership with Heriot Watt University, Jessica Morris, Rebekah Mack and Daniel O’Hara will develop core skills at university while working on building warrant applications with our team as well as playing a key part in our service improvements.

Councillor Neil Gardiner, convener of the Council’s planning committee and development sub-committee, explained: “Investing in careers and development of our team underpins our commitment to becoming one of the top performing building standards verification services in Scotland.

“It also demonstrates our commitment to facilitating Edinburgh’s successful economic and infrastructure growth.”

Planning and Building Standards portal – now back online

We're back

You may have already noticed that the planning and building standards portal is now back online.

The upgrade has resulted in a number of improvements for us in-house in how we handle planning and building warrant applications. The upgrade has also resulted in a number of improvements to the public portal, including:

  • Documents can be bulk downloaded
  • Draft comments will be retained after a time out
  • Comments can be spellchecked
  • Social media integration means you can easily share comments and applications via email or Twitter
  • Email addresses are checked to ensure they are valid before registering for the portal
  • Uncommon email domains are now supported – for example, .house
  • You will be able to track notifications of map searches
  • New links to ePlanning and eBuildingStandards are included for the submission of applications

In terms of how customers submit planning and building warrants, improvements include:

  • A ‘Client to Pay’ option for ePlanning and eBuildingstandards means agents can submit the application form without payment, and their client will receive an email with the eDevelopment reference number and telephone details for them to make the payment
  • For Building Standards, drawing numbers, revision numbers and document descriptions will be uploaded into our system as input by the agent/customer

Planning applications effected by the downtime will have additional time added to allow for public comments. For users who wish to check the expiry date for public comments on an application, this can be viewed in the “Important Dates” tab.

Whilst much of the upgrade was about providing greater stability in our systems and improving how we manage planning and building standards applications, we hope that you find the ‘user experience’ has been greatly improved in the process.

Planning and Building Standards systems downtime: 1–7 November

As a follow up to our previous blog post, we can confirm that the Planning and Building Standards systems upgrade will commence on Thursday 1 November with completion expected on Wednesday 7 November.

As a reminder, the upgrade will impact on the delivery of the service and the planning and building standards portal will be unavailable during this time. The weekly list of planning applications will not be issued and you will be unable to view and comment on applications.

The Development Management Sub Committee scheduled for 7 November has been cancelled. All outstanding items of business will be dealt with at subsequent meetings. The Local Review Body meeting will continue as planned on 14 November.

When the systems are back online, the weekly list of planning applications will include newly submitted applications and decisions. Decisions will not be issued during the period of downtime.

Additional time will be given to comment on applications affected by the downtime.

The internal systems we use to manage applications will also be unavailable which means staff will have no access to planning and building standards records.

The upgrade will have no effect on the national eDevelopment Portal and planning and building warrant applications can continue to be submitted in this way. However, we would ask you not to submit new applications during the downtime as they will not be registered which could create a backlog that leads to delays in processing.

You can keep up to date by following us on Twitter @planningedin or subscribing to the Blog.