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.

Approval Given for Proposed Approach to Planning Enforcement for Temporary Structures for Hospitality

Last Wednesday at Planning Committee proposals were approved for a proposed approach to planning enforcement for temporary structures.

Since March 2020, the Scottish Government has encouraged a relaxation of planning control where doing so can help business and services to diversify and continue to operate during the pandemic. In November 2021, the Scottish Government’s Chief Planner stated its advice on enforcement relaxation will continue to the end of September 2022.

Planning Committee has agreed that a relaxed approach to planning control will continue in respect of seating structures and it is intended that this approach will remain in place until 7 October 2022. This will allow structures to operate over the spring and summer of 2022 and allow a week after the Chief Planner’s 30 September 2022 date for the end of enforcement relaxation.

Where structures are in place on the street and planning permission has been refused or not likely to be supported, the general approach to be taken is that the structures will be allowed to remain until 7 October 2022. Any structures remaining beyond that period would be removed by the Roads Authority.

Notwithstanding the above, some structures may need to be removed in advance of 7 October 2022. This may be because the street space is required for festival purposes or there is an urgent road maintenance issue which would require their removal. In these circumstances, the Roads Authority would remove the structure under section 59 of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 – Control of Obstructions on the Road.

Where structures are on private land and have been refused planning permission or where an application is not likely to be supported, the planning service will issue an enforcement notice requiring removal by 7 October 2022.

If new structures come forward in the meantime, (and it is understood that there is interest from businesses for new structures in the New Town between April and September),  subject to an installation not impacting on disabled persons’ parking spaces, taxi ranks or causing what the road’s authority consider an obstruction, additional structures can be put in place subject to their removal in advance of 7 October 2022

Where businesses seek advice on outdoor seating, they should be advised of the above criteria and about whether there may be a way of having outdoor seating without breaching planning control.

The report can be found here.

Approval given to proceed with proposal to designate Edinburgh as Short-term Let Control Area

On Wednesday at Planning Committee, proposals were approved to designate the City of Edinburgh Council area as a short-term let (STL) control area.

The proposal follows a consultation with the public as well as industry bodies. 

The majority of respondents to the consultation were in favour of a control area, with 88% supporting the principle of it, and 85% supporting the entire City of Edinburgh Council area to be included.

A report of the consultation forms part of our Report to Planning Committee. 

The designation cannot come to effect without the approval of Scottish Government. A request will be submitted to the Scottish Government requesting that the new powers are implemented in the whole of the Edinburgh area.

If the government agree with this approach, and the new legislation is implemented in the city, it will require residential property owners wholly letting a property which is not their principle home as an STL in the local authority area, to apply for planning permission for a ‘change of use’ to a short-term let.

Short-term lets of private rooms or shared rooms where the property is the only or principal home of the host will not be affected by the control area requirement. This allows for house swaps at holidays and also for the host to let out the entire property when on holiday or working away, provided the property remains their only or principal home.

If approval is given by the Scottish Government, the designation will be publicised in advance of coming into effect. 

The introduction of powers to make a control area follows the Council calling for new legislation to tighten up the control of short-term lets to help manage high concentrations of secondary letting where it affects the availability of residential housing and character of a neighbourhood.

Also, it will help to restrict or prevent short-term lets in places or types of buildings where they are not appropriate as well as making sure homes are used to best effect.

Complementary to the control area legislation, the Scottish Parliament has approved legislation which will introduce a new licensing scheme requiring short-term lets to be licensed from July 2024.  It will address the issues of safety, anti-social behaviour and noise.

To keep up to date with the Short-term Lets Control Area;

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We’re Hiring!

We’re recruiting five Assistant Planners to work with us in the Edinburgh planning service.

Edinburgh is Scotland’s busiest planning authority, handling over 3,000 applications a year in a city with internationally-valued built and natural heritage. We have ambitious plans to realise Edinburgh’s vision of a fair, welcoming, pioneering and thriving city.

So, if you’re looking for an opportunity to get involved in a range of planning projects and processes, develop your knowledge and skills, and of course, work with a great bunch of people, then you can apply here. The closing date is 24 February 2022.

As an Assistant Planning Officer, you will be responsible for handling a varied and challenging range and volume of planning and enforcement cases and for contributing to projects and change within the service.

As part of our agile, multidisciplinary workforce you will gain skills enabling you to work in different teams and operational areas in the Planning service. The advertised posts are based in our fast-paced, high-volume teams dealing with:

  • Householder developments
  • Enforcement
  • Smaller-scale local developments and listed buildings.

In this short video some of the team share what it’s like to work here:

In an earlier post from 2019, one of our previous assistant planners blogged about their experience of the job and how it helped them to achieve chartered membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute.