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.

Planning and Building Standards systems upgrade

An upgrade of the Planning and Buildings Standards systems is planned for early  November this year, with an expected downtime of one full week. The upgrade will result in a number of improvements, such as making it easier to view documents, comment on planning applications and share information using social media.

The process to upgrade our systems 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.  When our systems are back online, the weekly list of planning applications will include newly submitted applications. 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.

Planning and building warrant applications can continue to be made online through eDevelopment. However, we would encourage applicants and agents not to submit applications during this period of downtime because new applications will not be able to be registered.

Further information will be issued in the coming weeks on the exact dates of the downtime. You can keep up to date by following us on Twitter @planningedin or subscribing to the blog.

Building standards improvements and recruitment

We’re in the process of making some big improvements in our building standards service to speed up building warrant timescales and to improve the customer experience.

We’re looking for talent at all levels to play a key part in these improvements.  You might be a leader who’s keen to make a difference or you’re newly trained in a relevant field.  Or you may be looking to apply your experience in surveying, construction, project management, architecture or the trades to a different area of work.  We’re particularly keen to recruit people who have transferable experience in service design, IT systems development, customer service excellence and developing teams.  You can also read about the work of the service, the people who work there and the jobs they do.  Closing date for applications is 16 September 2018.

To help keep everyone up to date with our developments, we now have a “news page” on the Council website for updates on the changes. We’ll also post some blogs as this moves forward.

What we can say, is that the new posts and changes in the service are a great opportunity to get involved in Edinburgh’s growth and development, working in partnership with our planning team.