The Planning & Building Standards Customer Forum 2019

The third annual Planning & Building Standards Customer Forum took place last week in the Council Chambers. A wide range of customers including community councillors, planning and building agents, architects, developers and community groups took part in group discussions to provide us with valuable feedback on our services.

In the last year, there have been many changes and improvements across both Planning and Building Standards including a major ICT system upgrade and the introduction of a new Planning Pre-application Advice Service. We have been busy implementing two Improvement Plans, one for Planning and one for Building Standards, both making progress across three themes:

  • Leadership and management
  • Customer
  • Continuous improvement and performance

We are always trying to improve our customer service and looking for new ways of working to do things better.

The ways in which we share information was of particular interest to us this year. We communicate with our customers in a number of ways:

  • Via the Planning & Building Standards Helpdesk, which can be accessed in person at Waverley Court, over the phone on 0131 529 3550 or by emailing
  • The Planning & Building Standards Portal which enables anybody to view planning applications and building warrants online whenever they want to
  • Our website has a large amount of guidance for a wide range of different planning and building matters
  • The City Plan 2030 project regularly publishes newsletter & holds workshops
  • The Building Standards Newsletter
  • Community council training events
  • Development and Civic Forums
  • Committee Webcasts
  • On Twitter @planningedin
  • And via this blog –

There was also an update on City Plan 2030. The main consultation stage for City Plan 2030 – ‘Choices for City Plan 2030’ is planed to start in December and we are currently arranging the details of our engagement events. You can find out more about the timetable and how we will be preparing City Plan 2030 in our new Development Plan Scheme. You can keep up to date with the City Plan 2030 project on this blog or contact us or subscribe to our newsletter by emailing

Planning and Building Standards Customer Forum is held every year, providing the opportunity for customers and Council officers to get together to discuss our services. If you are interested in attending next year’s Forum, or wish to provide us with your feedback regarding any of the above, please get in touch via

Thank you again to all who came along, and we look forward to welcoming you to our next Customer Forum in 2020.

The Planning Service in Edinburgh – How are we performing?

Recently we submitted our fourth Planning Performance Framework (PPF) to the Scottish Government. This document not only explains how quickly we dealt with planning applications during 2014/15 but it also highlights the projects and activities we have been involved in as we deliver on the Council’s priority to make Edinburgh a great place to live, work and visit.

Planning Performance Framework 2014-15
Planning Performance Framework 2014-15 (opens as a PDF)

You can read the full document by clicking on the image but here’s some of the work we’ve been doing:

  • You may have noticed a number of new building projects have started in Edinburgh. These are because we’ve been negotiating and delivering permissions on developments across the City including 21st century housing (council housing), regeneration around Fountainbridge and Craigmillar and inner City sites such as Quartermile and the St James Quarter.
  • Producing award-winning design guidance and continuing our journey to make Placemaking the focus of new development, working with developers and local communities to create great places.
  • Making sure our natural and built environment are protected and improved by working with partners such as the Biodiversity Partnership and updating our conservation area character appraisals. We played a significant role in promoting the Forth Bridge as a World Heritage Site.
  • Developing a new customer engagement strategy to improve communication and helping communities to have their say.

Of course, how quickly we deal with planning applications is still important and considering a 6% increase in numbers, we have been doing very well.  The Scottish Government has just published the annual statistics for 2014/15 and, for local, major and listed building consent applications, our performance is solidly above the Scottish average. Householder performance is slightly below the average but overall we are very proud that we have been able to perform so well.  Sustaining this performance will be difficult as the Edinburgh economy continues to grow and puts pressure on resources.  However, as a service we want to keep improving and the PPF includes our service priorities that we are working on now. If you have any comments on the PPF get in touch at