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12/03/15 09:44

Online planning applications set to save £71 million

Red tape slashed for tens of thousands.

Over 100,000 people and businesses have saved an average of £241 by submitting online planning applications to the ePlanning Scotland website, since its launch in 2009.

By 2019, the site that was designed to modernise the planning system is forecast to save members of the public and businesses over £71 million.

It provides an easy-to-use online system to complete and send in planning applications and appeals across all Scottish planning authorities.

More than 60 per cent of all applications and appeals are now being submitted online as opposed to using traditional paper based postal applications.

Speaking ahead of his keynote address at the Cosla annual conference in Crieff later this morning, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said:

"A modern and efficient planning system plays a crucial role in helping drive Scotland's sustainable economic growth.

“For years, members of the public and the business community across Scotland were mired in red tape. Filling out paperwork was laborious and costly.

“ePlanning Scotland has improved the overall performance of the planning system by encouraging online applications, which has simplified the process and saved money.

“It demonstrates the Scottish Government’s continued commitment to supporting high quality public services in partnership with local government.

“These figures demonstrate that good progress is being made, but there is more to do to make planning much more user friendly.”

Edinburgh-based architect David Blaikie said:

“ePlanning has led the way and as a practice, we find the service easy and effective to use.

“The design of the on-line portal - the selection of the correct form, information about the required drawings and options for payment method - all makes the submission of an application straight forward.

“Rather than printing drawings and filling in forms, the digital ePlanning system provides a submission system that fits in with the way we work.”