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12/06/13 11:48

Online planning service saving millions

Scotland’s ePlanning website is performing above predictions, delivering substantial savings to local authorities and applicants.

Scotland’s ePlanning website is performing above predictions, delivering substantial savings to local authorities and applicants.

Five years since its launch the ePlanning system is on track to deliver financial savings of £50m during the first 10 years for an initial investment of £11m.

Today 45 per cent of all planning applications submitted in Scotland are done so through the ePlanning Scotland website – significantly above the target of 22 per cent at this stage. This equates to 58,134 applications since the site’s launch in April 2009.

Each planning application made online saves an average of £206 to the applicant and £49 to the planning authority.

The ePlanning website improves consistency within the planning sector by providing a single portal for the submission of electronic planning applications to local authorities throughout Scotland.

It also performs basic validation checks which reduces the number of incorrect applications submitted, improving the administration process.

Planning Minister Derek Mackay said:

“ePlanning Scotland was delivered on time and on budget and since its launch in 2009 has achieved excellent take-up of online service.

“The planning system plays a central role in coordinating Scotland’s sustainable economic growth.

“The aim of the ePlanning initiative is to ensure all businesses, citizens and communities in Scotland have access to the same consistently high level of online planning service.

“This is an excellent example of joint working between the Scottish Government, local authorities and key organisations to drive forward real change within the planning sector, bringing both economic and cultural benefits. We are looking to build upon the success of ePlanning by expanding to other online services such as Building Standards.

“In April the Scottish Government launched a public consultation on the third National Planning Framework and draft Scottish Planning Policy which will influence development plans across the country for the next thirty years, affecting every part of Scotland.

“These draft proposals are supported by on-going measures, such as the development of the ePlanning portal, which will improve the overall performance of the planning system, ensuring smoother delivery and a stronger focus on economic recovery.”

A spokesperson from Highland Council said:

“Since 2009 the number of online planning applications Highland received has increased each year.

“Major developers use the online system as well as individuals. Highland has over 2000 users of online planning and in 2012-13 an average of 260 new users joined each month.

“Planning staff like it, customers like it and thre has been fantastic uptake from rural communities and business alike.”

Notes to editors

The Scottish Government coordinated and led the national programme on ePlanning with all key organisations involved in planning across Scotland, including 32 local authorities, two national parks, SEPA, SNH, Historic Scotland, Scottish Water and Transport Scotland.

To view the ePlanning portal visit: www.eplanning.scotland.gov.uk