Coronavirus - Planning and Building Standards

Council offices remain closed to members of the public, following government advice on the actions we must all take to stay safe from coronavirus. We would ask anyone therefore wishing to submit documents/applications that this is done either via the Scottish Government Portal or electronically to the appropriate area office detailed below:

Building Standards and Planning Development Management officers are currently preparing for a phased resumption of site visit activity. This involves the introduction of new safe systems of work that are intended to protect the safety of officers, customers and other members of the public they come into contact with as they undertake their duties across Argyll and Bute. The phased resumption of site visit activity will continue to be reviewed against the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 Route Map.

Stage 1 (commencing w/c 29th June) Resumption of unaccompanied site visits which can be completed wholly from a safe publicly accessible space, or safe unaccompanied access to open, unoccupied private land. **Visits to remote/island locations may not be possible initially during Stage 1 due to ferry timetable/welfare issues arising from closure of public toilets/Council offices and tourist facilities**

Stage 2 (Planning from w/c 27th July, Building Standards tbc) Resumption of accompanied site visits to commercial premises where social distancing/appropriate control measures are in place, and to external areas of domestic premises where no access to interior of the property is required. Site visits shall be subject to a pre-visit telephone survey to establish whether any persons at the property have Covid-19 symptoms or are shielding, and to confirm that appropriate social distancing/control measures are in place.

Stage 3 (commencement date tbc) Reinstatement of full services.

Building Standards: Where it is not possible to undertake a site visit Completion Certificates can still be accepted by alternative means of demonstrating compliance.  This might include using digital photographs or video, or using remote means to view completed buildings.  In other circumstances where these alternative means are not available, it may be that Temporary Certificates of Occupation/Use will be issued with appropriate conditions, providing that evidence provided is sufficient to address safety.

Planning Development Management: The Development Management Service has introduced a new risk assessment to identify applications that are capable of being determined without a physical site visit, this may in some cases be dependent upon provision of additional information by the applicant/agent to support the assessment process. Customers will be contacted where it has been identified that a physical site visit is necessary but is not possible within the statutory determination period to advise them of the expected delay and to seek to agree an extended time period for determination of the application.

You can also help us by getting in touch through appropriate channels:

  • Viewing planning application details – please utilise Public Access. If you have problems using the online service please use the Planning Enquiries online form, or telephone 01546 605518 for assistance.
  • Submission of representations/objections/support to planning applications – please use Public Access, or submit by e-mail to the relevant area office e-mail address (see below). (Hard copy representations will still be accepted but may take longer to process).
  • General Enquiries – please use the Planning Enquiries online form, or telephone 01546 605518
  • Apply for Planning Permission – Please submit new applications using the e-Planning portal. (Hard copy applications posted to the Central Validation Team will still be accepted but may take longer to process). Correspondence relating to invalid applications should be issued by e-mail to  
  • Pre-application Advice – general advice is available online; where input from planning officers is required then enquiries should be submit using the online form (this is a chargeable service)
  • Submission of Casework Related Documentation – submission of documentation relating to casework (supporting information, amended plans, consultation input, details pursuant to conditions etc.) should be submitted by e-mail to the relevant area office e-mail address (see above). (Documentation submitted by post or issued direct to case officers will still be accepted but may take longer to process).

Report an unauthorised development – please use the Planning Enforcement online form, or telephone 01546 605518

Whilst as a service we are well equipped to work flexibly from home, it is anticipated that there may continue to be some disruption due to staff availability and delivery of processes which currently rely on hardcopy documentation.