Service Status - Planning

Approximate timescales for processing of applications, and guidance on contacting officers and submitting applications.

Last reviewed - 15th February 2024

Responding to General/Casework Enquiries: Customers are advised that due to the high volume of electronic communications and enquiries we are currently receiving it may take longer than normal for a response to be issued to general planning and case work enquiries.

Where possible email and telephone enquiries will be responded to within 5 working days. Where this is not possible enquiries will be acknowledged and an alternative timescale for response provided. 

Validation of new applications: The Central Validation Team are currently reviewing new applications within 5 working days from receipt.

All submitted applications continue to be validated in line with the National Validation Standards published by the Heads of Planning Scotland. Customers are advised to ensure that any plans and supporting documents are prepared in compliance with these requirements in order to increase the likelihood of their application being validated at the first attempt and to avoid further delays being incurred through the requirement to submit further/amended information before the application can be formally registered.

Determination of Planning Applications: There continues to be a significant backlog of planning applications and casework arising from significant pressure upon the service from high customer demand and reduced availability of staff resource over an extended period of time. Consequently, it is currently taking longer than usual  to determine ‘local’ planning applications. Whilst officers are working hard to address this issue, customers are advised that ‘local’ applications (excluding legacy items) are currently taking 22 weeks to determine on average. We apologise for the delay.

Where an extension of time is required then officers will make contact to advise that determination will be delayed and advise of the revised timeline for determination of the application.

Where officers identify that there is a procedural barrier (e.g. requirement for submission of further supporting information) to reaching a positive determination of a planning application then they will seek to identify and communicate such matters at the earliest opportunity, and arrange for a formal extension to the statutory determination period.

Where circumstances allow, applications that will make a significant contribution toward the delivery of new housing or employment will be prioritised, this will also be the case where it is identified by the applicant/agent that an application is time sensitive in relation to grant funding or is urgently required for the purpose of health and/or safety.

Responding to Pre-Application Enquiries: The handling of non-statutory pre-application enquiries continues to be impacted by other work pressures, including prioritisation of planning application casework. The target period for responding to pre-application enquiries has accordingly been temporarily revised to 30 working days.

It is advised that pre-application responses are consequently taking longer than usual and customers are advised 60% of enquiries are responded to within 6 weeks.

Planning Offices:

Council offices have limited opening hours to members of the public (Service Points | Argyll and Bute Council (argyll-bute.gov.uk) As a service we are well equipped to work flexibly from home and officers are currently working on a hybrid basis.  However, this does mean that officer availability in office locations is limited, and processes which require hard copy documentation may take slightly longer to complete.

Contacting the Planning (Development Management) Service:

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. General Enquiries – please use the Planning Enquiries online form, or telephone 01546 605518
  4. 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 centralvalidationteam@argyll-bute.gov.uk       
  5. 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)
  6. Report an unauthorised development – please use the Planning Enforcement online form, or telephone 01546 605518
  7. 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).

It is requested that applicants / agents submitting documents/applications do so either via the Scottish Government ePlanning Portal or electronically to the appropriate area office detailed below:

Deemed Extension to Planning Permission, Planning Permission in Principle, and Listed Building Consent:

It is advised that the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020, the Coronavirus (Scotland)(No.2) Act 2020, and the Town and Country Planning (Emergency Period and Extended Period)(Coronavirus)(Scotland) Regulations 2020, the Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Act 2021, and the Town and Country Planning (Miscellaneous Temporary Modifications)(Coronavirus)(Scotland) Regulations 2022 make provisions for a deemed extension to the implementation period for a range of permissions that have, or will expire, during a defined ‘emergency period’. Details of the affected permission types, the qualifying dates (or ‘emergency period’), and expiry of any deemed ‘extended period’ during which the permission will remain live are set out in the table below. It is noted for information that the range of permissions covered, the ‘emergency period’ and the ‘extended period’ are matters defined in law by the Scottish Parliament and as such are not issues which are open to any discretion in their interpretation by the Council as Planning Authority.

Permission Type

Original Expiry Date Between:
(defined ‘emergency period’)

Expiry Date Extended To:
(termination date of ‘extended period’)

Planning Permission granted under s58 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) 1997 as amended

Between 6th April 2020 and 30th September 2022 (inclusive)

31st March 2023

Planning Permission in Principle granted under s59 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act as amended

Between 6th April 2020 and 30th September 2022 (inclusive)

31st March 2023

Listed Building Consent granted under s16 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas)(Scotland) Act 1997 as amended

Between 26th May 2020 and 30th September 2022 (inclusive)

31st March 2023


 

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