COVID-19 - Impact to Planning and Building Standards Service

31 March 2020


During these challenging times, Aberdeen City Council’s Planning and Building Standards service will endeavour to operate as close to business-as-usual as possible. However, there are inevitably significant changes to the level of service that we are able to provide. This page seeks to provide clarification during a period of significant uncertainty.


Given the fast-moving nature of this situation, the level of service we provide may change suddenly and, with this in mind, we intend to update this page as frequently as possible.


These are the key points regarding our current level of service:


  • Following Scottish Government advice, all our staff are working remotely during this period. Development Management and Building Standards officers can be contacted and communicate with customers as normal by email, direct telephone numbers or Microsoft Teams. Contact us.
  • Face to face meetings in person have been suspended indefinitely.
  • Marischal College reception is closed until further notice.
  • Both Planning and Building Standards can currently only process applications and enquiries which are submitted electronically. Planning applications can be submitted via the Planning Portal and pre-application enquiries can be submitted via


The Planning Authority cannot currently receive hard copy letters of representation to planning applications by post or in person. To comment on a planning application, you must either:


  • Use Public Access.  You will need to register before you can comment or subscribe to notifications.
  • E-mail your letter of representation/ comments to


  • The Planning Authority cannot currently determine planning applications where legislation requires site notices to be displayed (other than applications where site notices have already been on display). This is because site notices cannot currently be produced and it is a requirement in legislation for these to be on display prior to the determination of these applications.
  • The Planning Authority will continue to send notifications to neighbouring properties of planning applications and place advertisements in the local press, as normal.
  • We will aim to assess and determine applications within statutory timescales and in accordance with Customer Charters, but customers should be aware that it might not be possible to achieve the former levels of service given staff absences and sickness.
  • Development Management officers will continue to carry out site visits for planning applications where this is deemed to be essential on the basis that face-to-face contact is avoided. Officers will not go inside properties. For domestic properties, where access to the rear garden would be the only other way of assessing the application, we will ask that the applicant/agent send photographs of the rear garden to us and we may specify where the photographs should be taken from.
  • Building Standards are following government guidance and not currently inspecting for occupation certificates or completions.  Please make contact with your Building Standards officer if you need to discuss this further.
  • The Development Management and Building Standards teams will be continuing to offer application support advice and a ‘Duty Officer’ service via telephone. We are, however, not currently offering a face-to-face service for any meetings. Meetings can be arranged where possible using Microsoft Teams.



  • The Aberdeen City Council Planning Development Management Committee and Local Review Body Meetings are currently continuing to operate but dates may change and meetings may be carried out electronically and subsequently be broadcast online. Refer to the relevant agenda page of the Aberdeen City Council website for further details.


If you have any questions regarding the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the operation of the Planning and Building Standards services which have not been answered by this page, please email or call 01224 523470. As noted, this page will be subject to change as this situation develops and we will add any information in that becomes necessary.


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