COVID-19 - Impact on planning and building standards service

During these challenging times, Aberdeen City Council’s Planning and Building Standards service has been endeavouring to operate as close to business-as-usual as possible. However, there have inevitably been significant changes to the level of service that we have been able to provide. If you have any questions regarding the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the operation of the service which are not answered by this page, please contact us and we can update this page accordingly.

The key points regarding our current level of service are outlined below:

Contacting Us

Following Scottish Government advice, all our staff are working remotely. Marischal College reception is closed and face-to-face meetings in person are only occurring if deemed essential.

However, the general enquiries telephone number, 01224 523470, and email address, pi@aberdeencity.gov.uk are operating as normal. Officers can be contacted as usual by email, or direct telephone numbers. Face to face meetings can be held using Microsoft Teams.

The Local Development Plan Team can be contacted via ldp@aberdeencity.gov.uk.

The Development Management and Building Standards teams also continue to offer application support advice and a ‘Duty Officer’ service via telephone (01224 523470) and email pi@aberdeencity.gov.uk.

Submitting Applications and Enquiries

Planning and Building Standards can 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 to pi@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Commenting on Planning Applications

The Planning Authority cannot 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); or e-mail your letter of representation/ comments to pi@aberdeencity.gov.uk.

Processing and Determining Applications

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.

The Planning Authority will continue to send neighbour notifications of planning applications to neighbouring properties, post site notices and place advertisements in the local press.

Please note that the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act came into force on 7 April 2020 and associated regulations have been made. 

This most relevant planning provision currently in force means that 

  • where a planning permission or listed building consent expires during the period from 7 April 2020 to 6 October 2020 then that permission will not now lapse until 6 April 2021.
  • the requirement for public events as part of pre-application consultation for major applications is suspended subject to an alternative method of consultation being agreed
  • the requirement to display planning documents in a physical location is also suspended (eg those related to the Local Development Plan preparation and Environmental Impact Assessment reports).  

Find out more.

Site Visits

Building Standards are following government guidance and are not currently inspecting for occupation certificates or completions.  Please contact your Building Standards officer if you need to discuss this further.

Development Management Officers will carry out site visits for planning applications and enforcement investigations only where this is deemed to be essential and on the basis that face-to-face contact is avoided. Officers will not go inside properties. Where access to a rear garden or private area would be the only other way of assessing the application, we will ask the applicant/agent to send us photographs and may specify where these should be taken from.

Aberdeen City Council Planning Development Management Committee and Local Review Body

The Aberdeen City Council Planning Development Management Committee and Local Review Body Meetings have continued to operate but meetings have been carried out remotely and not in a Committee room.  Meetings have been recorded and, thereafter, been made publicly available for viewing on the Council’s website. Please visit our committee pages for details on Committee dates and weblinks to the recordings.

It was intended that Planning Committee would reconvene in the Council Chamber for its first in person meeting on 20 August but, in the light of the recent lockdown measures in Aberdeen City, this meeting will now be held remotely.


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