Launch of ePlanning in the Highlands (29/04/09)

A new online system to enable people in the Highlands to apply for developments, appeal against decisions and track progress of proposals has been launched.

The Highland Council is one of a number of Scottish councils taking part in a Scottish Government initiative aimed at making the planning system simpler, faster and more efficient, providing a consistent level of service throughout the country.

At the national launch in Edinburgh, Scottish Cabinet Secretary, John Swinney, said: "In this very challenging economic climate, the Scottish Government is working to ensure all activity on planning and regulation, supports economic development. The launch of ePlanning will benefit planning authorities, communities, applicants and the business community. It will produce significant cost savings for councils and applicants, including the development industry, at a time when Scotland is feeling the effects of the global downturn, producing a system that is easier to use and process.”

When fully operational in Highland, ePlanning will provide:

  • the facility to apply online for planning permission or an appeal;
  • more planning information online, allowing the progress of applications and appeals to be tracked and decisions to be better understood;
  • a mechanism to consult electronically with statutory consultees; and
  • information on local development plans.

Councillor Ian Ross, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Planning Environment and Development Committee, said: “We are pleased to be involved in this initiative, which promises to make the planning process simpler for the public. In a rural area, such as Highland, the benefits will be all the more apparent. Customers will be able to submit online a planning application using the new web access. Maps, plans and other associated documents can be attached. Planning fees can also be made online using a credit or debit card.”

To ensure customer flexibility and convenience, payments associated with an online application can also be made using cheque or cash at any of The Highland Council’s 37 Service Points or 8 Area Planning Offices or by using the Council’s credit/debit/telephone line quoting the online reference number of the application.

Full details of these payment options along with Frequently Asked Questions on how to use and access the new online systems are on the Highland Council’s website www.highland.gov.uk/eplanning or help is available by contacting the ePlanning hotline number 01349 886608 or email eplanning@highland.gov.uk

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