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COVID-19: latest update on how our services are affected and the support available

COVID-19: latest update on how our services are affected and the support available

Planning and building standards

As with many other services, South Ayrshire Council Planning and Building Standards Service has taken steps to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and to protect both employees' and public health.

We have altered the way in which we are working, and therefore, staff are now operating remotely from home and the Service continues to perform its statutory duties and is available to process your Planning and Building Warrant applications and deal with enquiries by email. We are doing everything we can to ensure that we can deliver the Planning and Building Standards Service and will continue to review our position and keep you up to date as our Service adapts. 

Access to County Buildings is now restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic, coinciding with the Scottish Governments direction to work from home where possible, and staff will not be available for face-to-face meetings until further guidance is issued by the Scottish Government.  

Applications can still be submitted via the ePlanning or eBuilding Standards portals, and these will be received and processed as staff become available. We request that all payments be made by debit or credit card.

Please note that Planning and Building Standards will now not accept paper applications, or paper submissions of additional information until further notice. This is due to a very limited capacity to scan and index paper submissions into the document management system at the present time.

We would request that you communicate with our Service electronically as far as practicable.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this period.

Planning

For general enquiries relating to Place Planning and related applications, please email planning.development@south-ayrshire.gov.uk.

For Planning Enforcement and Compliance matters please email Planning.Enforcement@south-ayrshire.gov.uk. You can also report a breach of Planning on our website.

For general enquiries relating to Planning Strategy, Historic or Natural Environment, Tree Protection or Public Access matters, please email localdevelopmentplans@south-ayrshire.gov.uk.

Pre-Application Enquiry Service

Our Pre-Application Service is currently suspended for Local developments due to a significant increase in the volume of statutory submissions being lodged to our Service. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. More information on how the Planning Service is addressing the increased submission of case work is below.

Paper Applications/Submissions

Planning and Building Standards will now not accept paper applications, or paper submissions of additional information until further notice.

You can however still apply for planning permission online via ePlanning Scotland. We recommend that you make payment for your application(s) at the time of submission on the ePlanning website. You can also pay for a Planning application on our website.

It is also recommended that you send any correspondence (including representations (i.e. objections)) addressed to the Service via email to Planning.Development@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

Applications Processing

The Planning Service is experiencing the submission of high volumes of planning applications at the present time. There are a significant number of applications awaiting registration, assessment and determination and we are progressing our way through caseload as quickly possible; and as available resources permit. Please be advised, therefore, that you may experience delays in receiving a decision on your application and we apologise should any delay occur. We are endeavouring to process caseload as quickly as possible.

To allow the Service the ability to process these submissions as effectively and efficiently as possible, we request that you communicate with our Service by email only; so we can respond accordingly to the higher volume of case work and to minimise delays.

If you have recently submitted or are about to submit an application, please pay particular attention to your acknowledgement letter at this time. If you are an agent to an application, we would duly request that you convey this important information to your client(s).

Building Standards - updated February 2021

Site Inspections: - Completions / Notice of work stage complete (CCNP)

All council services are adhering to Scottish Government guidance and therefore only site visits that are deemed essential (and where safe to do so) will take place during the current Level 4 (Stay at home) restrictions.

If you submit a completion submission or a notice of work stage complete, the case officer will contact you directly if it is considered that an inspection is deemed essential.

As such please do not contact the office/case surveyor to arrange a site inspection in relation to your application.

Thereafter your case officer will arrange a suitable time/date to inspect the works and you will be required to submit your Covid 19 safety measures for review.

We have produced the following guidance to advise you, the customer how you should play your part in this process, as well as informing you how booking and the inspection process will work.

If your Completion submission is not deemed to be essential, your application will be reviewed again when the Scottish Government Guidance allows site inspections to be undertaken.

If at any time during the inspection process, our staff do not feel safe or that adequate measures are not in place then they will politely cancel the inspection and ask that it be re-arranged.

It is essential that applicants ensure that all of the relevant supporting information, certification and relevant photographs are submitted online as part of the Completion Application.

Informing of a Key Construction Stage

As normal, you must inform us when a 'key construction stage', as identified within your Construction Compliance and Notification Plan (CCNP) is ready to be verified including the Commencement of Works. This is even more crucial at this time as this will give ourselves and you the opportunity to discuss if the point of verification may be carried out in an alternative way.

The onus remains on the relevant person to ensure the works are carried out in accordance with the building regulations and the approved plans. Any alternative evidence submitted in support of a completion certificate submission should demonstrate that key health and safety requirements have been met. It is therefore essential that during this period that you keep alternative evidence like photos, certificates, to demonstrate compliance with each stage in the Construction Compliance Notification Plan.

Remote Video Inspections (RVI's)

The Scottish Government has recently released guidance regarding the on-going verification of building works and support for undertaking virtual inspections. We are aware that options such as uploading virtual site inspection videos onto the eDevelopment service is not currently possible, and that this would likely require larger file sizes and different file formats than are presently allowed. The Scottish Governments eDevelopment Team are exploring the potential of increasing the Maximum File Size that can be submitted through the eDevelopment Portal and associated file types and format that local authority back office systems can accept.

We are currently liaising with our ICT colleagues to determine what software applications that they will support to enable us to carry out remote inspections going forward. We are exploring the use of WhatsApp and MS Stream.

General

At this time we are unable to provide access to documents held under Part 2 of the Building Standards Register i.e. approved plans,  however where appropriate we can facilitate virtual meetings - please contact building.standards@south-ayrshire.gov.uk  for further advice.

We will return your Building Warrant decision and associated documents to you via WeTransfer.

For general Building Standards enquiries, please e-mail Building.Standards@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

To report a building which appears structurally dangerous, please contact Building Standards using the details below:

Emergency Services Monitoring Station (including Out Of Hours): 0300 123 0900

Or Email: building.standards@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

Building Standards will no longer accept phone payments for applications. Please pay using credit/debit card via www.edevelopment.scot  to make payments prior to submitting your application.

Site Inspections: - Intermediate / Completions and Temporary Occupation 

All council services are adhering to Scottish Government guidance and therefore only site visits that are deemed essential (and where safe to do so)  will take place during the current Level 4 (Stay at home) restrictions.

If you submit a completion submission or a notice of work stage complete, a case officer will contact you directly if it is considered that an inspection is essential and you will be required to submit your Covid 19 safety measures for review.

Prior to any visit being undertaken all applicants require to provide details on how they will facilitate our visits safely and in line with our own protocols.

Thereafter your case officer will arrange a suitable time/date to inspect the works.

As such please do not contact the office/case surveyor to arrange a site inspection in relation to your application.

If your Completion submission is not deemed to be  essential, your application will be reviewed again when the Scottish Government Guidance allows site inspections to be undertaken.

It is essential that applicants ensure that all of the relevant supporting information, certification and photographs are submitted online as part of the Completion Application.

A set of site visit protocols (please find the link above) are in place for the safety of customers and staff.

If at any time during the inspection process, our staff do not feel safe or that adequate measures are not in place then they will politely cancel the inspection and ask that it be re-arranged.

We are currently liaising with our ICT colleagues to determine what software applications that they will support to enable us to carry out remote inspections going forward.

At this time we are unable to provide access to documents held under Part 2 of the Building Standards Register i.e. approved plans,  however where appropriate we can facilitate virtual meetings - please contact building.standards@south-ayrshire.gov.uk  for further advice.

We will return your Building Warrant decision and associated documents to you via WeTransfer.

For general Building Standards enquiries, please e-mail Building.Standards@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

To report a building which appears structurally dangerous, please contact Building Standards using the details below:

Emergency Services Monitoring Station (including Out Of Hours): 0300 123 0900

Or Email: building.standards@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

Building Standards will no longer accept phone payments for applications. Please pay using credit/debit card via www.edevelopment.scot  to make payments prior to submitting your application.

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