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ePlanning site, used by North Lanarkshire Council, is saving millions across Scotland

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 12:50 GMT on Friday, June 21st, 2013.

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ePlanning website deals with 45% of Scottish planning permission applications. Image is copyright of Scott Campbell/ Cumbernauld Media.

THE website used by North Lanarkshire Council to publish planning applications is performing above predictions; delivering substantial savings to local authorities and applicants, the Scottish Government has said.

The ePlanning website – which 45 per cent of planning applications are processed through - was launched five years ago and is on track to deliver financial savings of £50m during the first 10 years for an initial investment of £11m.

The figures also show that the system performs significantly above the target of 22 per cent applications being processed through ePlanning, with 45% of applications now on the system; equating to 58,134 applications since the site’s launch in April 2009.

Commenting, Planning Minister Derek Mackay said: “ePlanning Scotland was delivered on time and on budget and since its launch in 2009 has achieved excellent take-up of online service.”

According to the data, each planning application made through ePlanning saves an average of £206 to the applicant and £49 to the planning authority, with the ePlanning website providing and improving consistency within the planning sector, by providing a single portal for the submission of electronic planning applications to local authorities throughout Scotland, as well as performing  basic validation checks on all applications submitted.

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Mr Mackay added: “The planning system plays a central role in coordinating Scotland’s sustainable economic growth.

“The aim of the ePlanning initiative is to ensure all businesses, citizens and communities in Scotland have access to the same consistently high level of online planning service.

 “This is an excellent example of joint working between the Scottish Government, local authorities and key organisations to drive forward real change within the planning sector, bringing both economic and cultural benefits. We are looking to build upon the success of ePlanning by expanding to other online services such as Building Standards.

“In April the Scottish Government launched a public consultation on the third National Planning Framework and draft Scottish Planning Policy which will influence development plans across the country for the next thirty years, affecting every part of Scotland.

“These draft proposals are supported by on-going measures, such as the development of the ePlanning portal, which will improve the overall performance of the planning system, ensuring smoother delivery and a stronger focus on economic recovery.”

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