(With thanks to LHNCC for reblogging this article – the original is here. And to Edinburgh planning staff for having a sense of humour about their chocolate biscuit choices. And more seriously for the cost savings and environmental benefits of online government. Just so long as planning documents can be accessed offline too…)
Last week we received our 10,000 on-line application. Whilst this gave us cause for great celebration (we opened a packet of chocolate biscuits – as only planners would) it is a significant milestone. The submission of applications electronically is something we have been encouraging for a number of years as this benefits both us and our customers in how we handle their application.
Chocolate biscuits – other types of biscuits are available
Last year, the Scottish Government set out the savings people make by submitting on-line. In general applicants save £200 on average with planning authorities saving £50 on average per application. This not only means savings to us and our customers but it is also good for the environment by reducing the amount of printing, copying and packaging.
Submitting applications on-line is one part of ensuring our customers have greater access to planning information. This includes allowing you to view and comment on applications on-line and read key documents such as the Local Development Plan and planning guidance. This is all supported by increased access to the internet through computers and free wi fi in Council buildings, libraries and neighbourhood offices. In time, we will see the regular Development Management Sub-Committees and Planning Committees webcast when you can watch all the action from the comfort of your armchair or on the bus.