The following email has been received by NTBCC from Edinburgh Council’s Planning Service Delivery relating to improvements to the Planning portal; an outage of the system is required to implement these changes.
An upgrade of the Planning and Buildings Standards systems is planned for November this year. The upgrade will result in a number of improvements, such as making it easier to view documents, comment on planning applications and share information using social media.
The process to upgrade our systems will impact on the delivery of the service and the planning and building standards portal will be unavailable during this time. The weekly list of planning applications will not be issued and you will be unable to view and comment on applications.
The internal systems we use to manage applications will also be unavailable and staff will be unable to access planning and building standards records.
Please share this with anyone who might wish to know.
Further information will be issued in the coming weeks, including the specific dates of the downtime. You can also keep up to date by following us on Twitter @planningedin or subscribing to the Planning Blog
David R Leslie
Chief Planning Officer
Place Directorate,The City of Edinburgh Council
Following further enquiries by New Town & Broughton Community Council (through Councillor Miller), we have been advised that the upgrade is expected to take place in early November (requiring a downtime of approx. one full week); but the precise date and duration will be confirmed in mid-October.
We have also been advised that the downtime of the planning portal will also impact the Development Management Sub Committee timetable and agendas, with the weekly list of planning applications including newly submitted applications and decisions to be issued once the system is back online. Planning decisions will not be issued during the period of downtime. Furthermore, as we had requested, additional time will be given to comment on applications affected by this planned downtime.
We are expecting further communication from CEC regarding precise dates as soon as their provider informs them.
In general, NTBCC have expressed support for necessary improvements to the planning portal but we are unsure as to either the extent of consultation (& comments received) or the precise weaknesses that this initiative is trying to tackle.
We have also requested further details on the improvements to be incorporated as although the email mentions ‘making it easier to view documents’ – which we would support – we are unclear how this is to be achieved. Improvements to ‘comment(ing) on planning applications’ is also stated, but again with no details as to what these may be. We have highlighted drawbacks with the current system that we are aware of (which include the limit on number of words permitted, problems due to the time-out (if typing directly online vs. copy/paste) & the inability to attach images, JPEGs etc).
More information will be posted when we receive further details.