COVID-19 - Impact on planning and building standards service

During these challenging times, Aberdeen City Council’s Planning and Building Standards service will endeavour to operate as close to business-as-usual as possible. However, there are inevitably significant changes to the level of service that we are able to provide and, given the fast-moving nature of this situation, this may change suddenly. With this in mind, we intend to update this page frequently. If you have any questions regarding the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the operation of the service which are not answered by this page, please contact us and we can update this page accordingly.

The key points regarding our current level of service are outlined below:

Contacting Us

Following Scottish Government advice, all our staff are working remotely. Marischal College reception is closed until further notice and face-to-face meetings in person have been suspended indefinitely.

However, the general enquiries telephone number, 01224 523470, and email address, are operating as normal. Officers can be contacted as usual by email, or direct telephone numbers. Face to face meetings can be held using Microsoft Teams.

The Local Development Plan Team can be contacted via

The Development Management and Building Standards teams also continue to offer application support advice and a ‘Duty Officer’ service via telephone (01224 523470) and email

Submitting Applications and Enquiries

Planning and Building Standards can only process applications and enquiries which are submitted electronically. Planning applications can be submitted via the Planning Portal and pre-application enquiries can be submitted via

Commenting on Planning Applications

The Planning Authority cannot receive hard copy letters of representation to planning applications by post or in person. To comment on a planning application, you must either use Public Access (you will need to register before you can comment or subscribe to notifications); or e-mail your letter of representation/ comments to

Processing and Determining Applications

We will aim to assess and determine applications within statutory timescales and in accordance with Customer Charters, but customers should be aware that it might not be possible to achieve the former levels of service.

The Planning Authority may not be able to determine planning applications where legislation requires site notices to be displayed. This is because it may not be possible to produce notices and it is a requirement in legislation for these to be on display prior to the determination. 

The Planning Authority will continue to send notifications of planning applications to neighbouring properties and place advertisements in the local press.

Please note that the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act came into force on 7 April 2020 and associated regulations have been made. 

This most relevant planning provision currently in force means that 

  • where a planning permission expires during the period from 7 April 2020 to 6 October 2020 then that permission will not now lapse until 6 April 2021.
  • the requirement for public events in pre-application consultation for major applications is suspended subject to an alternative method of consultation being agreed
  • the requirement to display planning documents in a physical location is also suspended (eg those related to the Local Development Plan preparation and Environmental Impact Assessment reports).  

Find out more.

Site Visits

Building Standards are following government guidance and are not currently inspecting for occupation certificates or completions.  Please contact your Building Standards officer if you need to discuss this further.

Development Management Officers will carry out site visits for planning applications and enforcement investigations only where this is deemed to be essential and on the basis that face-to-face contact is avoided. Officers will not go inside properties. Where access to a rear garden or private area would be the only other way of assessing the application, we will ask that the applicant/agent send us photographs and may specify where these should be taken from.

Aberdeen City Council Planning Development Management Committee and Local Review Body

The Aberdeen City Council Planning Development Management Committee and Local Review Body Meetings are currently continuing to operate but meetings will be carried out remotely and not in a Committee room.  Meetings will be recorded and thereafter publicly available for viewing on the Council’s website. Please visit our committee pages for details on Committee dates and weblinks to the recordings.

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