COVID-19 - Impact to Planning and Building Standards Service

2 April 2020


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. This page seeks to provide clarification during a period of significant uncertainty.


Given the fast-moving nature of this situation, the level of service we provide may change suddenly and, with this in mind, we intend to update this page as frequently as possible. If you have any questions regarding the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the operation of the Planning and Building Standards services 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:


Staff Social Distancing Working Arrangements and 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, direct telephone numbers or Microsoft Teams. 

The Planning 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.

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 given staff absences and sickness.

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 of these applications. 

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


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 are continuing to carry out site visits for planning applications but 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. For domestic properties, where access to the rear garden would be the only other way of assessing the application, we will ask that the applicant/agent send us photographs and we 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 dates may change and meetings may be carried out remotely.  In these circumstances the meetings will be recorded and thereafter published on the Council’s website. Please see the committee pages section for more information.


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