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eDevelopment reaches 1 million submissions since launch

09th August 2021

The Scottish Government’s service has received 1,000,000 planning and building standards submissions online.

This is an important milestone for the service and something for us to celebrate.

Infographic showing the successes of the eDevelopment service since launch in 2016

This eDevelopment success is exciting because it demonstrates the engagement users have with digital infrastructure. Across the next 5 years Scottish Government’s Digital Planning team are spearheading the digital transformation of the planning system in Scotland.

This is a complete rethink of how we all engage and interact with planning, making sure everyone has access to the knowledge and the tools that help us make the best choices for our futures.

Our early digital innovation, placing people at the heart of what we do, with an accessible process, has created significant savings for applicants and planning authorities alike through systemised ways of working. 

Growth in eDevelopment submissions over the last 5 years

1,000,000 submissions is equivalent to 200,000 submissions a year. In year 1 there were 137,000 submissions, rising to 266,000 submissions in year 5. An upswing of over 94% in 5 years.

Launched initially in June 2016, the eDevelopment service is the single Scotland-wide web service developed to enable applicants and agents to prepare and submit planning and building standards applications online.

The service was launched with a refresh of the existing ePlanning portal which had been in operation since 2010, and expanded in August 2016 to the include the eBuilding Standards portal that remains in use today.

Over the last 5 years, eDevelopment has played a vital role in making it easier for users to submit applications online. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated engagement with digital services, as lack of contact with others impacted the world of planning and building standards. 

This historically paper-based system was being tested to the limit as home owners were unexpectedly thrown into a world where their homes were becoming their work and living spaces, giving rise to the need for home improvements that were flexible in offering the right space to live, work and play.

We now estimate that over 95% of Planning Permission and 86% of Building Warrant submissions are made online through the service, showing both the success of the service and the uptake amongst agents and applicants.

Chart of savings accrued per year for both applicants and Local Authorities over the last 5 years.

In that time, we estimate the service has contributed savings of up to £127m for applicants, with a more efficient submission regime (no print outs of drawings required, less time in posting applications etc.), and £42m savings for local and planning authorities since its launch through efficiencies in the way applications are processed. That’s a whopping £169m in total, equivalent to over £30m per year.

We’re looking to build further upon this success in the coming years, continuing to improve both the current eDevelopment service and taking the next step in digitally transforming the Scottish Planning system.

You'll find more information on the work that we’ve completed to date and our plans for the future in the Digital Planning section of the website.