Planning and Building Standards Updates

Updated Thursday 11 June 2020

Building Standards Site Inspection

West Lothian Council Building Standards have developed processes and procedures to ensure the safety of staff and customers as we move forward in line with the Scottish Governments phased restart within the construction sector, carrying out our on-site verification duties in relation to building warrants and completion certificates.

The construction notification plan (CCNP) issued with your building warrant identifies when you need to inform us of key construction stages. It is very important that you continue to notify us in line with the CCNP to allow us to discuss with you the best way for us to carry out the verification of your project. We aim to carry out most site inspections in person, however, there may be circumstances where alternative evidence may be appropriate. Icon for pdf Site inspection guidance for customers [453.91KB] provides further information on site inspections during this period.


Planning, Building Warrants and Completion certificates

The council is continuing to process planning applications, building warrants and completion certificates where it can. It may not be possible to progress all applications, particularly where site visits are necessary and the safety of council staff with respect to social distancing cannot be ensured. Enforcement for breaches of planning control will continue to be pursued. However, no enforcement will be progressed where the breach is in direct response to the current COVID-19 situation.

The council is asking that all application and payments should be made on-line where possible. The service may not be able to process paper application and off-line payments during the current working arrangements.


Development Management

In the current unprecedented times, West Lothian Council's Development Management team is striving to operate as normal a service as possible.

All members of staff are working remotely and are contactable using their normal email addresses. Although we will aim to provide as normal a service as possible, unfortunately the level of service may not be the same as in normal operating times.

As a result of remote working, we can only respond to electronic enquiries at this time. We therefore strongly encourage you to submit any general development management enquiries by email to customer.service@westlothian.gov.uk.These enquiries will be logged and passed to the appropriate staff member to respond to.

If you are looking for information on how to submit a planning application or a formal pre-application enquiry or have a current planning application which you would like an update on this can be obtained using the links further down this page.

If you wish to submit information in respect of a specific application this can be done through the planning portal or emailed, with the planning reference number, to planning@westlothian.gov.uk

Unfortunately we will not be able to undertake visits to application sites in the same manner as we would normally. Case officers will therefore be in touch with applicants or agents to request photographs or consideration of other means of assessing the site and we would ask for your co-operation in facilitating such requests.

When the Covid-19 situation is deemed to be under control, it is anticipated that normal service will be resumed.

We appreciate your cooperation at this time.

 

Building Standards

Given the current unprecedented times, West Lothian Council building standards will continue to operate as normal a service as possible during these current circumstances. All members of staff are working remotely.  We will continue to strive to provide as normal a service as possible, however it is inevitable that the level of service may not be to the same as in normal operating times.

As a result of remote working, we can currently only process electronic submissions at this time. Therefore we would strongly encourage you to submit any application via the e-building standards portal.

Officers are still available to discuss any current application that has been submitted and you can contact the relevant officer by email.

We remain committed to assessing and granting building warrants within the timeframes set out in our Customer Charter.

Site Inspection

It is with a sense of disappointment, but realisation, that West Lothian Council Building Standards will no longer be able carry out any more site inspections at this time. That being said, there are provisions in place for this that have been set out by Building Standards Division to allow the occupation of new build houses, should that be required.

How this can be achieved is set out below:

If your project is complete we would advise you to submit an Application for Temporary Occupation or Use. This form can be found at Gov.scot - Building Standards model forms (Model Form F).  The Application for Temporary Occupation or Use should be submitted along with all other relevant certification referred to in your Construction Compliance Notification Plan (CCNP).  This way we can, subject to satisfactory alternative evidence issue a Temporary Occupation Certificate.

The alternative evidence should include but not be limited to digital photographs or video or preferably a skype call or similar video sharing should be utilised with the case officer. If you use a skype call please email the case officer to arrange a suitable time to carry out the Skype call.

When the Covid-19 situation is deemed to be under control, we will then carry out a non-disruptive survey of the property prior to accepting the Completion Certificate.

During this period we would ask you to record & retain alternative evidence for your project such as photographs to help confirm compliance during construction. Consider photographs of drainage, pre plaster stage, cavity barriers and wall ties etc. This will be used by building standards in the determination of the Completion certificate.

You should continue to email buildingstandards@westlothian.gov.uk to request all visits as normal. This will allow us to record what stage each plot / project is at during the construction process.

We appreciate your cooperation at this time and if you have any queries regarding any of the above please contact buildingstandards@westlothian.gov.uk

 

Development Planning and Environment

Given the current unprecedented times, West Lothian Council's Development Planning & Environment team will continue to operate as normal a service as possible during these current circumstances.

All members of staff are working remotely.  We will continue to strive to provide as normal a service as possible, however, it is inevitable that the level of service may not be the same as in normal operating times.

As a result of remote working, we can currently only respond to electronic enquiries at this time. Therefore we would strongly encourage you to submit any development planning enquiries to dpgeneral@westlothian.gov.uk or wlldp@westlothian.gov.uk where your enquiry will be picked up by one of the team.

It is with a sense of disappointment, but realisation, that we will no longer be able carry out any more site inspections at this time. For the Development Planning & Environment Team this principally relates to tree enquiries and proposed tree works. In recognition of this, the submission of digital photographs should be utilised and submitted to the council for assessment.

When the Covid-19 situation is deemed to be under control, it is anticipated that normal service will be resumed

We appreciate your cooperation at this time.