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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 July, 2004, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Online planning system goes live
The move aims to increase accessibility
A new e-planning system will allow people in Scotland to seek permission to alter their homes and object to other developments online.

The Scottish Executive has placed an order through Holyrood to remove legal barriers preventing the use of electronic communications in planning.

The move will let local authorities receive applications and send notification of decisions by e-mail.

The executive said the system would be "modern, effective and accessible".

The public will also be able to view a range of planning information relating to local plans and individual applications on the internet, as well as making objections or representations about proposals via e-mail.

This reflects our commitment to encourage more public involvement in the planning system and to provide for the delivery of public services online where this is feasible
Mary Mulligan
Deputy Communities Minister
Deputy Communities Minister Mary Mulligan said: "The use of the internet will undoubtedly improve public engagement with the planning system.

"It will increase openness, efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of services, and allow people greater choice in how they use planning services.

"I'm pleased that planning authorities and the executive have collaborated closely in the development of e-planning in Scotland and that a number of councils are now prepared to provide a full electronic planning system."

Executive and local authority officials have been working together on e-planning since 2001, but different councils are at different stages of readiness for the new system.

Edinburgh City Council currently offers a range of planning information and services online and should be able to accept planning applications electronically in the near future.

Clackmannanshire Council, East Lothian Council, Shetland Islands Council and Stirling Council are among the other leading local authorities in the area of e-planning, according to the executive.

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