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Planning

We have made changes to how we work and continue to develop new ways of working to allow us to deliver our services to our customers as best we can at this time. We recognise that doing our best to continue to process your applications and issue decisions is important to helping the economy recover.

On this page you can find out about current arrangements for the following:

Planning

To help minimise risk to our staff and the public, we have put in place the following measures:

  • We continue to carry out all work in association with the receipt, validation, processing, assessment and decision-making for planning applications as well as pre-application enquiries.
  • Our office is now closed to the public and our Contact Centre is no longer dealing with planning calls.
  • Any meetings will be conducted by telephone or Microsoft Teams video call
  • Communication will be through telephone, Microsoft Teams video call, email or formal letter

You can continue to use the eplanning portal to submit your application.

You can also continue to view and comment on applications via our online planning system.  Representations can be made online, please do not post these in to us.

Site visits

Site visits will only be undertaken where it is considered essential. Your case officer will work with you to work through alternative ways of obtaining the information that we need to deal with your application. It is helpful to provide photographs of the site and surrounding area so that applications can continue to be assessed and determined.

Legislation for major planning applications requires applicants to submit a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) outlining pre-application public engagement proposals. In light of current restrictions on public gatherings, we don't recommend public events. Applicants and agents should explore alternative way to engage and receive feedback from the community in the meantime. We will provide an update as soon as any formal announcements are made in relation to this requirement but we are happy to discuss potential options in the meantime.

Site notices

Under the provisions of The Coronovirus (Scotland) Act 2020, Fife Council as Planning Authority is suspending the requirement to post site notices in relation to applications for Listed Building Consent and other applications in Conservation Areas; required under Regulation 8 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Area Consent Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2015 until further notice. This provision will be reviewed and subject to changes in legislation and/or advice from the Scottish Government.

In compliance with the provisions of Paragraph 9, Schedule 6 of The Coronovirus (Scotland) Act 2020; Fife Council as Planning Authority considers that the posting of site notices on or near properties subject to relevant applications would give rise to circumstances or events likely to, or increase the chances of, a significant risk of transmission of Coronovirus; and in addition in the current circumstances the posting of site notices is considered to be a process which is ineffective or inappropriate due to the actions taken in order to control the incidence or transmission of Coronovirus; both being circumstances as stated in Paragraph 9 (2) of Schedule 6 of The Coronovirus (Scotland) Act 2020 where it would be appropriate to put in place alternative measures to ensure the appropriate publicity related to such applications submitted in accordance with the above noted Planning legislation.

As a result of the current restrictions on normal work and travel activities it is considered that providing the web address (TellMeScotland) where all site notices can be accessed on the Council website and as part of our regular newspaper publicity for applications received, provides a robust and effective alternative to posting individual site notices on specific premises.

Whilst alternative arrangements for posting site notices are being made, the current Covid restrictions mean the Council is unable to guarantee that notices will be displayed on every relevant application site. All site notices are published at www.tellmescotland.gov.uk/notices

Complaints about a breach of planning control

We will continue to handle enforcement complaints. Given the current situation we will only visit sites for urgent cases. Further guidance on our enforcement processes can be found in our Enforcement Charter In light of this, we ask you to provide as much information as possible when reporting breaches of planning control.

Construction industry update

As lockdown is gradually eased, Fife Council is committed supporting economic recovery across the region.

As the construction industry prepares to re-start, Fife Council is starting to receive requests from developers to work out-with normal hours of operation, to allow them to follow government physical distancing guidance. 

Physical distancing rules create significant challenges for many developers and businesses, which make it impossible to achieve a return to full employment levels. This means that they will need to work longer hours with fewer employees on site at any given time.

Where construction hours are restricted, through a condition attached to the planning permission for a development, the council may consider requests to agree a temporary extension of those hours, in line with Scottish Government Guidance.

The planning service intends to process the requests received in the form of temporary agreements (until September 2022).

This further period reflects that there remains a need to help businesses and services to operate and to recover as best they can, while still working with the mitigations and protections in place. It also reflects that changes of use that can be supported permanently will need to be regularised, including with any appropriate conditions attached. Those who have been benefitting from being allowed to operate temporarily without necessary planning permissions should use this time to apply for, and obtain, retrospective permissions before next September if they wish to continue beyond that point.

Details of the requests we receive and the decisions we reach will be available online at  https://planning.fife.gov.uk However, these are not planning applications and are not be subject to public consultation measures.

As part of any agreement reached, developers will also be asked to work with local residents and businesses to ensure that any impacts on the area around the site are reduced. This will only require planning authority agreement where there is a specific condition attached to the planning permission, which restricts construction activity. The council’s agreement can be withdrawn at any time, should the extended hours cause significant issues for occupiers of adjacent properties.

Expiry Dates on Applications

In line with Scottish Government legislation, any Planning Permission, Planning Permission in Principle, Listed Building Consent, or Conservation Area Consent which was due to expiry between 7th April 2020 and 30th September 2022 will be extended to 31st March 2023, unless work has already commenced on the development.

There is no requirement for Fife Council to send an amended decision, however, we aim to issue an amended decision notice as soon as possible which will be posted on our online portal.

If you wish to extend your permission further, then you can renew your application at any time before the expiry date.  To do this you will require to submit a covering letter quoting the original reference number, land ownership certificate and the application fee.

Local Development Plan

We are in the early stages of commencing the review of the current Local Development Plan for Fife. You can contact us about the Development Plan for Fife by email at fife.devplan@fife.gov.uk

Local Place Plans

Local Place Plans are plans for local communities that have a focus on development and land use. They offer communities an opportunity to be active participants in planning for their futures. For more details please visit: www.fife.gov.uk/localplaceplans or contact us at: LPP@fife.gov.uk

Further information

The Fife Planning Update (e-newsletter): Sign up for regular email updates from Fife's planning service. Click here to register.

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