View updates on coronavirus (COVID-19) and council services. A postcode checker has been launched to make it easy to find out what the COVID protection level is where you live. If you are affected and need assistance, please visit Grampian Coronavirus (COVID-19) Assistance Hub.

Planning and environment services - Coronavirus

We are taking steps to allow us to continue to deliver our services with as little disruption as possible. On this page you can find out about current arrangements for the following:

If you are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can have this information translated for you via contactSCOTLAND-BSL, the online British Sign Language interpreting service.

Planning applications

To keep up to date with how we are maintaining a functioning planning system please refer to the briefing notes:

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

  • We continue to carry out all work in association with the receipt, validation, processing, assessment and decision-making for planning applications
  • Our local Planning offices will be closed to the public but you will still be able to contact the team by phone or email
  • Any meetings will be conducted by telephone or skype video call
  • Communication will be through telephone, skype video call, email or formal letter

Please note that at this time we are unable to accept paper applications or cheque payments for fees. You can continue viewing planning applications and submitting representations.

The national portals remain fully operational, our services are running as usual in terms of connecting to the portal on a regular basis. Please continue to make use of this method for submitting your new planning application and any additional documentation you are required to submit for any on-going application.

Where possible, please pay for your application via the portal when submitting your application. Alternatively, payments can be made by credit or debit card via telephone on 01467 534333. You will be advised when your application is awaiting payment.

If you have already submitted items in paper over the last few days, there will be a delay in processing them. Please contact 01467 53433 if you require any assistance or information.

Enforcement - planning control

We will be continuing to investigate enforcement complaints as far as possible, prioritising cases where necessary.  As is usual, we ask for the provision of as much information as possible, including photographs if safe to do so, when reporting breaches in planning control

Local Development Plan - public consultation closed

Public consultation on the Proposed Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan (LDP) 2020 took place between 25th May and 31st July 2020. Consultation on the Strategic Environmental Assessment – Environmental Report of the Proposed Local Development Plan is also took place during this period. The Policy Team is currently reviewing the representations received to identify any 'unresolved matters' arising that will subsequently be considered as part of an independent examination process. We expect at this stage to submit the Proposed LDP to Scottish Ministers for examination before the end of 2020.
 
You can view still the Proposed Local Development Plan and view a range of material available to assist in the understanding of the plan-making process on our dedicated 
Proposed LDP page. 

You can contact us about the Local Development Plan by email at ldp@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or by phone on 01467 536230.

Environment and archaeology

Bennachie Visitor Centre

The Bennachie Visitor Centre and toilets are currently open every Friday to Monday, 10am to 4:30pm until the end of the season which is on Sunday 1st November 2020.

Please follow the Bennachie Visitor Centre Facebook page or visit the website for further details on how to stay safe when visiting the Centre, and any further changes.

Countryside rangers

The Ranger Service has resumed public facing work, including public activities and school and community group sessions. To ensure the safety of the Ranger, attendees and public during the pandemic we have additional safety measures in place. The additional safety measures mean that we may have to deliver sessions in a different format to sessions we delivered before the pandemic.

View Ranger service contact details. You can also can join Rangers service on facebook.

View safety guidance for attending Ranger service activities.

Environment, Archaeology and North East of Scotland Records Centre (NESBReC) 

Our Environment, Archaeology and North East of Scotland Records Centre (NESBReC) teams are having to work differently to comply with the government’s guidance on personal contact so we are unable to provide some services and things may take a little longer in some cases. View more details:

Paths and outdoor access

At the moment there are no restrictions to responsible outdoor access.

Some key things to keep in mind:

  • Please comply with national guidance on social and physical distancing and keep at least 2m apart from other path users and from occupants of properties adjacent to any paths
  • Scotland’s access rights are yours to enjoy – as long as you do so responsibly, for more information please read and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code
  • Please park your car responsibly when visiting the countryside and take your litter home
  • Keep your dog under proper control – dogs are popular companions, but take special care if near livestock, and always pick up after your dog
  • Remember to wash or sanitise your hands as soon as you get home

During the current restrictions, access officers are not undertaking site visits or face to face meetings. If you have an access issue you wish to report or require advice or information about outdoor access in Aberdeenshire please contact outdoor.access@aberdeenshire.gov.uk with as many details as possible and we will investigate.

Works to protected trees

During the current restrictions officers are minimising site visits and face to face meetings. When submitting your application please make sure that your application is supported with photographs which clearly identify the issue, as well as any tree surgeon’s report that may have been carried out.

For further advice please contact the Environment team at planning@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.