A Scottish planning application website will have saved £71m by 2020 the Scottish government has claimed.
ePlanning Scotland was established in 2009 – since then, more than 100,000 people and businesses are said to have saved an average of £241 by submitting planning applications via the website.
The service covers planning applications and appeals across all Scottish local authorities and 60% of these are now submitted online rather than using paper forms.
“For years, members of the public and business community across Scotland were mired in red tape. Filling out paperwork was laborious and costly,” claimed Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil.
“ePlanning Scotland has improved overall performance of the planning system by encouraging online applications, which has simplified the process and saved money.
“It demonstrates the Scottish government’s continued commitment to supporting high quality public services in partnership with local government,” Neil added.
He has also claimed that the modern and efficient planning system is playing a “crucial” role in economic growth.
Over the next ten years, the Scottish government expects the website will have saved the public sector over £22.5m and the private sector £48.5m.
Savings are achieved by not using paper copies, reducing agents and application time, a reduction in printing and posting and more timely communications.
“These figures demonstrate that good progress is being made, but there is more to do to make planning much more user friendly,” Neil claimed.
Users of the system report that it is easy, effective and user friendly from start to finish.