News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice - Building Standards

As a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), we have made some temporary changes to our service.

We are working hard to keep applications progressing and maintaining continuity for all our customers. Most of our staff continue to work mainly from home.

For up-to-date information on how coronavirus is affecting our service, see Building Standards - coronavirus advice

Remote video inspections

Midlothian Building Standards continues to undertake inspections as work on site progresses.

Following Scottish Government guidance on using alternative evidence during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are able to undertake key stage inspections listed on your CCNP typically using remote video inspections.

  • Notifications should be given to Midlothian Building Standards for every key Inspection Stage listed on your CCNP, before the work progresses on to the next stage. Upon receipt of your notifications, the case surveyor will decide how to progress with inspections, and whether alternative evidence should be submitted.
  • Please do not submit any documents (including photographs) unless they have been specifically requested by the case surveyor (but do keep a full photographic record of the work).
  • Please also note that if the building warrant is an electronic one, once all the work is completed, all the supporting documents listed on your CCNP are to be submitted via the eBuilding Standards portal, as detailed in your Building Warrant pack (rather than be emailed to the case surveyor directly).

Download full guidance on remote inspections

Customer Service Excellence (CSE)

As part of our Customer Service Excellence award, our annual audit for 2021 took place on 06 September 2021. We are very pleased to report that we retained our CSE accreditation. We were re-awarded the 31 compliance pluses we gained over previous years, and gained an extra 3 compliance pluses for:

  • co-ordinated working arrangement with partners,
  • monitoring performance, identifying any dips, and publishing information on this together with any remedial action, and
  • identifying customer needs and ensuring appropriate resources are available to meet those needs.

We would like to thank all our customers for their support and feedback over the past year, and in particular those who assisted with the audit. Of note, customer experiences will continue to be the major focus of our next audit in autumn 2022.

Processing of paper applications

The Scottish Government's eDevelopment portal opened for Building Warrant applications and related submissions in August 2016, and we now receive in excess of 90% of applications electronically via the eBuilding Standards portal.

From August 2016, we have processed both paper and electronic applications, and we have found that the administrative burden for paper applications is considerably more than for electronic applications.

To help provide a better service for all our customers, from January 2021 all paper applications received are now scanned and processed in the same way as electronic applications. All communications and (electronic) paperwork associated with paper applications are now sent to the applicant's/agent's email address, and no letters are posted out. For the very infrequent cases where email addresses are genuinely not available, an alternative solution is available.

We hope that all paper-based applicants and agents will consider switching to electronic applications, so that they too can access all the benefits of submitting electronic applications via the eBuilding Standards portal.

Advantages of certification during the COVID-19 recovery period

The Building Standard Division of the Scottish Government is promoting a blog from a member of the SELECT electrical scheme, outlining the advantages of certification during the COVID-19 recovery period.

Building Standards Certification Scheme providers in Scotland have also jointly released a new animation explaining the vital role of certification to Scotland's construction sector.

The 90-second film - which can be viewed here (external link) - outlines the many benefits certification can bring to the post-pandemic landscape and how it can help the industry rebuild and recover from the impact of Coronavirus, including:

  • Better health and safety, with reduced bodies on site.
  • Improved efficiency and productivity, thanks to fewer delays and hold-ups.
  • Increased peace of mind, with the highest standards upheld.

Availability of our structural engineer

Our structural engineer visits our office on a regular basis, and can be contacted via the case surveyor.

Gorebridge gas protection measures

Following earlier incidents of mine gas migration into residential properties, to secure the health and safety of potential building occupiers in the Gorebridge area, Midlothian Council has implemented a Gorebridge Gas Protection Measures policy. The policy is implemented by the Building Standards Section, in parallel with all building warrant applications for works within the Gorebridge geographical defined area.

Construction Compliance & Notification Plans (CCNPs)

When you receive your building warrant pack, please read the CCNP.

You should notify us at each key construction stage listed on the CCNP, so that we can arrange an inspection. It is important that the CCNP is given to the person in charge of delivering the work on site.

If you are an agent involved only in obtaining the building warrant, please ensure that the building warrant pack is passed and explained to your client.

Changes to Building Standards fees and procedures

The Scottish Government has announced changes to Building Standards fees and procedures which came into force from 01 July 2017.

In particular, a new building warrant fee scale was introduced from this date.

The discounts available for submitting Certificates of Design (for structures and/or energy) and/or Certificates of Construction (for electrical and/or plumbing/heating/drainage) have also been revised.

eBuilding Standards live

The eBuilding Standards portal went live on 24 August 2016.

Following the success of the ePlanning system, the Scottish Government has worked with Scottish local authorities to develop a similar system of lodging building warrant applications electronically.

Once an electronic building warrant has been granted, homeowners, tenants or building owners can complete and send electronic documents to us.

Update to our website

We have updated the look and content of our website to make sure it works better on all types of devices.

Please contact us if you have comments or suggestions for further improvements.

2021 Technical Handbooks

The most up to date technical guidance, as presented in the 2021 Technical Handbooks (which came into force from 01 March 2021), is available for download from the Building Standards section of the Scottish Government website.

Newsletters

We issue newsletters to our regular users. If you wish to be added to our distribution list, please email us.