Residents of Aberdeenshire concerned about unauthorised building works in their area will soon be able to check online what the council is doing to tackle it.
Aberdeenshire Council will soon publish an online register of what planning enforcement has been taken following complaints about illegal works.
Councillor Paul Johnston, leader of the authority’s Democratic Independent and Green Group (Digg), has been pushing for such details to be published online for years, arguing that other councils have made it readily accessible to residents.
The new online register will be published on the council website in the coming weeks.
The news comes just a week after residents of Whitecairns raised concerns that land at Whitecairns was being used as an unauthorised quarry – prompting an investigation by the council, who have now issued a stop notice on further work at the site.
Mr Johnston, who represents Mid-Formartine, said: “A published enforcement register on the web would save everybody time and effort to find out what is happening about breaches in planning consent.
“While my request had nothing to do with recent issues at Whitecairns, it is clear that people would get information quicker and be able to see what action is being taken.
“I think it’s important that people can see that a complaint has been received and if it is being investigated. Following investigation, the public need to know what the council found and what action is intended.”
Mr Johnston and fellow Digg member Martin Ford hope the new system will make the planning process, and enforcement, more transparent while also encouraging more people to report their concerns.
A council spokeswoman confirmed the planning enforcement information would be displayed on the website, and that work was ongoing to upgrade the system. However, she could not give a date for when the system would go live.
She added it would “make it easier for members of the public”.