The Scottish Executive has agreed £12m funding to put the town planning system online.
The investment over the next two years is aimed at making efficiency savings and giving the public greater access to the planning process to make the system more transparent.
The Scottish Executive wants members of the public to be able to see development plans for their areas, be able to submit and monitor planning applications and find guides to the planning process online.
Deputy communities minister Johann Lamont said: “Online access means that planning will no longer be off limits - as some people believe it is now.”
He added that the move to put services online was part of a wider shake-up of the planning system that was “the most radical overhaul” in 60 years.
Online planning services were already being pioneered by some local authorities, Lamont said. “In most cases planning has attracted far more hits than other services on their sites. It is clearly popular with the public, developers and professional planners.”
The bulk of the funding will come as a £9.1m allocation from the Scottish Executive's efficient government fund, with another £3m to come from a partnership of local authorities, national park authorities and other public bodies.
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