SCOTTISH Borders Council has won a national award for its efforts in processing planning applications.

The local authority managed to beat off the competition to take the Process Category at this year’s Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning.

The accolade comes after SBC recorded a 51 per cent improvement in the average number of days taken to process all applications from March 2016 to March 2017.

And members of the Planning and Corporate Business Systems teams were congratulated for their caseload spreadsheets and performance scorecard project.

Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government and Housing, said: “I was very impressed with the approach embedded in your project, with the dedication and hard work of the team shining out.”

The team recognised an opportunity to improve and spreadsheets were created for current and determined applications; as well as a performance scorecard for determined applications – all using a red, amber and green timescale indicator.

Councillor Tom Miers (Cons), Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for planning and environment, added: “Congratulations to all staff involved in this excellent project, which has led to the council providing an improved service for the Borders public.”