Cyber-attack & data theft: Our response & service status


Service status

A sophisticated criminal cyber-attack has had a major impact on the way SEPA works. We are working through all the services that we provide to understand what we need to do in the short and longer term to restore services. We are approaching this work with a sense of urgency.

Service status update 22 July 2021: Land use planning, contaminated land, Electricity Act, forestry and similar consultations

What are we able to do now?

What should you do now?

  • If you need support out with the channels described above, please contact us.
  • Please look at our standing advice and planning guidance further down this page.

Next update: 30 July 2021


We are a key agency in the land use planning process in Scotland, providing environmental advice to planning authorities, developers and the wider public.

Whether you are a planning authority, developer, consultant, member of the public or any other party with an interest in SEPA’s role in the planning system, this section of our website provides you with relevant guidance and sources of useful information.

Under the Planning etc (Scotland) Act 2006 we proactively assist in the delivery of the Scottish Government's commitment to provide a more effective and efficient planning system. We provide formal environmental advice in relation to development plans and on a wide range of development proposals across Scotland.

We enable good development and protect Scotland’s environment through the planning system by focusing on the consultations where we can add most value. We provide planning advice on the following areas as they relate to our duties and responsibilities:

  • Protection of people, property and infrastructure from flood risk
  • Potential consentability under SEPA’s regulatory regimes
  • Promotion of sustainable waste management
  • Protection of the water environment (both surface water and ground water)
  • Good air quality
  • Risks to the environment or human health arising from development on or near radioactively contaminated land and on or near a designated Part IIA Special Site
  • Protection of the marine environment
  • Noise and odour in relation to processes regulated by SEPA (protection of residential amenity, sensitive receptors)

Our annual Planning Performance Framework Annual Report provides further information about our service.  

Links to further advice on how and when to consult us can be found below:

Planning authorities

SEPA Triage Framework: Guidance for planning authorities on how and when to consult SEPA.

Forestry Commission
How and when to consult SEPA and standing advice for forestry
Marine Scotland and
SEPA standing advice for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Marine Scotland on marine consultations
Transport Scotland Transport briefing note: Consultation with SEPA

To help clarify the scope and nature of our engagement in the planning system we have also prepared the following position statements:

We are continually working to improve the guidance we provide to our customers.  If you are unable to find the guidance you need then please use our online form to contact us