Re-Designing Planning Application Advice DECOMMISSIONED

Project details:

Organisation West Berkshire Council
Department Strategic Support
Collaboration Level Open To Conversation
Budget £0K > £50K
Key Contact Phil Rumens
Phase start 02 March 2019
Phase Estimated end 29 June 2019


No tags


This is a joint project between Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold District Council, Gravesham Borough Council, Maidstone Borough Council and West Berkshire Council

A reasonable percentage of planning applications submitted to our councils are deemed invalid. For example the figure at West Berkshire Council is 60%. Not only does this create unnecessary work for officers, it’s frustrating for service users.

Many of our councils have a pre-planning advice service, however this only offers help to assess the likelihood of a planning application succeeding, and bar an online form, it’s a manually administered process which is not integrated with the actual planning application process.

There’s an opportunity to re-design the pre-planning advice service around the improvements digital can provide, incorporate a chargeable validation function into the service, and join up the planning application process, so users don’t have to re-submit their application again.

Our discovery phase should deliver

  • Analysis into why so many submitted applications are invalid.
  • Research into the user needs a digital pre-planning advice service should meet.
  • A prototype process for a digital pre-planning advice service, linked with a planning application service.
  • Prototype patterns for the front end of a digital pre-planning advice service.
  • Descriptions of which types of technology would need to be used.

In summary we aim discover how to transform a manual process for planning applications and advice, to reduce waste, generate additional income, and better meet user need.

Opportunities for the private sector to engage with this project will be advertised on the Digital Marketplace.




Status Updates

25 July 2019

  • Phil

    Unfortunately this project did not receive funding as part of the first round of MHCLG Local Digital Fund applications so is currently closed.