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Linking to the Portal

by on July 9, 2009

As part of our Killian Pretty work we have produced a short guide on how to get the best from linking to content on the Portal.

If you are an LPA and want to cut down on those irritating calls from pesky applicants we suggest you point them our way.  I know all very self-serving but honestly it can help and best of all it’s free.


  1. Peter Wells permalink

    Can you explain why the four local LPA’s in my area of Portsmouth are not consistant in their acceptance of the 1APP. I refer to the section where existing levels are required and a datum given off site as a reference. Presumably the 1APP was set up with great cost to the tax payer and allows a consistantsy for all who use it. I note that new applications are submitted and accepted for consideration of planning approval without the full info asked for on the 1APP ie existing levels. I wonder how can officers fully appreciate the impact on an application with no method of carrying out a physical check using an established datum that should be supplied (off site). I also wonder how a member of the public or a neighbour of an application can voice an objection without a reference point/off site datum so they can check for themselves the impact a new building might give to them. In corrospondance with the LPA they give the impression it is is voluntary and not a legal reqirement to give such info as a means to validate an application. I would be interested in the Portal’ Directors view.

  2. PortalDirector permalink

    Peter, my team and I are doing our very best to provide standard tools and to explain policy. However it is the Local Authorities who implement policy and manage and interpret it locally and we rightly have no remit there.

  3. The drive to place all plans into electronic format is accelerating. All of our improvement plans seek to cut out paper and use Document Management and work flow technology solutions. If they don’t they should!

    However this does not solve the issue of being able to measure distances on an electronic plans.

    If it’s through the portal (And that is only around 30%) the adobe token is normally embedded. That may allow measuring at the LPA, Consultee or member of the public through eventual web browser, but there are training and support issues.And the cost of that Free Software at the LPA end is around £8k if they want to use it themselves.

    If its lodged in paper, and most are, the LPA scans it and is then faced with a lot of very diverse methods (350+ LPA’S) of making the e-copy measurable either on PC or web. This is expensive and problematical, and the customer is faced with complex looking tools and various views they need to understand for a one time only look at planning in LPA’s.

    The Killian Pretty focus on back office efficiencies needs to support a standard here.

    One important standard needs to set out document naming conventions (Use the PARSOL/BURA works of some years ago as well as the Records Manager Society and ESD work) so systems and people understand exactly what they are looking at and its possible to have ‘one version of the truth’.

    Another standard will be in format and method of viewing, to include embedding measuring tools. This should look at the facility for an LPA to up load plans to the portal once scanned. The aim is to take advantage of that service and add value by converting the plans to that measurable format.

    I would also suggest that the use of the Consultation Hub adapt (If they can stop silo working) so that the e-consultation directs the consultee to the LPA site, but crucially allows the plans to be ‘pushed’ through the hub to embed tools and standardise the format.

    This may have technical restrictions or a cost per click feature to the portal and ICT platform, but frankly e-planning has cost LPA’s significant money. The emerging on costs of such software solutions, and costs of hosting are just a significant and on going forever. The danger is that as the credit crunch axe falls we may not be able to support these.

    If the software that handles plans and work flow can be hosted by the portal as Software as a Service (SaaS) then this creates a long term future for the portal. It also adds a value for LPA’s s to shift focus to that way of operating over the internet. And that of course may also attract in other linked areas, such as LA Searches to name just one, which are already accelerating use on line area through the ENLIS hub.

    I welcome any views 🙂

    • PortalDirector permalink

      there are 3 possible scenarios here, either

      1. you are psychic.
      2. you have us bugged
      3. you are reading my mail


      We have just negotiated a deal that will enable LPAs to do exactly as you propose with their applications over a web service.
      We haven’t worked out exactly how to offer it yet, but the deal is done and it is on its way.


  4. If its the opening of a compulsory naming convention for LPA’s, applicants and agents for all plans, and if we have the chance to upload all our plans that came in paper form and we scanned, to then down load and add to our systems, we are on a winner.
    If we can use the portsl to standardise the plans and use our xml link systems to drop the plans back into our data bases media tabs with minimal manual operations and integrate with work flows even better.
    If this opens the door to the Portal taking on a role with searches on the ENLIS hub, and look at approved inspectors xml down loads from FENSA or others, then the world of integration with building control becomes a reality.
    I wait with anticipation!

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