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Improving LPA planning websites

by on January 5, 2010

As part of our Killian Pretty work on improving the quality of online planning information we were tasked with talking to LPAs and their customers about what makes a good local planning website.

We received almost 400 responses to our survey, spoke to dozens of LPA staff and their customers and the results of the combined insight have been compiled in a report entitled “The Building Blocks of a Good Local Planning Authority Website”.

The report is aimed at LPAs and in recognition of the financial and technical limitations many LPAs face in the current climate, we’ve arranged these recommendations in tiers, ranging from quick wins to more involved changes.

The report contains a wide range of suggestions for improving planning pages – as recommended by LPAs and their customers – including recommendations for making improvements to policy pages, mapping services, application forms, contact information, local application registers and links to the authority’s building control service.

Finally, we’re still collecting feedback on our idea to deliver LPA-branded Portal pages on LPAs’ behalf. Find out more about this in one of my earlier posts. There’s been a lot of excitement about the idea so far from LPA regional workshops and there’ll be a great deal more information to come in 2010.
Let us know what you think by adding a comment.

2 Comments
  1. Bob Thom permalink

    The content of this Report is fascinating, toss all the balls in the air and what do you have, some interesting examples. It is amazing that in a period of recession, loss of segments of private industry the public sector, LPA’s and related IT,s, contractors are able to produce a plethora of sites, mass duplication etc without impact. If they were in a competitive market they would all be ripe for take over, IT rationalization by the new owners would make them a killing. Will Kllian Pretty sort this development of bureauracratic nonsense out? “vote for your best LPA presentation”, “are they hitting there target” etc; I think not, nationally we don’t have a high enough credit limit on the credit card to pay for it. I as a rate/tax payer, pensioner am understandably not interested. Your report shows that we need a dramatic rationalization of content, that the delivery should be through a simplified unified system. In these times LPA’s should deliver essentials, there function is not to produce a mass of information to the world, let the Chinese do that.

    When looking at essentials then LPA,s, Planners, Architects should be able to relate to objective standards. We need the removal of subjective value judgments and mass duplication (to provide income and final pension benefits to those who exploit the system). The SI needs to be translated into a common objective standard for the UK. Application for Planning needs to be on a common basis, the definition of PD should be by a single authority, objective document, form. Yes, there are gray areas but 90% of what we need is common, in the second decade of the 2000,s why can we not see this?

  2. Can you help my gripe about internet services from our Government, County Councils and Local Planning Authorities?

    Why is it in some LPA areas I can print copies of planning applications and in others they have blocked the documents so they can be viewed but not printed?

    The documents are useful to help neighbours consider applications and show the print outs to neighbours without internet access, so I am totally against the way XXXXXXX XXXX(removed by Chris), Council, for example, block printing of application forms and planning drawings.

    Also, in Bucks for example I can print a copy of the OS plan free of charge, which is useful for discussing a possible plot with the owner, even though the plan is sensibly an unuseable scale. Also home owners can print these plans to discuss boundaries and all sorts of other domestic issues.

    No such service exists in XXXX (removed by Chris), why should this be different between Counties?

    Am I alone in finding these differences a nuisance when I’m trying to provide a service to land owners across many different counties and LPAs? Who can I lobby to see this changed? Surely the LPA websites should be consistant throughout England?

    Any suggestions?

    Lance
    The Land Office

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