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Planning applications – offline working

by on February 2, 2010

I often hear that it would be useful to applicants to be able to work on a planning application offline before later uploading the application to the Portal.

As this is not an inconsequential change (and funds are scarce), I’d welcome your feedback on the usefulness of this suggestion.



  1. Great idea.

    Being able to assemble a whole application and just click ‘Upload to the Portal’ at the end of the process would be useful, especially if this meant all documents attached to a submission were uploaded when the whole submission had been prepared, rather than one at a time.

    In addition, sometimes people loose their internet connnection temporarily, or maybe the Portal is unavailable for maintenance. In these circumstances, I would assume applications could still be prepared regardless and submitted when connection to the Portal is possible again?

    Query: Do you forsee that offline working involve downloading a tool or application to enable offline application preparation?

  2. Unequivocably yes. Having to maintain wifi connection for the duration of the application form means it is not possible to work whilst travelling (although mobile phones can be used to secure an internet connection train tunnels and poor signal areas make working on the go difficult.

  3. offline working, if a costly addition, seems unnecessary so long as the portal continues to save alterations in draft form whenever made which it seems to do at present? The basic means of making applications via the web is a huge improvement and has led, imho, to local councils, not always the most progressive of bureaucrats, accepting pdf files and this could lead to using more interesting methods of digital representation, so it seems more important to develop the overall service at a base level to enhance links between architectectural practice and council acceptance of digital files, than to serve a minority at a cost that might reduce that overall development of what is a great improvement all round, or at least getting there so it seems

    • PortalDirector permalink

      Thanks for the constructive feedback Bill.

  4. Ken Usman-Smith permalink

    The inabilty to work off line and then upload is cited by many agents as the main barrier to using the portal. And if you want to hit the target of 60% by 2010 this needs to be removed as a barrier.

    I see the complications of course, but those are just technical challenges to be overcome, as the benefits make 100% on line more achievable and workflow benefits for all inevitable.

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