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Improving 1APP – next steps

by on August 20, 2010

In our recent poll 72% of you agreed we should shorten and simplify 1App.
As a result we have reviewed all of your suggestions and produced a short-list of those that we believe will have the biggest impact.
I’ve included the list below and I’d welcome your feedback before we progress. At the foot of the post is a poll,please vote for your 3 favourite ideas.
In addition to these key changes we will attempt to incorporate as many of the small but annoying issues we/you have identified.

I can’t promise that we will be able to do all of this, but we hope to do all we can with whatever funds we have available.

More detail on the key changes

Reduce the length of the forms.
We want to work with policy colleagues and design teams to find ways to make the form completion process shorter.

Reduce the need to re-enter data on forms.
Our users tell us that having to re-enter address and personal information on forms is time consuming and frustrating, we’ll look at re-using previously provided data to quicken form completion.

More intuitive way to save personal details for future use– then stored on ‘my details on portal- rather than having to save details on my Portal before applying

Create distinction between residential and commercial on full application and use other skip logic for fields that can be calculated as not applicable

Simplify the supporting documents section.
This part of the process is currently confusing for users with mandatory, local and optional documents. We propose simplifying this to just mandatory and optional. We’ll also improve the overall layout of the page.

Upload multiple attachments.
Many of our users have commented that it would be easier if they could select more than one document to save time when uploading attachments

Create standard labelling for attachments
Drop down of options given to applicant so files are described in a consistent way

Payment at the point of submission.
It would be more logical to pay at the point of submission rather than during the process.

New progress meter for each section.
Our users tell us it would help to have more information about how far through the application they are, such ‘80% complete’.

Intelligent, interactive forms
Forms that give instant feedback through introduction of inline validation for fields- and relevant help text appearing for each question

Improved re-submission.
It’s possible to resubmit applications via the Portal but we can improve it – so we will

AA accessibility compliance
Not only is this a legal requirement but it will help make the application service accessible to even more potential users

Improved and extended Agent Admin functionality
Allowing existing users to be added and multiple level accounts offered.

  1. Materials need two tick boxes

    on for

    [_] not applicable


    [_] to match existing

    this will save a lot of typing and editing

    • Mark Kennett permalink

      I agree with this one

    • I also agree…

      In the case of using matching materials, entry of existing materials is irrelevant..

      In 90% of extensions/alterations, the materials are to match the existing…. therefore, why have the entry box “Existing Materials”.

  2. I think all of the above points are valid and the portal requires an upgrade to make it easier to use and faster also. Eventhough the submit a plan website used by building control has some issues also but its user friendly and quick to use.

    Hope all goes well and funds help to prepare a better and friendlier planning portal to operate.

    Kind regards

  3. GORDON F DIXON permalink



    • PortalDirector permalink

      Gordon, save even more trees and do the whole thing online.

  4. J Stewart permalink

    It would be helpful if the order that the various sections come in on the online form match the order that they come in on the printed version – is this possible?

  5. Commercial application requires ability to apply for multiple use categories on the same floor space. Currently it looks like you’re applying for two, three, four or more times the amount of floor space. This then requires you to fill in and submit an amended paper form for the floor area section.

    Should also have the ability to split commercial and residential applications into one or the other to reduce form filling of unnecessary items. Equally you should be able to keep them linked so as to make mixed use applications.

  6. A major plus would be for each LPA to have a separate local lists section so the application system is ‘foolproof’….all too often we ‘bust a gut’ to get projects registered on line (often out of hours or weekends) only to receive a letter from the LPA a week or two later stating that the application couldn’t be registered because of some perceived non-compliance issue; invariably concerning a local list requirement. This is both frustrating and potentially expensive and any way of eliminating this problem would be most welcome.

  7. Alistair Yates permalink

    As a waste planning consultant, we submit applications for various waste developments. The forms are geared towards residential and commercial development which consequently makes many aspects of the form particularly difficult to complete online. Consequently, we submit very few applications on the planning portal – which is a shame.

  8. R Easter permalink

    We were previously criticised by the HSE for not answering “yes” to the question “Is any hazardous waste involved in the proposal?” when there was asbestos on the site. Asbestos is not included as a posible selection in the drop down listsbelow this question.

    If the HSE require this information on the forms, can it be added somewhere?

  9. The ‘pre-stored’ Agent information, that populates the form , does not ‘send’ the information to the correct boxes. The building number AND the first line of the address has to be entered manually each time, even though the data IS stored correctly within the Agent Information.

    Having spoken to the guys at the Planning Portal Support in Bristol, they did not manage to get this to work, even though they tried dozens of alternative ways to enter the information on the Agent Details, only to find the information being ‘sent’ or populating the WRONG BOXES, or indeed, not even appearing AT ALL… NOT GOOD !!

    The same issue occurs with the phone number, apparently, the system is only capable of understanding the area code, but has a complete ‘nose-bleed’ when you enter a full phone number…. again, the info is pre-stored, but does not find its way to the correct boxes when completing a new planning app…..

    Would be great if you could address these issues…

  10. John Atkins permalink

    Needs to allow entry of other types of Applicant:-
    Mr Jones & Ms Smith,
    Mr Jones & Mr Smith,
    Trustees of the – – – –
    Executors of the late – – –
    The Applicant needs to be all the owners to avoid having to serve notice,

    • John Atkins permalink

      For the avoidance of doubt, I am not suggesting extra categories are added to the existing drop-down box, but that:-
      1) Either the drop down box is omitted, allowing us to enter what is required
      Or an “other” category is added to the drop down box, allowing is to enter what is required
      2) There needs to be an ability to add more than one applicant, with different names
      3)There needs to be an ability to add more than one applicants’ address

  11. John Atkins permalink

    Householder Form
    The site is usually the same as the applicants address
    Submit-a-Plan have a simple one click button to repeat the information. If Building Regs can do it why can’t you?

  12. Can not believe that so few people have responded , to the reduction of 1APP form, it is far to large and the number / address should be all,on one line , as on previous forms , which were far simpler .

    Why the need for all this information on the form , when it is all shown on the submitted plans , another duplication

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