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Is this the future of Town Planning and Consultation?

by on November 2, 2012

Just occured to me are LPAs attaching QR codes to lamp posts or the front of buildings?

  1. Perhaps you should take a look at how they do it in New York :-

    “New York City building permits are sprouting up with QR codes that instantly unlock vast amounts of project information. Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri thought of it, and so far, New York City may be the only city doing it, experts say, although they believe the idea will spread to other cities soon.”

    QR Codes Unlocking Secrets of NYC Building Permits | ENR: Engineering News Record | McGraw-Hill Construction

  2. I actually hope not, don’t get me wrong I’m pro-technology, but appropriate uses only! The QR code looks convenient and is great for mobile phones (no typing on small screens required). However it is open to abuse, it could send a user to a malicious website.

    More importantly it’s machine readable only. What’s wrong with a simple planning application code and an easy to navigate website (mobile or otherwise)? The other factor is that most people will want to see the plans, not just a description, so mobile viewing might not be best.

    People find the planning process in the UK hostile and complicated enough without having to wonder what these machine codes on notices are. It’s a supplement to existing notifications at best but I think it probably shouldn’t be used in place of a good clearly worded notice and website.

  3. geoff cross permalink

    Can you please explain as to why when you complete the planning application on line the questions are not in chronological order as printed on the completed forms. The site area is at the beginning of the application but is no. 21 on the final application form. Pedestrian/vehicular access is near to the beginning of the form but this is no. 10 on the completed form. I would very much like to discuss this with you. Thank you, Geoff Cross.

    • Hi Geoff

      The simple answer is that the questions on the paper forms are arranged in such as way as to avoid white space and keep the number of printed pages to a minimum.

  4. QR codes are not the future because they are already here.

    I highlighted some of our local authority customers who have been pioneering this for many months on my blog.

    For those who don’t want to read my blog the credit goes to Portsmouth, Chelmsford and East Devon (among others).

    Authorities are attaching QR Codes to lamp posts, buildings and any other convienent position where a site notice will go.

    The QR codes are usually printed on the site notice in addition to a reference number that can be easily searched for online, and the full link to the application detail online (although all of this is up to the individual local authority).

    The benefit of the QR code is that with a smart phone or tablet you can snap a picture of the code and be directed straight to the relevant information.

    We are piloting a version of website software that scales for small screens that gives a simpler layout more suited to the screen size. All the documents and plans are still there, and if the member of the public is interested they can view these on their phone, or on a larger device if that is more appropriate.

    If anyone wants to know more about (or tell me more about) QR codes, using smart phone with planning websites and even the use of technologies like augmented reality then please get in touch.


  5. Noticed that Fife Council has QR codes on some of its site notices when up there last week. Obvious links to planning applications but surely the smart LA manager should be looking to wider corporate uses – even if the natural target might the the planning arena.

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