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Paperless Parish

by on April 4, 2013

Although he’s out in the sticks and hasn’t got gas yet, Robin our South West Account bloke is very proud to say that his Parish Council has now moved to a paperless planning committee process.

I’d like to congratulate and say well done to all at Dunkerton, Tunley and Withyditch Parish Council who  recently, successfully applied for a grant from Bath & North East Somerset Council (BANES )to fund the purchase of a laptop and projector that enables them to project planning application documents onto large screens, becoming the first BANES Parish Counil to go paperless.

This is a model that the Portal team have been pushing for some years now and is a great example of how with our support more and more LPAs are moving to paperless processes and how now with gentle persistence, Parish Councils are choosing to follow suit.

BANES recently introduced a paperless planning service and have done away with their planning reception.

Now any member of the public, councillor or consultee wanting to view planning application documents and drawings either need to self serve online using BANES’s online planning application register, or must make an appointment to visit the council’s one-stop-shop and view the documents on screen. This gives planning officers the opportunity to understand the nature of the enquiry and be prepared for the appointment.

The full story can be viewed from the April edition of the Dunkerton, Tunley and Withyditch Parish Council Newsletter

  1. Simon Evans permalink

    A small step perhaps but definitely in the right direction.

    I also wish we would see improvement to the way local authorities publish information regarding applications. Currently, it seems that almost every LA has a different way of doing it. Surely that is unnecessary and could be regularised. Improvements I would like to see include:

    1. Much easier navigation to the application search page (many LAs make you go through several text heavy pages with links carefully hidden on them in a kind of Where’s Wally way);

    2. A common format for the information and its presentation (again, to make navigation easier);

    3. A requirement to keep info up to date and complete (usually there are no copies of representations, even though many are in the public domain).

  2. Terry Blyth permalink

    I have still a preferance for paper and disagree with the removal of all paper. I do agree with the general avalability of information electronicaly the point above regarding a standard system is well founded as some LPA even have differant systems in differant areas due to merging of LPA’s.

    The planning system in principle looks to involve the comunity in general.As the move away from paper continues this will remove parts of the community involvment. I would add my experiance with planning imput from the community is very negative while an LPA will recive comments they is very little requirment for them to act on them as all, most all will rely on the law or there advised interpration of it. The only positve i can see for an LPA to recive community imput is in regard to unaothorized construction. This is mostly noted by the old sections of the comunity who do not access information Electronicaly so we need to be very careful we do not close out this section of the community

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