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Smarter Planning Champions everywhere!

by on September 25, 2014

The number of local planning authorities (LPAs) in England who have successfully achieved Champion status in our Smarter Planning scheme continues to grow.

A number of tough best-practice standards must be met before LPAs can be recognised as Smarter Planning Champions, all of which must be fully adopted to confirm their commitment to accept planning applications online and to process them in smarter, faster and more consistent way for their customers.

The map can be viewed on the Portal’s Smarter Planning pages.

LPAs who meet all the standards are shown in green while those highlighted in yellow are just a few steps away from completing the scheme’s acceptance process. To date 58 English LPAs are Smarter Planning Champions with a further 70 nearing completion. You can click on the map to see the name of each LPA and confirm their current Smarter Planning status.

Meanwhile, a total of 220 professional organisations (planning agents, consultants, architectural practices/technologists and other specialists) have met a similar set of best practice standards to become professional Smarter Planning Champions.

Only those professional applicants who can demonstrate they submit all planning applications online that consistently meet all the quality standards of the scheme can be awarded Champion status.

You can read more about Smarter Planning on the Portal. You can see more details about the scheme, the current listing of professional Smarter Planning Champions who are entitled to display an logo on their website and a link to download our toolkit for professionals.

This details the best practice guidelines that must be met and the process involved. To discuss in more detail contact our head of corporate accounts Stuart Mockford.

  1. This is all well and good, but some authorities that have supposedly ‘achieved’ still do NOT communicate, case officers can NOT be contacted and do NOT achieve their target dates. What is certain is that officers that you want to contact will either be on voicemail or on Annual leave.

  2. Martin Williams permalink

    Barry is right – not only do they fail in standard telephone/EMail communications terms you can’t get in to see them unless you kook in advance and then you get the stock answer that “X” is on jobshare this half of the week. Furthermore they have FAQ section which in itself is fine – but when you have an anomaly query they charge for answering questions.

    Example – mobile dwellings on green belt.

    Worse – this portal fails to answer the same questions!

  3. Agree with the above. Many of our client’s struggle to pay the council fee on the phone as there simply is no one to answer, or it takes 30min+ to get through to someone, or the weblink on the planning portal which links to the council payment page is incorrect or outdated. seriously? Can not all councils have the same payment system online? Why is there a different payment process for each council, and why are applicant still having to pay by cheque. We are not in the 90s any more!

  4. Forgot to say, smarter planning champions is a great motivation for consultancy firms and councils but there is so much more that needs to be done. LAs should seek consultation from applicants how to improve the process and not to the contrary.

Please give us your feedback but we won’t publish any comments that are not constructive or that criticise any individual, any named business or any local authority. Please note, all comments will be moderated before being published.

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