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Planning Portal commercialisation

by on November 18, 2014

I am truly disappointed to announce that the Planning Portal team have been unsuccessful in our bid to take on the future operation of the Portal as an employee-owned business.

The bid team of Allen, Scott and myself have now returned to the bosom of the Portal team and wrested back our previous roles.

I’d really like to thank all our supporters and partners for their backing and look forward to working with the future owner once the commercialisation process concludes.

In the meantime, I am not able to enter into any discussion about the ongoing process and would ask that you direct any questions to DCLG.



  1. Chris,

    I am really dissappointed. I had everything crossed.

  2. Sorry to hear that Chris. It looks like the bean counters are pulling the strings which would not bode well for the future. I hope I’m proven wrong!

  3. Clive Davison RIBA permalink

    Another example of selling the family silver. Will sit back and see how the new owners start to rack up the charges to us all. Its like magic, sell something that we all already own then sell us back the privilege to use it. You are a victim of your own success Chris but no doubt you will be well rewarded by the incoming corporation.

  4. Eimear Murphy permalink

    That is such a pity – it felt like a safe pair of hands. Now? We shall see

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. Sorry to hear that. I shall await the outcome with trepidation. Why fix something when it ain’t broken!!

  6. COLIN JANES permalink

    Why do we see this constant situation where the people who do the job are ignored, the people who really understand the process and organisation, and have the passion to move it forward, are bypassed and it ends up with a faceless bureaucratic directorship….almost as frustrating as when fully supported and recommended for approval planning applications get refused at committee level by rank amateurs who bow to public pressure…..!!

  7. John Shaw permalink

    Not yet another example of profit before service, I hope! (But I won’t hold my breath)

  8. GRPA permalink

    I can only reiterate everything that has just been said, Chris.

    Lets hope that you and your team do not end up losers too, as we ourselves are bound to do.

  9. I agree with everything that’s said above, particularly by Colin Janes. Probably give the new regime about 18 months – 2 years before it becomes understaffed, overpriced and useless for practical purposes. I would make your escape plans now, Chris…

  10. Keithg Baker permalink

    As I said when this first arose, where is the income stream to materialise from. No point in trying to charge LAs or us (or me at least), Emailing pdf documents is free,

  11. Dennington permalink

    I am sorry to hear this news, Chris, because I have found the Portal to be an excellent service. Privatising it seems a rash step to me – almost as rash as the government deciding to become housing developers, a business of which it has demonstrated unequivocally that it knows nothing worth talking about. The obvious question that immediately arises when the government intends using taxpayers’ money to develop housing is “Who is going to pay the average £20,000 per house CIL bung to local planning authorities – a government tax ?” Will taxpayer funds be used by central government to pay the levy (i.e. tax) to local councils – a tax paid from tax ? If so, the absurdity of that clearly needs no further comment.
    Of course, if government had the wits to realise that these so-called infrastructure “levy” payments are what has held housing starts back since 2011, the problem of insufficient new homes would not exist or have to be addressed. That same tax stunt was tried twice by Wilson Labour governments in the 60’s and 70’s with utterly disastrous results both times. It is said that the epitome of stupidity is trying something that has failed more than once before but expecting a different result this time.

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