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Christmas wrap up

by on December 18, 2014

Here we are again, the Christmas party beckons and it’s time to reflect on the year gone by.

As you’ll no doubt be aware it’s been an interesting year during which I spent a few months on the outside, looking in at the business and talking to customers and supporters about the future of the Portal.

It was extremely gratifying to hear so many good things about our work and our people, from right across the industry.

Ultimately, we weren’t successful in our bid to run the Portal but we gave it a good shot and learned a lot in the process. Now like everyone else we wait to hear what the future holds for the Portal and we’re truly excited (and a little nervous) about the prospect of taking the business to the next level with a new partner.

None of this excitement prevented us from concentrating on the day job though, as the team continued to deliver improvements to the system and in support of policy throughout the year.

Earlier in the year we pushed beyond our Ministerial target of 80% of planning applications online more than nine months ahead of time while in November we reached the heady milestone of our 2,000,000th online application.

I can honestly say that I have no idea what the next year will bring for the Planning Portal but at the very least I hope it brings you and your families all that you wish for.

Well ‘tis the season of goodwill so please enjoy our festive greeting and very best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year. (You may need to ‘play’ the presentation as it behaves differently in different browers!)

Happy Xmas



  1. Simon Evans permalink

    Have to say I am very nervous about the future of the Portal. It has been such a success, one is tempted to say that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I have low confidence in the idea of a bunch of bureaucrats thinking they can improve an already good thing (if that’s what is happening).

    • Hi Simon,
      The idea of the commercialisation is to bring in much needed investment that will enable us to significantly improve the service in ways that our customers and the team here have wanted for a long time.
      I do understand your nervousness but have to hope that we’ll have a more positive experience.

      • Simon Evans permalink

        Have you posted before about what these benefits might be? Intrigued!

      • Well that will depend on a number of factors but in the first instance there are immediate cost savings to the general taxpayer and opportunities to invest in new technology that better meets the needs of our customers. At the very least it will cement a future for the Planning Portal which may have been less certain at a time of public sector belt tightening. My expectations are significantly more hopeful than simple survival though.

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