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2014 statistics

by on January 5, 2015

Happy New Year to everyone.

Planning gets a lot of stick in the press and from many quarters but what often goes unheralded is the leading role it has taken in the shift from paper to electronic public services. Very close to 90% of all planning applications are now submitted online, which is a fantastic achievement for all concerned, from agents and applicants to LPAs and indeed ourselves.

Clearly there is much to be improved, but I have every confidence that we will be driving positive change throughout the year to come and beyond. Before ploughing on though here are a smattering of statistics that illustrate the continuing growth in digital submission.


Online Planning Applications in 2014 = 438,551

Online Planning Applications in 2013 = 362,882

That’s an increase of 20.9%


Total Website Visits in 2014 = 15,039,298

Total Website Visits in 2013 = 13,450.768

That’s an increase of 11.8%

(It’s worth remembering that every visit to the Planning Portal website for information or guidance is a phone call, visit or interaction with a Local Authority prevented – and thereby money saved for LA’s)


Total Building Regulations Downloads in 2014 = 2,251,829

Total Building Regulations Downloads in 2013 = 1,942,807

That’s an increase of 15.9%
We’re expecting 2015 to be a momentus year for us all at the Portal and we are really looking forward to getting our teeth into the challenges ahead.

All our very best to all of you.


  1. Don’t wish to complain at the start of a new year but when filling in a residential application for new housing why do I always have to fill in all the pages about hazardous waste, working hours, trade and employee questions? – couldn’t these be ‘greyed out’? Time consuming and frustrating when not doing a ‘save as’ from a previous residential application.

    • Hi Andrew, I understand your frustration. At this moment we don’t have the functionality to be able to offer the facility you mention. We are aware of the many improvements needed of which this is one, and we hope to be able to address them before long. In the mean time please bear with us. Chris.

  2. Hi Chris, interested in your thoughts as to how the Portal achieved a significant increase in lodged applications between 2013 and 2014…all the best to the team and yourself for 2015! Clare.

    • Hi Clare, and a happy New Year to you in Australia.
      I’d like to say it’s all down to excellent leadership but first off my team would string me up and secondly it wouldn’t be entirely true.
      It is in reality a combination of factors that have combined together to keep progress moving healthily forward.
      On the local authority front we’ve seen an increasing desire to switch from more costly processes to simpler digital channels and our Smarter Planning programme has helped here.
      Our account team has also worked hard with some of our larger corporate customers to make sure they capture the maximum benefit from our service by submitting all of their applications online.
      And we’ve also introduced new forms, in particular the Non Material Amendment form which has had a positive impact on gross submissions.
      All in all a joint effort and not bad giving the uncertain times.

  3. Iain permalink

    When making the changes over time to forms perhaps now it is finally time to change the limit on maximum file sizes and allow attachments of say up to 10mb as most people have faster internet connection to allow this. It will save considerable time having to compress files or split up documents so that they are the correct size, or failing that upload some and put the rest on CD at which point Council’s sometime lose them.

    • Hi Iain,
      I’m sorry but the issue is not with applicants or the Portal but is instead with limits placed on LPA firewalls.

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