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Goodbye to 2015 and hello 2016

by on December 17, 2015

As 2015 draws to a close I thought I’d look back at a busy and momentous year for the Planning Portal.

Away from the day-to-day business of running the website and engaging with customers and stakeholders, it’s fair to say that for the first three months of 2015 most of the Portal team was pre-occupied with the move from Government into the private sector.

The Portal had been in DCLG (formerly ODPM and formerly DTLR) since 2001 – and some of the team had been with it since then.

We left behind many friends and colleagues when we finally moved out of the public sector in mid-March.

DCLG remains a part of the joint venture with our parent company TerraQuest but moving into the commercial world felt like a breath of fresh air and reinvigorated the team in a new office and with a new website and vision to deliver.

Looking ahead at 2016, we can’t wait to get the new website live. We’re incredibly excited about the new service and the roadmap for service delivery in 2016. As I mentioned in an earlier post we’ll be delivering a host of new products next year.

In addition to the new website, next year we’ll be rolling out:

  • A seamless and integrated planning and building control application service
  • A suite of tools to make the application service work even better for professionals
  • An improved range of online payment options to address validation issues – including a secure method for applicants to pay directly for applications submitted by their agent
  • An intuitive, redesigned interactive house
  • A facility for LPAs to increase supporting document file sizes – where they are able to process them

One thing that won’t be changing is our commitment to working with our customers and stakeholders to deliver the best service we can.

This commitment to working closely with LPAs, professionals and the general public has seen over 460,000 planning applications submitted through the Portal this year alone and we project over 525,000 applications will be sent through our system in 2016.

As a final sign off for 2015 I’d just like to extend my thanks, and the gratitude of the entire Planning Portal team, for your support in 2015.

We hope you have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. See you in 2016.

  1. The integration of planning and building control in the application process will be an extremely worthwhile improvement for agents. Is there an anticipated start date for the new website in 2016?

    • sarahchilcott permalink

      Hi Paul. There is no fixed date yet but it will be in the Spring. Testing us going well, but we want to take the time to get it right. Given how many rely on it everyday, putting something out in ‘beta’ just wouldn’t be right. We’ll confirm a date as soon as we can in the new year. Sarah

      • Paul Flannery permalink

        Since the take over, the historic and current website performance is not just inconvenient particularly for business users, it is a financial disaster. Your apologies and excuses are terrifying and your hello to 2016 fills me with dread! When you can’t access you Bank Account it is inconvenient, when you can’t work to earn money to feed the account it is a disaster. A contingency is to go back to forwarding Planning Applications by post… . It doesn’t take a rocket scientist!

        There’s an old saying, if it’s not broken!

      • sarahchilcott permalink

        Hi Paul. I can only apologise again. Everyone in the team understands that any downtime is more than a minor inconvenience to our customers. We have been working round the clock with IBM and their suppliers to resolve the issues on what is a very dated system. You will forgive me for looking forward to a much more modern, quicker and more stable system early next year. Sarah

  2. E Kirby permalink

    Planning portal are doing a good job streamlining planning but it needs to be extended to National Parks. Especially in the area of reuse of existing buildings and building with all services for residential use in villages.( Especially none traditional wooden buildings). Many having all services that had previous residential use with domestic rates, considered abandoned by planners and not reinstated. Rules far too strict considering housing shortage !!!! Not qualifying under empty homes policy according to National Park restrictions !!!

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