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April’s online planning applications

by on May 11, 2016

Its good to see that one month on from the launch of our new site, the numbers of online applications continue to grow – reaching more than 47,000 submitted in April.

April’s numbers continue the trend of around a 10% growth from last year, consistently averaging over 2,000 applications each working day, as you can see from the graph.

Traffic across the website also remains strong and its good to see that the new responsive site design is pushing up traffic from mobiles and tablets.

  1. Mal Percy permalink

    Instead of patting yourself on the back regarding applications ‘we’ are submitting why not make more of an effort to get pre July ’15 and archived applications live? The new site should not have been launched until these were available.

    • sarahchilcott permalink

      Sorry Mal, it wasn’t supposed to be a ‘pat on the back’, just a regular update on stats. I’ll continue to use this channel to publicise news that is good or reassuring, as well as highlighting where we need to improve. We are in the process of loading the older applications into the system – the sheer scale of the data made it impossible to do it as part of the launch. I’m pushing for a date by which this will be complete and will let you know asap. Sarah

  2. Miles Forsyth permalink

    Interesting graph – most years seem to peak in March and gently fall through the rest of the year – apart from 2013 – which was a bit of a strange year for me too. I’d always thought that (a significant number of) (smaller) applications tended to get submitted in Q3 and 4 with intention of getting things sorted for a Q2 start the next year, but the Oct/Nov ‘hump’ isn’t really convincing me. Could one conclude that many projects take a year between application and ground break then ?

    Last application I submitted through the all-new system wasn’t actually submitted (even though I clicked it through and paid the fee online). Don’t know if this is a well-known glitch, or whether it’s been fixed ? It caused me a bit of a problem but I’m over it now ! Trends seem to show that despite problems a few of us have had with the ‘new’ system numbers continue to grow – which is reassuring.

    • sarahchilcott permalink

      Hi Miles. Glad you found the stats interesting. You are right that there were problems initially with a couple of LPAs which meant that the payment engines weren’t sending a return message to our system to release the application once the payment was taken. This seems to have been fixed by a recent release we did to deal with it – we’re just double checking it now. Sarah

      • Miles Forsyth permalink

        Thanks for the update Sarah

  3. Chris Jackson permalink

    As one of your earliest Smarter Planning Champions, it is disappointing that I have to say that the new 1 App form is not as user friendly as the previous one was.
    It has all the hall marks of having been designed by an I T specialist, who does not use the forms on a regular basis and possibly he thinks he knows best!!
    The document upload process is a particular issue that I think needs further work to improve it.
    In my own view, the new 1 App form is a retrograde step. Sorry Portal, not the feedback you want I guess.

    • sarahchilcott permalink

      Hi Chris. Sorry to hear that you’re not a fan of the new forms. We always start with the user needs, rather than the IT, and feedback has been positive on many of the changes, specifically how much more ‘intuitive’ they are with removing unnecessary questions. We have had negative feedback on the document upload though and are looking at how we can improve this. In the meantime, don’t forget that you don’t have to wait for each document to load before you select the next one. And don’t apologise for giving negative feedback – positive feedback is always well received, but you learn more from feedback about what you’re not doing so well. I’d be happy to get further detail from you if have time… Thanks, Sarah

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