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Date confirmed for latest Planning Portal improvements

by on December 4, 2018

As we mentioned in a previous blog post, we’ve been working on substantial improvements to our planning application service, 1App. We are making these updates in response to your feedback.

We are now pleased to confirm the launch date for these improvements. We believe that these updates are the first step in delivering on our promise to continue investing in the Planning Portal following the launch of our new payment service earlier this year.

UPDATE: We are happy to say that these improvements are now live.

Reinstated ability to download PDF versions of draft applications

Draft planning applications will once again be available for download and review, prior to submission to the local authority.

When we launched our financial transaction service in September, we removed the ability to download draft applications in order to avoid local authorities receiving large, complex applications by email.

We understand that the removal of this feature caused disruption to the working practices of many of our customers and following this feedback, we have decided to reinstate the ability to download and print applications, but have adapted this feature to better suit the needs of the service.

Draft PDFs will now include:

  • A full page watermark
  • Removal of the local authority’s logo. This will be replaced with a ‘draft’ header
  • Removal of agent details section
  • Removal of the declaration

We have created a sample so you can see how a draft PDF form will now look.

Increased supporting documents file size limit

This issue has been top of our priority list of 1App changes for many years. We are now delighted to make this the first service improvement following the launch of our Financial Transaction Service.

We will be doubling the 5MB file size limit for uploading supporting documents to 10MB. This limit applies to individual files; you will be able to upload as many files as you wish, providing they are 10MB or less.

While we have improved the capabilities of 1App, the file size limit for an application is still dependent on the capabilities of the local authority to accept supporting documents of this size. If your local authority cannot accept up to 10MB file sizes, an error message will be displayed when you attempt to upload larger files. The majority of local authorities can accommodate this increase.

Other 1App improvements

We also thought this was a good opportunity to make you aware of some other, smaller changes we have made to the application service.

We have:

  • Improved the wording of hazardous substances, description of use and biodiversity question sets
  • Added new explanatory screen text on the ‘My Applications’ and ‘Declaration’ screens
  • Improved the help text examples for proposal descriptions

Coming soon – Payment receipts issue fix

There has been an issue concerning email receipts for nominated payments which will be fixed separately in the coming weeks.

Currently, a nominated party will pay for an application but the receipt will be emailed to the agent, with the local authority copied in. However this email is not sent to the actual payee. Following an update scheduled later this month, the receipt will now also be emailed to the individual who made the payment.

As we continue to make improvements to 1App, including to the Financial Transaction Service, we will keep you up to date via this blog. To receive email notifications whenever we post an update, navigate to the ‘subscribe to this blog’ section, enter your email address and click the grey ‘sign me up!’ button.

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