Digital tools help speed up the planning process in Buckinghamshire
A government minister has been to Buckinghamshire to see how the council is trialling innovative digital tools aimed at speeding up the planning process.
It’s part of a government project funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities – Buckinghamshire is one of three councils already using the pioneering approach to co-design, build, test and launch more efficient software for planning.
As part of the project, Buckinghamshire residents can use this prototype software to check if they need planning permission using an online tool on the council’s website. Buckinghamshire residents can also apply online for a lawful development certificate – which certifies works they’re undertaking don’t need planning permission or to certify that past works are lawful.
The new software under development will help manage cases and applications more quickly and efficiently, ultimately helping planning officers to reach decisions more quickly. The new systems will also help planning officers and applicants to communicate directly more easily.
It’s all part of a national project to simplify and modernise the planning process. Housing and Planning Minister Lucy Frazer came to Buckinghamshire this week to meet Buckinghamshire Council Leader Martin Tett, Deputy Leader Gareth Williams and Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration, Peter Strachan, to see how the new digital programmes are being used in practice.
Martin Tett said:
“We’re proud to be working with government to pilot new prototype software which will streamline and simplify the planning process for applicants and the council alike – and we’ve been delighted to welcome the Minister to Buckinghamshire today so show her this software in action.
As a new council, we’re proud to be at the forefront of developing and trialling new ways of working for councils that ultimately bring big benefits to our residents.”
Housing and Planning Minister, Lucy Frazer said:
“It was fantastic to hear about the work going on in Buckinghamshire in the Digital Planning space. We want to ensure the public are better connected to the planning issues and decisions that affect them whilst also supporting councils to develop cutting edge services which will save them time and money.
“These new digital services will modernise the planning system, speeding up applications and help us to deliver our levelling up mission.”