Our customers are getting ready for planning reform. They need the right data for the new digital tools to help them deliver a better customer experience.
When the planning reform consultation was announced in August 2020, many were left wondering what it would mean for local authorities. Since then, four of our ASSURE customers have been selected to make up the ten ‘pathfinders’ who will be helping to unpick it. With reform just around the corner, we’re making sure we’re ready to support you. But we need to start in the right place.
The government wants new map-based digital tools to increase community involvement and speed up the planning process. Underpinning them will be data standards and templates. These are sorely needed if officers aren’t to be deluged with manually resolving contradictory data. Right now, a piece of land might fall into both a Local Plan and a Neighbourhood Plan, which means there could be contradictions in policies. No wonder things get complicated.
As a long-standing provider of planning software, historic legislation often tied our hands. It sometimes prescribed ‘how’ a transaction had to be done, even if our customers knew that certain things just weren’t relevant. These kinds of regulations age badly and stifle innovation, which is why reform could be beneficial, both to efficiency and the public experience.
Our customers won’t need to develop new ways of working from scratch, because ASSURE validates all data on submission. There’s no need to worry about making the data fit into specific criteria, because we’ll handle that for you.
So the new data standards are nothing to fear. If you need more context you can keep fuller text responses, but even then it’s only keeping the information you need. So planning officers spend their time and judgement on the important stuff.
ASSURE users are also further ahead when it comes to the customer experience. GIS mapping already supports applications and consultations and it can be easily repurposed for local plans. With very clear maps, you could see Growth, Renewal and Protected land in an instant. What’s more, the system will process applications differently, depending on which category the application falls within. And with data standards in place, we will be able to automate much of that process too. That means a reduced workload for planning officers and a simpler, fast-tracked application process.
Planning departments face an array of challenges, processing everything from house extensions to proposed airports. Connecting to specialist systems makes that job easier, from 3D mapping to finance. ASSURE integrates so easily that the options to work more efficiently are endless.
We expect the Planning Bill in the next year, and our customers are well placed to rise to the challenge. To simplify data, integrate easily and to face the future of planning head on. And if you have any questions about how to move forward, you know where we are.
Learn more about ASSURE Planning.