TerraQuest News

- Mar 2023

Spotlight on… our work to continue reducing invalid applications

Following on from our series of updates about past and future improvements to the Planning Portal, you will already know that we constantly strive to help reduce the number of planning applications which are invalid due to missing information. The introduction of a payment service to the Planning Portal significantly reduced the number of missing payments. Now, inaccurate location plans remain the single biggest cause of invalid applications.

Planning Portal is changing the way sites are identified and shared with Local Planning Authorities 

Aligning with our continued efforts to reduce invalidation, we are excited to provide details on the latest feature to be introduced into the Planning Portal; embedding a location plan creator into the application service.

What is the location plan feature?

The existing process of sourcing a map provider, then creating and attaching that site location file, is time-consuming, presents inconsistencies, and does not meet with the government’s digital planning reform agenda.

We are focused on meeting the points raised in that agenda, such as:

  • Sharing data, rather than documents
  • Displaying information in a consistent and more visual manner​
  • Reducing unnecessary manual effort

A consistent, national approach 

By introducing this feature to the Planning Portal, everyone will benefit from a consistent process.

For users, they will be able to draw the site boundary as part of their application journey on the Planning Portal using our simple tool - saving time and therefore money, on each application, or upload their own file. As a bonus, planning professionals will be able to retrieve a copy of their location plan as a PDF or data file, for uploading directly into their own systems.

Local Planning Authorities will receive information in a standard way for each application, which is checked against legislative criteria - reducing the likelihood of an invalid location plan. The method will also reduce the manual effort involved in re-plotting the site location, and the user’s process will be the same for every application, regardless of which Local Authority receives it. We know from our experience, and the introduction of our payment service specifically, that this standardised approach brings greater efficiencies for all. 

Keep up-to-date

​Our team will be hosting a webinar on 23 March to present how the location plan feature will look and work, the benefits, and answer any questions customers may have. To be added to attend this free webinar, please click the link below.

Attend our webinar

We will also be sharing more details about creating location plans within a Planning Portal application as our development continues. Follow us on our social media channels or subscribe to the Planning Portal Blog for instant alerts.