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DLUHC announces allocation of funding for council-led initiatives advancing innovative digital planning services

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Digital Planning, Innovation, PropTech

a title card that says 'funding awarded to council-led initiatives advancing innovative digital planning services'

The DLUHC Digital Planning Programme is supporting further Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) through the latest funding round for digital services to improve planning.  

The LPA work we’re funding aligns with our vision of enabling a modern and efficient planning system in England, shifting a documents-based system to one that is data-driven, standards-based and powered by modern user-centred products and services. 

LPAs were able to submit applications to 2 funds: 

  • the Digital Planning Improvement Fund: Round 2  
  • the PropTech Innovation Fund: Round 4  

Digital Planning Improvement Fund:
Round 2

Building on work with councils last year, the Digital Planning Improvement Fund is providing 43 LPAs with £100,000 of funding to support the adoption of modern planning practices within planning data, digital capabilities and development management software. 

The funding will support LPAs to take advantage of digital service improvements, prepare for forthcoming legislation and begin collaborating with other local authorities, technology providers and DLUHC on software and data projects. 

The successful LPAs will embark on a 5-step process where they will complete the following activities:

  1. Join the Open Digital Planning (ODP) community to get access to comprehensive guidance and a peer support network of over 70 other LPAs. 
  2. Self-assess the digital maturity of their planning service and use this as a baseline for future work. 
  3. Develop an action plan to improve the maturity of their service over time. 
  4. Access relevant digital and data training opportunities identified in the action plan. 
  5. Improve and publish the first 4 spatial datasets to the Planning Data Platform: Conservation Areas, Listed Buildings, Tree Preservation Orders, Article 4 Directions. 

The successful LPAs are: 

  • Ashford Borough Council 
  • Basildon Borough Council 
  • Bolton Council 
  • Bristol City Council 
  • Castle Point Borough Council 
  • Central Bedfordshire Council 
  • City of London Corporation 
  • City of York Council 
  • East Cambridgeshire District Council 
  • East Hampshire District Council 
  • East Herts District Council 
  • Horsham District Council 
  • Leicester City Council 
  • London Borough of Barking and Dagenham 
  • London Borough of Croydon
  • London Borough of Enfield 
  • London Borough of Haringey 
  • London Borough of Hounslow 
  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets 
  • Milton Keynes City Council 
  • New Forest District Council 
  • New Forest National Park Authority 
  • North Yorkshire Council 
  • Northumberland County Council 
  • Peterborough City Council 
  • Plymouth City Council 
  • Rochdale Borough Council 
  • Rossendale Borough Council 
  • Rother District Council 
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea 
  • Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council 
  • South Cambridgeshire District Council (with Cambridge City Council, joint planning service) 
  • South Gloucestershire Council 
  • South Norfolk Council (with Broadland District Council, joint planning service) 
  • South Staffordshire District Council
  • Spelthorne Borough Council 
  • Surrey Heath Borough Council 
  • Tandridge District Council 
  • Tendring District Council 
  • Torbay Council 
  • Trafford Borough Council 
  • Waverley Borough Council 
  • Westminster City Council 

 You can find out more about the Open Digital Planning community through our dedicated website, our LinkedIn page, and subscribe to the regular newsletter for all news and updates. 

 The PropTech Innovation Fund:
Round 4

The PropTech Innovation Fund is the largest UK Government PropTech programme and it has supported 65 pilots across 47 LPAs to work with industry at pace and scale to radically transform how communities engage in the planning system.  

Key achievements from Round 1 of the PropTech Innovation Fund included a 119% increase in citizen participation and 280 hours of planning officer time saved. Round 2 saw some projects achieving 3 times greater response levels compared with previous consultations, a 40% reduction in officer time, and a 342% increase in respondents under the age of 34.  

Both were successful in increasing the quality and quantity of responses, engaging with different demographics, and enabling resource savings for local authorities.  

The remit of Round 4 projects responds to increased industry demand to accelerate land assessment and viability alongside visualisation of citizen engagement and plan-making. 

Round 4 will support 37 pilot projects across 49 LPAs that demonstrate the benefits of how digital solutions can be leveraged across land assessment (improving current approaches to identifying and evaluating sites, including viability and feasibility assessments, analysing small sites, or land assembly projects) as well as digital citizen engagement work on visualising planning proposals. 

The pilots will cover a wide range of potential use cases from local plan-making, capacity and constraints modelling, strategic housing or economic land availability, biodiversity net gain, small sites and visualisation for citizen engagement. 

We are delighted to announce that the following 49 councils have been awarded funding to deliver outcomes under the themes above: 

  • Basildon Borough Council   
  • Central Bedfordshire Council   
  • Cheshire West and Chester Council (joint with Forest of Dean District Council)   
  • City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council (joint with Leeds City Council)   
  • Cornwall Council  
  • Dacorum Borough Council   
  • Durham County Council   
  • East Herts District Council   
  • Lancaster City Council  
  • London Borough of Haringey (joint with London Borough of Barnet)   
  • London Borough of Hounslow   
  • London Borough of Lambeth  
  • London Borough of Lewisham   
  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets  
  • Newcastle City Council (joint with Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council)  
  • North Devon Council 
  • North East Derbyshire District Council (joint with Bassetlaw District Council, Chesterfield Borough Council)   
  • North Kesteven District Council (joint with City of Lincoln Council, West Lindsey District Council)   
  • North Tyneside Council   
  • Plymouth City Council (joint with South Hams District Council, West Devon Borough Council)  
  • Reigate and Banstead Borough Council 
  • Royal Borough Kensington and Chelsea  
  • Salford City Council  
  • Sevenoaks District Council (joint with Nottingham City Council)  
  • Somerset Council  
  • South Cambridgeshire District Council (joint with Cambridge City Council)  
  • Southampton City Council (joint with City of London Corporation)    
  • Stoke-on-Trent City Council   
  • Surrey County Council  
  • Tandridge District Council   
  • Teignbridge District Council 
  • Thanet District Council   
  • West Oxfordshire District Council (joint with Cotswold District Council)   
  • Wigan Council 
  • Wirral Borough Council  

To find out more, you can visit our Digital Planning LinkedIn page or subscribe to the regular newsletter for news and updates. 

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