Innovation and changeDigital TransformationCentral Register of Planning Permissions moves a step closer

Central Register of Planning Permissions moves a step closer

mySociety to work with MHCLG on first phase of project to aggregate planning applications.

mySociety, the UK civic tech non-profit, has won a contract with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for the first phases of work towards a Central Register of Planning Permissions.

The exploratory and alpha phases of the project will provide a clear direction forward for the Ministry’s long-term plan to aggregate data on residential planning applications from councils across England and make it available as Open Data.

Such a dataset will aid central government in the development of new digital services to support the planning system and the housing market. The open nature of the data means that it will also be of wider use, both to the building industry and to individuals looking to see which applications have succeeded or failed in the past.

At the present time, there is no single source of residential planning application information nationally. English local planning authorities are required to publish planning application registers, but as is often the case with data collected across a diversity of different organisations, the quality and formats differ greatly from council to council.

For MHCLG, mySociety will be conducting research, consulting with experts in the field and building proof-of-concept tools for testing, before reporting back on the best way to progress on the project to create a flexible and sustainable open dataset.

Chief executive of mySociety, Mark Cridge, said: “Lots of very smart people in lots of organisations have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about how to improve the planning system. We’re excited at the opportunity to help the team at MHCLG build upon and make use of much of the good work that has already been done to date, and to develop strategies and techniques for making planning permission data more useful and accessible for the sector as a whole.”

This phase of the project is scheduled to run until April 2019.

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