Council to co-design modern digital planning services

Gloucester City Council has been awarded a grant of £395k from the Department for Levelling Up, and Housing Communities (DLUHC) to develop new software for the city’s planning applications.

The city council, alongside seven other councils will be joining the ‘Reducing Invalid Planning Applications’ (RIPA), and Back Office Planning System (BOPS) project team to co-design a new system that aims to improve the accessibility, transparency and efficiency of planning systems in England.

Ultimately the preparing and submitting of applications will be simplified, with the goal of reducing the number of invalid applications, as well as making the customer’s experience more user friendly.

One of the ways the new system will help speed up applications is by helping to ensure customers have all of the documentation required when they submit the application.

On average the city council receives around 800 planning applications every year.

Cllr Stephanie Chambers, cabinet member for planning and housing strategy, said: “We are grateful to be awarded with this much needed funding from the DLUHC. This grant will help us to modernise our system to ensure it remains fit for purpose for many years to come. The new system will increase efficiency throughout the planning application process, therefore providing a quicker and better service for all customers.”