A total of 15 council-led projects will continue to digitalise local planning, using the likes of 4D, VR and AR, after securing £3.2m of government funds.
The third round of the government’s PropTech Innovation Fund will help 27 local planning authorities to build on previous rounds of funding, which saw them develop and test solutions relating to the scalability, interoperability and visualisation of consultation data and digital engagement platforms.
The solutions being developed will help to reduce time and resources lost due to the current complex processing and packaging of consultation feedback from citizens. They will also help to solve the challenges of data analysis, management and governance, as well as make it easier to visualise and share data across stakeholder and community networks.
This round of funding features three cohorts focused on different technologies and outcomes. Cohort 1 is trialling 3D, 4D, VR, AR models and visualisation to ensure data driven decision making and transparency in planning. This cohort includes Nottingham City Council and Bradford Council working together, Cornwall Council, Southampton City Council, Wirral Council, and Birmingham City Council.
Cohort 2 is solving interoperability and lack of back-office integration through developing APIs, platform integration and data standards and supplier collaboration. This cohort includes Epsom & Ewell District Council, the London Borough of Newham, the London Borough of Waltham Forest, and the London Borough of Hounslow.
And finally, cohort 3 is working with statutory consultees and the Planning Inspectorate to trial innovative approaches to process and package feedback and representations through the application of new technologies, including AI and natural language processing.
This cohort includes Harlow and Gilston Garden Town, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning, Bolsover District Council, the London Boroughs of Richmond & Wandsworth, Cotswold & West Oxfordshire District Councils, and South West Hertfordshire Joint Strategic Plan.
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