More local authorities get funding to digitalise planning systems

Image: 203684935 © Ronstik |

Nearly 30 local authorities are set digitalise their planning systems after securing £3.2m-plus funding from the government.

The second round of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ (DLUHC) Proptech Engagement Fund is being shared by 28 local authorities across England. It will enable authorities to test 3D interactive maps and VR to help local people better envision proposed new developments in their communities and encourage them to get more involved in planning locally.

The pilots will run until September and will inform the government’s work to modernise the planning system. DLUHC is working closely with planning authorities across the country to establish best practice and identify where further digital guidance and innovations are needed.

Among the 28 local authority projects is Watford Borough Council’s plan to develop a digital platform to help residents have their say on how to spend contributions from developers towards infrastructure in their community.

Meanwhile, Plymouth Council (alongside South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council) will produce a set of interactive maps for residents to identify what infrastructure is needed in their local area

And Walsall Council will use the funding to encourage under-represented community voices to have their say on the regeneration of Bloxwich and Walsall Town Centre.

Minister for housing Stuart Andrew said: “We need a modernised planning system that fully embraces digital technology to create places in which people take real pride. By bringing the planning system up to date with the latest methods, we are ensuring that communities can have more of a say on the development of their town, city or neighbourhood.”

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