Dacorum Borough Council has completed a pilot in the use of an interactive map that plots the sources of developer contributions in the planning process.
It has succeeded in converting text and spreadsheet information into a digital mapping environment to help manage and communicate developers’ contributions to infrastructure under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act and the Community Infrastructure Levy.
The council has worked with geospatial information system (GIS) provider Esri UK on the project, which is continuing with the aim of integrating regular, automated data feeds to make the application more current.
Once the work is completed the intention is to make the tools available online for the public to understand the process and engage in infrastructure funding and planning.
Esri indicated that future plans might also include adding more layers of data, such as growth scenarios and strategic sites, to help with planning financial and non-financial developer contributions to fund and deliver infrastructure.
Value of visualisation
Cllr Alan Anderson, Dacorum’s portfolio holder for planning and infrastructure, said: “The pilot has shown the value of using digital maps to visualise and monitor contributions spatially and understand where and how the money is being spent.
“The tool can give a clearer understanding of infrastructure funding received and how it links to infrastructure planned and delivered, by presenting the data visually and spatially, using an interactive web experience.
“Providing this information in a spatial way gives council officers a powerful asset which can be used for planning, decision making and monitoring.”
He added: “One of the most obvious findings of the pilot has been how GIS can create interactive experiences with this financial data – particularly the ability to change dull, static spreadsheets into more meaningful, visual data that can be used for multiple purposes.”