The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has revealed plans to set up a funding programme to support councils in improving digital services for the submission and assessment of planning applications.
It is to stage an online launch event next week, on 16 November, for the Planning Software Improvement Fund, at which it will provide details of how the £5 million available can be used.
It is aimed at council planning, transformation and digital teams, along with suppliers of planning application submission services, case manage systems and geographical information systems.
The funding will support councils in working together to develop services as part of the Open Digital Planning project and working with their existing suppliers.
DLUHC said the move comes as part of the levelling up and regeneration agenda, which includes a commitment to improve processes in planning applications.
It is the latest step in DLUHC’s programme of modernising the planning system. In August it formally launched three digital services: to find out whether planning permission is needed and to apply for a lawful development certificate under the RIPA (reducing invalid planning applications) project; and Back Office Planning Systems (BOPS) for council officers to validate and process lawful development certificates.