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Dorset Council consolidates digital tools for planning


Mark Say Managing Editor


Dorset Council has begun the consolidation of its digital tools for the planning function on the MasterGov suite from DEF Software.

Digital icons over person at laptop

It is part of its rationalisation of systems following the combination of six councils in the county into a unitary in 2019.

The migration for planning teams from three of the former authorities – Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, West Dorset District Council and North Dorset District Council – was completed towards the end of March with the migration of over 8.1 million records. The remaining three systems – for teams from Purbeck, East Dorset and Dorset County Council – are set to be fully integrated this summer.

Previously all six councils used different planning systems and were unable to share data between them.

The next phase of the project will focus on Dorset Council and DEF Software collaborating to create efficiencies within the system and identifying ways to improve the front end.

The new suite includes regulatory functions across planning, building control and land charges and will be used by the 250 employees in the planning team. It will also be used to promote automation in the council.

Councillor David Walsh, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for planning said: “Converging six former district, borough and county councils planning information is the first step in transforming our services. Having a DEF as a partner for this project has been essential to its success.”

Image from iStock, Anyaberkut

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