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MHCLG aims for national register of planning applications

24/10/18

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is working on a new central digital register for planning applications.

Frame of house under construction

The move is aimed at providing a single source in a consistent format, compared with the data currently available from local authorities in an array of formats.

MHCLG is currently looking for support for discovery and alpha phases in looking for the best solutions available and making the data openly available.

This follows a commitment by the Government to provide a central register of planning applications in last year’s Budget, with the aim of improving the quality of information on where planning permissions are held and providing for better monitoring of progress in building homes.

At the moment MHCLG is trying to develop a better understanding of what is needed and the challenges and to identify the options for a solution.

Discovery priorities

It has outlined the priorities for the discovery phase as helping local authorities publish planning applications in a standard way; giving itself access to the data to help target interventions effectively; giving property technology firms reliable open data on applications; and providing property developers with insights to find developable sites.

This follows a broader discovery phase into the state of housing and land data by the ministry’s Digital Land team.

The move reflects the Government commitment to open data, its aim to increase its analytical capabilities for strategic insights, and its identification of the ‘proptech’ industry as one of those in which the UK digital sector has a big potential for growth.

Image by Les Chatfield, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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