The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has chosen mySociety to carry out the early phases of work on a central register of planning permissions.
The non-profit civic technology organisation will run exploratory and alpha phases of the project over the next three months as part of MHCLG’s plan to aggregate data on residential planning applications from councils across England.
The project will involve research, consulting with experts in the field and building proof of concept tools for testing.
Mark Cridge, chief executive of mySociety, told UKAuthority that it will work with the ministry to “understand what exists, where the gaps are and to make recommendations on how to move forward”.
He added: “We will look at prototypes as part of the alpha work, which may be around service development, and we’re going into the project with a very open mind. We are keen to see where there are gaps that are stopping planning operations from working as well as they could.”
MHCLG recently highlighted the plan for a central register, saying it should improve the quality of information and that it would be available as open data.
Priorities include 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.
Several of mySociety’s services involve digital mapping and geographic problem solving. It recently launched Keep It In The Community, which maps assets of community value across England.
Image by Les Chatfield, CC BY 2.0 through flickr