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Planning Advice Note 70: electronic planning service delivery

Published: 20 Nov 2008
Part of:
Building, planning and design
ISBN:
9780755918614

Planning Advice Note (PAN) 70 explains how new technology can improve the delivery of the planning service.

39 page PDF

679.7kB

39 page PDF

679.7kB

Contents
Planning Advice Note 70: electronic planning service delivery
DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

39 page PDF

679.7kB

DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

Local Planning Online

49. The Scottish Executive's Partnership Agreement states that we will strengthen the involvement of communities in the planning system and speed up decision making. An important part of this is improving the interaction of communities and businesses with the local plan process. The internet offers the potential to improve awareness of local plans and enhance consultation during their preparation. Planning authorities can improve the local plan process by providing the following online:

  • information on the purpose of the local plan;
  • information on the local plan area;
  • a copy of the local plan at each stage of the process;
  • background and issues papers;
  • any amendments to the local plan;
  • the timetable for preparation of the local plan;
  • information on how to engage with the local plan process;
  • information on the local plan inquiry;
  • a summary of representations and responses;
  • relevant committee reports; and
  • contact details and addresses.

50. Some planning authorities already allow local plan representation forms to be downloaded, others allow the forms to be completed online and the information automatically entered into a database. Additionally, some authorities have developed systems which automatically send out confirmation receipts of representations. Planning authorities can improve online consultation by providing:

  • an email address where representations can be submitted;
  • guidance on what is, and what is not, a valid planning issue;
  • information on how representations are dealt with; and
  • information on how name and postal address information is handled.

Case Study 5: Aberdeenshire Council allowed local plan representations to be submitted online. They were automatically transferred into a database during the preparation of the Aberdeenshire Local Plan. Individuals could log onto the online consultation system to view their representations. This system allowed efficient consultation and saved staff time on data entry.

Case Study 6: Moray Council used an interactive mapping tool during the consultation on the Moray Local Plan. It allowed users to add their own labels to the draft proposals map. The map could then to can be emailed 'to a friend', to the planning authority or others, along with any comments.

51. The e-Planning Compact encourages all planning authorities to display their local plans online. Most planning authorities have their local plan written statements available online. All planning authorities are also encouraged to place local plan proposals maps online. There are a range of techniques that can be used to achieve this, including graphic files and webserver technology. Various technical options are explored in Annex B.

52. Planning authorities are increasingly digitising their local plan proposals map directly onto their GIS. Some authorities are digitising the maps with Ordnance Survey Landline or MasterMap, rather than the commonly used 1:10,000 scale raster mapping. This enables a high level of precision to be achieved. The resultant certainty can help prevent protracted deliberations over site boundaries during the development control process. The downside is the additional time it takes to digitise the maps and the increased number of maps required for the paper version.

53. Most planning authorities display their local plan on their own website. Some have chosen to use external companies to host a local plan website. It is possible to design the external website to follow the authority's corporate style and to connect it back to the planning homepage via hyperlinks. Companies will generally charge an annual fee for hosting a website and individual fees for updating and amending plans.

Structure Planning Online

54. All the Structure Plan Core Teams have a website with relevant information about the structure plan. To improve accessibility to structure plans, a printable version of the document should be provided online. Where the structure plan has been prepared jointly, but there is no Structure Plan Core Team, one planning authority tends to take the lead in placing information online - the other planning authority/authorities link to their site. Structure plan homepages should include links to the Executive's planning homepage and the homepages of relevant planning authorities. It is good practice for each structure plan homepage to also provide:

  • information on the structure plan area;
  • information on the purpose of the structure plan;
  • a copy of the structure plan at each stage of the process;
  • the timetable for preparation of the structure plan;
  • information on how to engage with the structure plan process;
  • a summary of representations and responses;
  • background and issues papers;
  • relevant committee reports;
  • Scottish Ministers' modifications; and
  • contact and address details.

55. In addition, it is useful for structure plan websites to provide:

  • an email address where representations can be submitted;
  • guidance on what is, and what is not, a valid planning issue;
  • information on how representations are dealt with; and
  • information on how name and postal address information is handled.

56. Structure plan key diagrams are less detailed than their local plan counterparts and therefore easier to display online in a clear and understandable way. It may, however, be possible to include interactive features on the key diagram, such as links from the diagram to the relevant part of the written text.

Case Study 7: Ayrshire Joint Structure Plan and Transportation Committee has an innovative online system which displays housing land supply information. This provides access to specific site information and Ordnance Survey mapping. The search facility allows the user to select by individual site or by community. Pan and zoom buttons are provided to scale and centre the mapping.


Contact

Email: ceu@gov.scot