DORSET Council is reaching a key point in a project to transform its planning system.
Over the last year, the council has been working to pull together the six former district, borough and county councils planning functions together into one team using one planning management software version. It has also used an outside agency to clear the validation backlog of planning applications.
Transferring the data onto the new system will be phased with the first phase being for the former North Dorset area. This will happen from September 24 to 28, followed by the former West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland area, then former East Dorset and Purbeck area, and finally the former Dorset County Council data.
During the time of transfer there will be no access to planning application information online and no ability to add comments. Any consultation deadlines that will fall during this time will automatically be extended by four days to compensate.
Once the transfer has taken place, information on planning application for the former North Dorset area will still be accessed as before using the relevant area button on the planning web page. The new system has a similar look to the current East Dorset pages. Comments can be entered onto each application online and be seen immediately.
When all the information has been transferred, early in 2021, the benefits will include more efficient processing of applications, and consistent information available to customers. There will also be further work to review all our processes, as part of the planning transformation project.
Cllr David Walsh, Dorset Council portfolio holder for planning, said: “This is a huge achievement for the council. By bringing all planning services into one team and one system, we can make sure that there is a consistency of approach across Dorset.
“But please bear with us, this is a huge task and we will continue to improve our services.”
Find out more information about planning services at www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/planning