THE transformation of Dorset Council’s planning services is being discussed at the next Cabinet meeting on December 8.
The report to be discussed offers a review of the council’ services by The Planning Advisory Service that took place within the unitary authority’s first year.
One of the ten key recommendations was to combine the six legacy planning systems of the former district and borough councils across Dorset into one single software platform.
This would provide good functionality for customers and a simple workflow and performance management, and the planning convergence and transformation project is now underway.
This project will clear the backlog of planning applications, converge the six systems into one system, then transform the planning service around the council’s customers – improving communication and making the most of new technology
The first phase to transfer information from the former North Dorset District Council has been completed. Data from West Dorset will be transferred this month and other remaining legacy council systems will then migrate in 2021.
During the transfer process there is a period where comments cannot be made on the planning system. This is communicated to all those interested in the process with an extension of deadlines if needed.
Initially, the new system may have less functionality for customers than they previously had, but once the transfer of data is complete work will start on transforming the user experience of our planning portal.
Cllr David Walsh, Dorset Council portfolio holder for planning, said: “This is an important piece of work. Everyone is working hard to ensure that all the information is transferred and accessible for our customers to use.
“I ask that people bear with us where they have experienced a lack of functionality or delay caused by the outage that happens during transfer. I understand that this can be frustrating, but we are working to make the system better and more user-friendly.”
During the project the planning service has continued to function, receiving 796 planning applications between July and September. A total of 800 planning decisions were issued within this time.
Many applications need to be consulted on so there is a delay between submitting an application and the resulting decision.
The report to be discussed at Cabinet next week can be viewed by clicking here.
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