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									The Planning Portal


Business Plan
2008 - 2011
                                The Planning Portal
                                in context
                                The Planning Portal is provided by the Department for Communities and
                                Local Government (DCLG) to be the first port of call for planning and
                                building information and services online.
                                The Portal supports the Sustainable Communities agenda underpinned by The Royal Assent of
                                the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, which set out the Government’s commitment to
                                modernising the planning system and improving service delivery.
                                The Planning Portal operates at the centre of the planning process in England and Wales. Although
                                funded in the main by Central Government it has distinguished itself as an authoritative yet balanced
                                provider of information and services to all engaged in planning, lay-person or professional.
                                The Portal provides services to citizens, business and all 398 English and 25 Welsh Local Planning
                                Authorities (LPAs) delivering timely, accurate and accessible information and tools that are helping to
                                demystify planning and building regulations.
                                The Portal utilises technology and outreach to deliver tangible and meaningful benefits to all users of
                                the planning system. In 2007/08 these benefits amounted to £25.6M 1.
                                The Portal’s core aim is to help the system become more efficient and transparent using technology
                                as the enabler. This is set against a background of a largely paper-based planning system currently
                                processing some 650,000 planning applications a year.
                                Since its inception in 2002 the Portal has played a key role in supporting LPAs move toward electronic
                                working and in driving common standards and best practice. It works closely not only with individual
                                Authorities, but with the sector as a whole, engaging with key bodies, including: the Local Government
                                Association, the Planning Advisory Service and the Improvement & Development Agency.
                                The Planning Portal received its first electronic planning application in April 2003. Today 20% of all
                                applications pass through the Portal and it is possible to submit an electronic application to every
                                authority in England and Wales using a standard national form. This is especially advantageous for
                                businesses who submit applications to many authorities.
                                The Planning Portal embodies the aims of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) Service
                                Transformation Agreement, which sets out how public services must change to better meet the needs
                                of citizens and businesses and has a key role in the delivery of Planning White Paper outcomes.
                                The Portal has established a unique publishing relationship with DirectGov in support of the Varney
                                recommendations and is responsible for £313M of DCLG’s commitment to reduce administrative
                                burden set out in the document “Simplification Plan: The route to better regulation”.
                                Looking forward, the Portal will continue to drive take-up of electronic services including developing
                                an online hub that will enable authorities and consultees to share planning application information
                                electronically; thereby completing the end-to-end process and leading to faster turnaround.
                                The Planning Portal works in a fast-paced IT environment and strives to maintain its reputation as
                                a front runner in the use of user-centric electronic services, that deliver real benefits to everyone
                                engaged in planning. Over the period of the plan it is anticipated that this will include more integrated
                                use of GIS mapping and Web 2.0 functionality to further improve the customer experience of planning
                                in England and Wales.




1   www.planningportal.gov.uk    KPMG Research showed every electronic application can deliver a potential minimum saving of £122
                                1

    Business Plan 2008-2011     for LPAs and £120 for applicants, rising to £970 for larger applications.
                                Foreword

                                Over five years the Planning Portal has established itself as
                                unquestionably the most comprehensive source of information
                                and advice on planning and building control matters in the UK.
                                This has been recognised by numerous awards and by specific
                                inclusion within the 2006 CapGemini report for the European
                                Union on European e-Government readiness.
                                In the past year (2007/08) traffic has grown to unprecedented levels, including processing
                                more than 100,000 planning applications.
                                The Portal team have risen to the significant challenge of maintaining the momentum of
                                electronic planning application take-up, while simultaneously delivering two nationally
                                significant transformational projects; the National Standard Planning Application Form
                                (1App) and the e-Consultation Hub.
                                These tasks, shared with LPAs, have been challenging and have involved every member of
                                the team working with colleagues in policy and with external partners.
                                Despite this workload the Portal was short-listed once again for the E-Government National
                                Awards in recognition of the Portal’s success in delivering a truly joined-up national planning
                                application service.
                                In the coming year the Portal will focus very carefully on consolidating the successful
                                delivery of these services and on further cementing our role at the heart of a transformed
                                planning system. As in previous years, this will include helping LPAs overcome the hurdles
                                of transforming a paper-based system into a fully e-enabled and efficient planning process.
                                Beyond 2008/09 we intend to lead the further e-enablement of planning towards a fully
                                inclusive and accessible system that contributes to the Department’s vision of prosperous
                                and cohesive communities, offering a safe, healthy and sustainable environment for all.
                                It has been my privilege to lead the team through a time of enormous change and great
                                challenge and I am thrilled and proud to have been part of this success.




                                Chris Kendall
                                Planning Portal Director




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Content

The Planning Portal in context                                                2   Performance Targets                                   24
                                                                                    Current position                                    24
Foreward                                                                      4
                                                                                    Core targets                                        24
The Purpose of the Business Plan                                              8
                                                                                  Planned Activity                                      25
    Research note                                                             8
                                                                                    Existing services                                   25
    Executive Summary                                                         9
                                                                                    Development activities                              26
Customers                                                                    13
                                                                                  People and Structure                                  27
    Citizens                                                                 13
                                                                                    Governance                                          27
    Planning Professionals                                                   13
                                                                                    Organisational structure                            27
    Local Planning Authorities                                               13
    Central Government                                                       13   Funding                                               29
                                                                                    Total Costs                                         29
Partners                                                                     14
                                                                                    Revenue                                             30
    Local Government                                                         14
    Wales                                                                    14   Strategic Assumptions/Risks                           31
    DirectGov and Business Link                                              14
                                                                                  Appendix A – Project Development Activities           33
    The Planning Inspectorate                                                14
                                                                                    Project briefs - approved                           34
Successes to Date                                                            15     Project briefs - yet to be approved                 44
    Benefits                                                                 15
                                                                                  Appendix B – Team definitions                         47
    Traffic and Usage                                                        16
                                                                                    Product and Publishing team                         48
    Awards                                                                   16
                                                                                    Transformational Delivery team                      49
Future Development                                                           18     Regional Account Management team                    50
    Vision                                                                   18     Technical and Operations team                       51
                                                                                    Commercial team                                     52
Goals                                                                        19
                                                                                    Marketing and Communications team                   53
    Establishing electronic planning as the norm                             20
                                                                                    Administration and Finance team                     54
    Confirm our position as the authoritative online resource for planning   21
    Supporting the modernisation of building control                         22   Appendix C – Detailed resource costs                  55
    The e-Consultatation Hub                                                 22
                                                                                  Appendix D – Detailed income projections by product   57
    Delivering Departmental objectives                                       23




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     Business Plan 2008-2011
                                The Purpose
                                of the Business Plan
                                The purpose of this document is to present the proposed plan for the
                                development of the Planning Portal in the period 2008 to 2011.
                                The paper sets out:
                                • The programme of developments for the next three years
                                • The relative priorities of those developments
                                • The requisite funding for the period
                                • The proposed governance arrangements
                                • The arrangements for delivery of core business




                                Research note
                                Throughout the document reference is made to research findings.
                                Unless specified separately this refers to either independent research carried out by COI on behalf of the
                                Portal during Oct – Dec 2007 or to findings from the Annual Planning Portal survey of 120,000 registered
                                users, carried out in January and February 2008.




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    Business Plan 2008-2011
Executive Summary

The Portal provides as its core business, online services to citizens, businesses and all 398 English
and 25 Welsh LPAs. In doing so it interacts with the following customer groups:
                                                                                                        Development Programme
                                                                                                        The table below outlines approved development projects in addition to business as usual activity.
Citizens: provides the authoritative resource for all aspects of planning and building control,
making the system more transparent and easier to understand.
                                                                                                        Projects
Planning Professionals: able to keep abreast of the latest planning news, make applications,                                                 2008/09         2009/10          2010/11
appeals and inquiries from a single point and standardise their business processes on the Standard
National Planning Application Form (1App).                                                                                                        (£k)            (£k)             (£k)

Local Planning Authorities: receive planning applications and payments electronically, publish
development plans, link into policy content. Benefit from assistance driving transformation of          E-consultation                            £914           £759k           £751k
planning services.
                                                                                                        e-Application Take-up                    £199k           £186k           £170k
Enables planners to use their skills to add value to the planning process rather than simply
                                                                                                        Supplier Engagement                       £73k            £88k             £98k
administer it.
                                                                                                        Building Control                         £403k           £291k           £179k
Central Government: helps transform planning by providing a platform for electronic services,
such as 1App, appeals administration and statutory consultation.                                        1App Development                         £854k           £537k           £437k
Wales: provides a Welsh version of the Portal and services.                                             Planning 360                             £221k           £208k           £100k
DirectGov and Business Link: provides tailored content for both websites and aims to deliver            Commercial Proposition                    £46k
deeper integration of content and services in support of Varney recommendations.
                                                                                                        Carbon Research                           £50k
The Planning Inspectorate: provides the customer interface to the Planning Inspectorate’s
                                                                                                        Core IT Contract Re-let                   £67k
Planning Casework Service and publishes Inspectorate content.
                                                                                                        Minor Developments                        £81k            £83k             £75k
Successes to Date                                                                                       Total                                 £2,908k         £2,152k          £1,810k
From a standing start in 2002 the Portal has achieved the following key successes:
• 20% of all planning applications in England and Wales processed online
• £25.6M of financial benefits associated with the above for 2007/08
                                                                                                        Governance
• Projected benefits over the next three years of £202M                                                 Strategic oversight will be provided by a Governance Board made up of members of DCLG policy
• National reduction of application form variations from 12,000 to 1                                    division.
• 0.25M unique users, visiting 0.5M times, viewing 6M pages each month                                  The Board will determine and advise the Planning Programme Board on the strategic direction of the
• 40,000 professional subscribers to the weekly e-Newsletter                                            Planning Portal within the context of overall CLG objectives.

Objectives                                                                                              Organisational Structure
The Portal will continue to drive improvements across the planning and building control systems,        The Portal team is led by a Director with accountability to a Senior Responsible Owner from within
focusing on three distinct goals as directed by the Chief Planner:                                      DCLG. The Planning Portal links with policy colleagues on specific projects to ensure delivery maps to
• Establishing electronic planning as the norm                                                          departmental objectives.
• Confirmation as the authoritative online resource for planning                                        The Portal team is divided into functional units led by Heads of Function, each of whom is responsible
• Supporting the modernisation of building control                                                      for specific elements of business or performance against objectives, each working together to form the
                                                                                                        Portal management team.




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Funding                                                                                                     What success will look like
The table below sets out the minimum funding necessary for the Portal to carry out the activities set out   The Planning Portal will have succeeded in meeting its objectives if at the end of March 2011 it sits at
in this plan.                                                                                               the centre of a transformed planning system. This will be characterised by the following quantitative
                                                                                                            achievements and by qualitative research that suggests excellent levels of customer satisfaction with a
                                     2008/09          2009/10           2010/11
                                                                                                            fully end-to-end electronic planning process, from application to appeal decision.
                                          (£k)             (£k)            (£k)
                                                                                                            1App will have been further enhanced and improved to include a greater degree of automation and the
Business as Usual                        2,400            2,650           2,550                             e-consultation hub will be transacting a significant percentage of consultation traffic, including passing
                                                                                                            electronic case files on appeals to the Planning Inspectorate.
Technical Infrastructure                 3,500            2,800           3,000
                                                                                                            Planning customers will be better informed and more able to self-serve, leading to an increase in right-
Developments                             1,675            1,358             950
                                                                                                            first-time applications.
                                                                                                            By March 2011:
Costs TOTAL                              7,575           6,750            6,500
                                                                                                            • Deliver projected benefits of £202M. Demonstrates value for money
Revenue                                    483              803             993
                                                                                                            • 600,000 visits to the Planning Portal per month. Demonstrates usefulness
Funding Requirement                      7,092           5,947            5,507
                                                                                                            • A minimum of 60% of applications processed via the Portal. Demonstrates effectiveness
                                                                                                            • 50,000 professional subscribers to the weekly e-Newsletter. Demonstrates relevance
Revenue: The Planning Portal uses Wider Markets powers to generate revenues and act as a marker in
                                                                                                            • A significant number of LPAs and all major statutory consultees using the e-Consultation Hub by
relation to the Portal’s potential to self-sustain.
                                                                                                              March 2009. Demonstrates engagement



Risk
The Planning Portal recognises that it is vital to accept and understand the risks facing delivery of
key goals. A proactive risk strategy is maintained and regularly updated. Currently the following risks
present the greatest threat to success and are consequently most closely monitored.



Risk                       Probability Impact                             Mitigation

The projected benefits Low              Medium – Slow take-up.            Ensure joined-up end-to-
of e-Planning not                       Lack in confidence in new         end system. Well thought
realised by LPAs and                    services leads to failure and     through take-up campaign.
users                                   reverting to paper                Engagement with NPIP

                                                                          Continued prime focus on
e-application take-        Low          High – Benefits not realised
                                                                          driving take-up and ensuring
up progress not
                                                                          that product meets customer
maintained
                                                                          needs

                           Medium
Slow take-up of                         High – Benefits not realised      Well thought through and
e-consultation by                       and efficiencies not delivered.   resourced high-impact take-up
LPAs                                                                      campaign




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Customers                                                                                                     Partners


Citizens                                                Planning Professionals                                Aside from its own core activities                   Wales
The Planning Portal provides an authoritative           For professional planners, planning agents,
resource for all aspects of planning and building       architects, builders and others engaged in
                                                                                                              the Planning Portal’s success has                    The Planning Portal works in partnership with
                                                                                                                                                                   the Welsh Assembly Government and all 22 LPAs
control, making the system more transparent             the planning and building control systems, the        been characterised by its work in                    and three National Parks in Wales.
and easier to understand. Citizens may research         Portal provides access to professional resources,     support of strategic partners.
planning constraints, complete planning                 online services, and reference material, such as                                                           The Planning Portal provides a separate Welsh
applications, register appeals and access               LPA local plans.                                      Local Government                                     site developed in both English and Welsh.
information relevant to their locality.
                                                        Using the Portal, planning professionals can          The Planning Portal works closely not only           The site has been developed in order to ensure
Citizens will as a result be better informed, leading   complete their work more quickly and more             with individual LPAs but also with key national      that the Planning Portal represents the individual
to an increase in planning applications that are        efficiently. They are able to keep abreast of the     organisations representing both LPAs and their       needs of Welsh LPAs within the wider planning
right first time.                                       latest planning news, make applications, appeals      staff, such as the Planning Advisory Service, the    context. This includes a fully operational Welsh
                                                        and inquiries from a single point and standardise     Improvement and Development Agency, Local            language version of the online application
                                                        their business processes on the 1App.                 Government Association, Planning Officers Society    form and will, from Spring 2008, include a
                                                                                                              and others. These stakeholders play a crucial role   Welsh version of the English Standard National
                                                        As a result businesses will be better placed to
                                                                                                              in helping the Planning Portal develop and deliver   Application Form.
                                                        benefit from a more streamlined and efficient
                                                        planning process.                                     the best possible services for its customers.




Local Planning Authorities (LPAs)                       Central Government                                    DirectGov and Business Link                          The Planning Inspectorate
For LPAs, the Portal provides a range of tools and      The Planning Portal provides a single point through   The Planning Portal plays a key role in supporting   The Planning Portal acts as the customer interface
services in support of local planning. LPAs receive     which central Government and other Government         external Government initiatives such as DirectGov    to the Planning Inspectorate’s Planning Casework
planning applications electronically, including         (and non-Government) agencies can publish and         and Businesslink, providing specifically tailored    Service (PCS). This service facilitates the
electronic transfer of payments, benefit from the       maintain planning guidance and information, as        content for the products and advice and guidance     electronic document management, consultation
tools and services to publish their development         well as provide a platform for electronic services,   to their steering groups.                            and delivery of planning appeals.
plans, local planning guidance and links into policy    such as 1App, appeals administration and
                                                                                                              In the longer term the Portal will investigate       The Planning Portal will ensure that the
content, reducing the burden on maintaining             statutory consultation.
                                                                                                              opportunities for the deeper integration of          PCS continues to receive a stable front end
content locally.
                                                        The Planning Portal team provide a wealth of          content and services in support of Varney            for its customers through an effective Service
Additional support from the Portal marketing and        knowledge and expertise on the take-up and            recommendations.                                     Level Agreement.
communications team ensures that LPAs get the           delivery of electronic services and serve as a
                                                                                                                                                                   In addition the Planning Portal will, from early
benefit from their investment in e-planning.            lynch-pin in the transformation of Government
                                                                                                                                                                   2008, manage and publish via the Portal and
                                                        services from paper to online delivery.
The consequent reduction in the administration                                                                                                                     DirectGov and BusinessLink, the Inspectorate’s
burden brought about as a result of end-to-end          The Portal team provide a physical link between                                                            online content.
electronic planning will enable planners to use         central and local Government, enabling a seamless
                                                                                                                                                                   The Portal will also support the Inspectorates drive
their skills to add value to the planning process       transition from national policy to local delivery.
                                                                                                                                                                   to e-enable the fast-track appeals process.
rather than simply administer it.




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   Business Plan 2008-2011
Successes to Date

Benefits                                                                                                   Traffic and Usage
The Planning Portal delivers real and quantifiable benefits across the planning community and, in          The Planning Portal is visited by more than 250,000 individuals every month; each of whom value the
particular, efficiency and cost savings to all of the LPAs with which it works.                            Portal as the leading resource for information, advice and transactions in planning and building control.
The Planning Portal introduced its first electronic planning application form in early 2003. Since         Users, be they citizens, planning professionals from the private sector or Government officials, can be
then it has succeeded in signing every LPA to the service, making possible the subsequent                  assured that the content and services they access are comprehensive, authoritative and fit for purpose.
development of 1App.                                                                                       They know that the services have been developed with their specific needs in mind following extensive
                                                                                                           consultation and testing; that one size does not fit all and that the security of their data is assured.
By 6 April 2008 every LPA in England will adopt 1App, significantly contributing to the efficient,
transparent and speedy processing of planning applications.                                                Traffic to the Portal continues the upward trend first established in 2002 to the point where more than
                                                                                                           8M pages of content were viewed in March 2008 alone. Monitoring traffic growth enables the Portal to
Independent research, carried out by KPMG on behalf of the e-Planning Programme, estimated
                                                                                                           ensure the content and services delivered are useful and appropriate to customer needs, and continuing
that every planning application submitted online via the Portal can save an average of £122 per
                                                                                                           growth confirms that they are.
applicant, £120 - £160 per minor application for LPAs and up to £970 for major applications.
                                                                                                           In the past year and a half the Planning Portal has taken on greater responsibility for publishing online
In 2007/08 these benefits amounted to £25.6M.
                                                                                                           content for the Buildings Division of the Department. An initial migration of existing content to the
The table below uses the figure of £122 per applicant and £120 per LPA to illustrate the                   Portal has now been enhanced by the deeper integration of building regulation content into the Portal’s
savings that will be generated by the Portal over the next three years.                                    service offering.
                                                                                                           The integration of Building Regulations advice into the Interactive House tool has been particularly
                                                                                                           successful and provides the user with a simple, seamless understanding of the implications of work on a
                                                                                                           property from both a planning and building regulations perspective.
Illustrative benefits savings generated by Portal processed applications
Date                                   2008/09           2009/10          2010/11

Projected total number of applications 177,013            294,300           364,000
Total saving to applicants                £21.5M           £35.9M            £44.4M
Total saving to LPAs                      £21.2M           £35.3M            £43.7M
Gross saving                             £42.7M           £71.2M            £88.1M



                                                                                                           Awards
We’re no longer producing masses of paperwork                                                              The Planning Portal has been nominated for, and won, several
“Today, thanks to the introduction of the Planning Portal, a simple online process for applying for
planning permission, using a single national application form, companies like Mitchell Taylor can submit   awards since its inception in 2003, including:
all their planning applications online. Now we can make a planning application in about half an hour.
Previously, it would have taken us half a day or more. And we’re no longer producing masses of             •   e-Government National Awards 2004 – Central e-Government excellence
paperwork.” Rob Mitchell, Mitchell Taylor Workshop, Bath                                                   •   RTPI Planning Awards 2005 – joint overall winner
What used to take a day now takes two hours                                                                •   e-Government National Awards 2005 – Central e-Government excellence
“We submit around 500 planning applications a year and it used to be very time consuming and costly.       •   Government Computing BT Syntegra Awards – Best ‘Government to
But now, thanks to the introduction of the Planning Portal, the planning permission paperwork burden           Business’ project
has been eliminated and admin costs have been reduced.” As a time-saving tool, Martin says the new
online system makes a huge difference. “Before it could take a whole day to submit an application.         •   Good Communications – Central Government website of the year 2006
Now that process can be completed in a matter of two hours. The portal is a real boon to our business.
                                                                                                           •   e-Government National Awards 2007 – Central e-Government, take-up
There’s no paper shuffling time at all. And we’ve probably saved several forests!” Martin Stephens,
Head of Planning, JCDecaux                                                                                     and usage (nomination)
                                                                                                           •   Government Computing Awards 2008 – Winner ‘The best project -
                                                                                                               delivering efficiency’
                                                                                                           •   RTPI Planning Awards 2008 – Short listed for ‘Unlawful Advertising and
                                                                                                               Fly-Postering Database’
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   Business Plan 2008-2011
Our Vision:                       Future Development

“The Planning Portal is the       Vision
                                  Our customers tell us that they highly value both our services and our people for their dedication, pride
                                  and professionalism.

indispensable resource for        As we move forward we will continue to deliver against the commitments we have already made, and
                                  before the end of the lifetime of this plan the Planning Portal will have achieved its vision:


authoritative advice & services   “The Planning Portal is the indispensable resource for authoritative advice & services at the heart of a
                                  transformed local & national planning & building regulations system.”
                                  In order to achieve this goal the Planning Portal will lead the continued transformation of planning and

at the heart of a transformed     building regulations regimes by exemplifying the following characteristics:



local & national planning &
building regulations system.”
                                  Innovation                      – Developing innovative services that utilise technology
                                                                  to meet the evolving needs of citizens, businesses &
                                                                  Government.




                                                   Excellence                      – Building on experience and a thorough
                                                                                   understanding of customer requirements to
                                                                                   deliver a world-class service.




                                                           Inclusion                    – Enabling and empowering the public &
                                                                                        planning professionals to have greater access &
                                                                                        involvement in the planning process.




                                     Efficiency                    – Driving take-up of electronic planning services, in
                                                                   particular applications and consultations.




                                               Accountability                           – Ensuring services meet policy objectives, and
                                                                                        benefits and efficiencies are realised and measured
                                                                                        throughout the planning process.




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   Business Plan 2008-2011
Goals                                                                         • Establishing electronic planning as the norm
                                                                              Priorities
                                                                              • Continuing to drive take-up of electronic planning applications
                                                                              • Further developing and enhancing 1App
                                                                              • Rolling out the e-Consultation Hub and driving usage
The Portal will continue to drive improvements across the planning and
                                                                              • Identifying and responding to policy-led initiatives
building control system focusing on three distinct goals as directed by the
                                                                              • Support the Inspectorates drive to e-enable the fast track appeals process
Chief Planner:
                                                                              In order to ensure that the potentially significant cost savings to both applicant and LPA are achieved
• Establishing electronic planning as the norm                                the Planning Portal will continue to listen to customer feedback and respond with enhancements
                                                                              designed to improve the usability of the solution.
• Confirm our position as an authoritative online resource for planning.      In the short term this will mean continuing to focus on assisting LPAs to work with their planning agents
• Supporting the modernisation of building control                            and customers to embed e-planning as the norm.
                                                                              Specifically the Portal will provide support via marketing materials, training sessions and workshops for
                                                                              LPA operational and administrative staff throughout England and Wales. In addition national business
                                                                              users of Portal services will be offered bespoke training that will ensure they are able to make best use
                                                                              of e-planning facilities. Regional workshops will continue to be provided for smaller organisations and
                                                                              businesses who wish to be kept abreast of the opportunities presented by e-planning. We will continue
                                                                              to invite into this programme representatives from related initiatives such as The Planning Inspectorate,
                                                                              Planning Casework Service and the Planning Advisory Service.
                                                                              These activities enable us to maintain the momentum of take-up and create regular opportunities to
                                                                              consult with engaged users of e-planning, gathering valuable feedback on the quality and direction
                                                                              of our service. This will be particularly useful in the coming year for gauging the impact of the
                                                                              e-Consultation Hub, which will facilitate much more rapid and efficient exchange of planning applications
                                                                              and responses between LPAs and consultees.
                                                                              As in previous years we will retain focus on increasing the number of planning applications processed
                                                                              electronically via the Planning Portal. In this way we can ensure best use of our resources to focus on a
                                                                              key lever for realising efficiencies. We aim to be processing 60% of all planning applications in England
                                                                              and Wales by March 2011.
                                                                              We will continue to develop and derive value from our Regional Account Management (RAM) team. In
                                                                              2008/09 this will mean that in addition to planning application take-up there will be a strong focus on
                                                                              rolling out the e-Consultation Hub to LPAs and consultees.
                                                                              The RAM team will also be invaluable in gathering live feedback on the use of 1App and Planning
                                                                              Application Requirements (PAR) by LPAs, informing further development and enhancement of the
                                                                              solution over time. They will support the Planning Inspectorate’s drive to e-enable the fast track appeals
                                                                              process by communicating the benefits of a joined-up process to LPAs and by promoting take-up of the
                                                                              e-consultation hub as a means of transacting with the Inspectorate.
                                                                              On the technical front work will continue throughout the year to enhance and improve 1App, PAR and
                                                                              the e-Consultation Hub. This will include the roll out of 1App to Wales starting in April 2008, as well
                                                                              as business as usual product development (including Building Control functionality) and flexibility to
                                                                              respond to White Paper commitments if required.
                                                                              All of this will be achieved whilst negotiating and subsequently migrating to new IT services
                                                                              under a re-let core IT contract.
                                                                              Beyond pure service delivery the Portal will seek to play a greater role in the development of initiatives
                                                                              in support of policy by ensuring Communities and Local Government takes advantage of our experience
                                                                              and understanding of market needs at an early stage.
                                                                              Beyond 2008/09 through to 2011 the focus will remain on normalising e-Planning and in the
                                                                              further development of self-service planning tools for citizens and businesses. This will include the
                                                                              development of tools in support of White Paper objectives and in particular commitments relating
                                                                              to the re-assessment of householder planning consents.
                                                                              The roll out of the e-Consultation Hub to non-statutory consultees and parishes will be a
                                                                              continuing focus not least because of their sheer number of participants and their varying
                                                                              technical capability. The further development of tools for the publication, consultation and
                                                                              utilisation of spatial planning, including online Local Development Frameworks, is likely
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   Business Plan 2008-2011
                                                                              and the expansion of pre-application services possible.
• Confirm our position as an authoritative online                                                              • Supporting the modernisation of building control
  resource for planning                                                                                        Priorities
                                                                                                               • e-enabling the modernising of Building Control
Priorities
• Consolidating our position as the authoritative one-stop-shop for planning information                       • Disseminating information on policy and its implications for citizens

• Embedding e-Consultation in the Portal service offering                                                      Lately, a number of illustrative case studies based on actual projects have been launched. In 2008/09
                                                                                                               we plan to further develop these content strands to ensure that they remain relevant and useful in a
In 2008/09 the Portal will seek to increase the marketing of our services directly to citizens for the first   changing policy environment.
time in any great depth. Currently 40% of traffic to Portal services is accessed via the general public
pages; this occurs largely as a result of referrals from the major search engines, individual LPA websites     At the same time we are working with colleagues within Buildings Division to understand how the
and increasingly from links on building-related websites.                                                      lessons of e-Planning can be applied to Buildings.

As part of a comprehensive marketing campaign, tools and content will be developed specifically to             A review of the feasibility of an electronic Building Regulations form along the lines of 1App is already
attract even greater linking to our content from LPA websites. This will include further developing the        under way as are negotiations with suppliers around the provision of services to customers and LPAs.
interactive house tool.                                                                                        An imminent review will be commissioned to understand the implications and potential opportunities
Increasing traffic enables the Portal to offer a more comprehensive channel for policy dissemination,          presented by the greater integration of buildings content on the Portal. The review will seek to
ensuring a far greater awareness among citizens and businesses of the Government’s priorities                  understand who the potential customers for services are, what their needs might be and where the
and the methods of compliance. It ensures that the money spent on modernising the planning system              Portal sits within the wider information marketplace. At the same time an assessment of the impact of
is not wasted due to a lack of awareness among users and creates an effective knowledge base for               this expansion on the Portal’s core activities, branding and naming will be an essential component of the
future consultations.                                                                                          Portal’s longer-term planning.

Providing users with simple yet effective tools to understand the planning implications of, for example,
                                                                                                               The e- Consultation Hub
small-scale renewable energy solutions, serves the wider agenda while making the practicalities
                                                                                                               The Planning Portal is building a computer system, connected to the internet that will manage the
understandable to the lay person.
                                                                                                               interchange of planning information between LPAs and consultees.
The Portal will not forget its commitment to planning professionals, who also form around 40% of our
                                                                                                               The Planning White Paper states:
customers. We will continue to interpret changing policy and present it in a manner suitable for business
use. Our weekly Newsletter, which attracts more than 38,000 subscribers, will be developed and refined         In 2007-08 we are planning to build a major new e-Consultation Hub which will facilitate much more
in 2008 to ensure it remains a useful service as will our ‘In a Nutshell’ series which seeks to encapsulate    rapid and efficient exchange of planning applications and responses between Local Planning Authorities
the key points of policy developments for speedy reference by business users.                                  and consultees. It also has the potential to improve information flows and generate a much greater
                                                                                                               degree of participation by individual citizens and others potentially affected by the planning process.
Early in 2008 the Portal will undertake an audit to review the usefulness of service offerings and
determine future short-term development needs and we will be delivering ‘Planning 360’, a service that         There were 680,000 planning applications submitted to LPAs in England and Wales in 2006 resulting
will enable users to see what is going on in their area and what constraints might apply to any selected       in approximately 1M consultations by statutory and non-statutory bodies. Traditionally, applicants
location via a ‘Google Earth’ type interface. Containing more than 25 datasets including flood plain           submitted multiple copies of their paper applications with LPAs forwarding them to consultees. However,
data, it is anticipated that this service will eventually interface with 1App and the e-Consultation Hub to    the advent of online planning means a rapidly increasing number are now held electronically.
provide a truly intelligent planning application process.                                                      The Portal is working with LPAs and consultees to ensure the system integrates with existing IT systems
In April 2008 live operation of the e-Consultation Hub begins, putting in place the final piece of the         and adds value to existing processes. Consultees such as English Heritage and The Environment Agency
e-Planning jigsaw envisaged in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) e-Planning Blueprint.            are making significant financial investments in support of integration with the Hub.
Once operational, the Hub will enable the end-to-end processing of a planning application for the              A successful project will deliver:
first time, releasing the true benefits of paperless planning and generating quantifiable efficiencies         • A more efficient and speedy consulting process
throughout the process.
                                                                                                               • Wider and better consultation
The successful delivery of the e-Consultation Hub will be measured by the number of LPAs and
consultees utilising the system and the number of transactions passing through it. Current projections         • Better information gathering about consultation
envisage that 15% of LPAs and 10 major consultees will be using the system nationally by March 2009.           • Improved compliance with the statutory requirement to consult
In the longer term it is anticipated that the e-Consultation Hub will be taken up by the majority of           The system will also add value to the appeals process in that it will enable the efficient transfer
LPAs in response to the demands of consultees for greater standardisation and efficiency of planning           of an application case file or relevant information electronically.
applications and responses between LPAs and consultees.
                                                                                                               Once fully delivered and rolled out the Hub will release the latent benefit of e-planning by vastly
                                                                                                               reducing the existing LPA preference for paper applications. This will result in a paradigm shift in LPAs’
                                                                                                               willingness to fully support and promote end-to-end e-planning.




21 www.planningportal.gov.uk
   Business Plan 2008-2011
                                                                                                               Performance Targets

Delivering departmental objectives                                                                             The Planning Portal is a delivery-focussed team that has, since its inception, responded positively to a
The following table details the Portal’s service offerings set against the challenges set out within DCLG’s    target-focussed culture, keeping at the forefront a quality-first approach.
key document, Planning for a Sustainable Future, White Paper, Summary.                                         In keeping with previous plans the targets set out below are designed to be stretching but achievable.


                                                                                                               Current position
Key Challenges                       Key Deliverable to the                 Portal Service Offering
                                                                                                               The Planning Portal is currently receiving more than 0.5M visits each month from 0.25M visitors, who are
Delivering Sustainable               Planning System                        A national e-planning
                                                                                                               reading more than 6M pages of information.
Communities                          More responsive and                    application service.
                                     representative planning system                                            At the end of March 2008 the Portal processed around 20% of all planning applications submitted in
“A planning system that better                                              A national e-consultation
                                     in key development areas taking                                           England and Wales.
serves individuals, communities                                             system linking LPAs with
and businesses; providing for        a sub-regional approach.               citizens, statutory and non-       Circa 40,000 planning professionals subscribe to the Portal’s weekly e-Newsletter. There are 120,000
better public consultation and       Less time spent on processing          statutory consultees.              registered users.
engagement in the planning           planning applications and more         All planning and building
process.”                            time spent on evaluating their         information under one roof,        Core targets
                                     impact and decisions.                  making it easier for citizens      By March 2011:
                                     A more efficient consultation          and businesses to access and       • 600,000 visits to the Planning Portal per month
                                     processes.                             understand.
                                                                                                               • 60% planning applications processed via the Portal
                                                                            Rapid turnaround of interactive      (currently equivalent to 30,000 applications per month)
                                                                            tools making green planning
Delivering the Planning Reform       Faster dissemination of key            and micro-generation,              • 50,000 subscribers to the weekly e-Newsletter
Agenda                               policy documents and guidance.         understandable.                    • 60 LPAs, 10 consultees using the e-Consultation Hub by March 2009
“A planning system that better       More consistent and informative        Joined-up planning and building    In addition, the Management Team monitor a series of key performance indicators that
enables us all to meet the           planning advice and guidance.          regulations content and            underpin these targets to ensure that we are on track to meet them. These indicators are:
challenge of climate change.”        Better informed community              processes.
                                                                                                               • Successful delivery of major projects
                                     planning.                              End-to-end e-planning
                                                                                                               • Costs and income against budget and forecast
                                     Better linking between planning        application processing – pre-app
                                     and building regimes.                  to appeal.                         • Successful take-up of key services
                                                                            Targeted sub-regional planning     • Customer satisfaction
                                                                            agent events.
Delivering real and tangible         More effective use of planning                                            Electronic Planning Application take-up
                                     resources.                             National Online Planning
efficiency savings to the planning
                                                                            Application search.
community                            Cheaper planning system to
                                     administrate.                          100% linkage to online Local
“A planning system that enables
                                                                            Plan Services and contact
sustainable development              Fewer appeals, more informed,
                                                                                                                       50,000

                                                                            information.
including economic growth.”          consistent and transparent                                                        45,000
                                     application process.                   Cohesive publication of planning
                                                                            information via the Portal,                40,000
                                                                            DirectGov, Business Link and
Delivering more effective local      Centrally devised locally beneficial   LPA websites.                              35,000    60% of applications


Government                           ‘pay once, use many services and       Unlawful advertising database –
                                     tools many times’.                     helps enforcement officers share
                                                                                                                       30,000

“A planning system that better
supports local authorities’ roles,   Cohesive planning delivery.            information, reducing illegal              25,000

improving their ability to shape                                            roadside advertising and fly-
                                     Increased automation of
their local communities.”                                                   posting.
                                     processes frees planners to plan                                                  20,000    30% of applications


                                     rather than administrate.
                                                                                                                       15,000    20% of applications

                                     More accessible local
                                     information.                                                                      10,000

                                                                                                                                                                                           Trend

                                                                                                                                                                                           Actual
                                                                                                                        5,000
                                                                                                                                                                                           Target




23 www.planningportal.gov.uk
   Business Plan 2008-2011                                                                                                 0
                                                                                                                                Apr 06                 Apr 07   Apr 08   Apr 09   Apr 10
Planned Activity                                                                                             Development activities
                                                                                                             The table below outlines existing projects outside business as usual activity. Full details of project
                                                                                                             deliverables, stages, and costs can be found at Appendix A.


                                                                                                             Projects                                           2008/09                2009/10                 2010/11
The Planning Portal provides an end-to-end solution for engaging with the planning and building control
                                                                                                             (Quarters)                                     1    2   3       4     1    2   3        4     1    2   3         4
system. It aggregates content by user types (defined as General Public, Planning Professional or
Government User).
                                                                                                             E-Consultation                                        £914k                    £759k                 £751k
In 2007 the Portal expanded its remit to include Building Control; as a result many of the web-delivered     Development
services now cater for both planning and buildings information.
                                                                                                             Roll-out/Take-up
                                                                                                             Enables LPAs to realise the benefits of their investment in e-planning by delivering end-to-end e-planning and
Existing services                                                                                            speeding up the consultation process. Delivers national significant c02 reduction by removing paper planning.
The Planning Portal’s existing key web-delivered services include:
                                                                                                             e-Application Take-up                           £199k                £186k               £170k
Comprehensive information on all aspects of           Contact database – The Portal enables users            Take-up
planning and building control. From basic advice      to access contact information for all LPAs and a       Ensures that available cost-savings to both applicant and LPA of £202M over three years are achieved
on planning permission to the latest policy and       broad range of regional and national planning          and maintains the momentum and direction of travel for all e-planning services.
research. This includes accessible guidance on        organisations.
common household, business and agricultural                                                                  Supplier Engagement                              £73k                   £88k               £98k
                                                      Commercial services – including the sale of
developments using everyday language including a                                                             Planning/Engage
                                                      maps for planning applications.
glossary of planning terms.
                                                                                                             Engages the private sector in providing useful services in support of the Government’s agenda to an
                                                      The Unauthorised Advertising
Useful tools, a set of easy-to-use graphic tools                                                             accredited standard and shares the burden and reward of service development.
                                                      and Fly-posting database – a collaborative
that enable a user to calculate factors pertaining
                                                      workspace and database of convictions that
to a planning application such as the volume of a                                                            Building Control                                   £403k               £291k               £179k
                                                      enables LPA enforcement officers to communicate
loft space, planning application fees or the siting                                                          Review/Development
                                                      and share experience and information.
of a satellite dish.                                                                                         Take-up
                                                      The Planning Casework Service, a Planning
Interactive development plans allowing users                                                                 Reduced costs for the delivery and modernisation of building control. Joining up services and increasing
                                                      Inspectorate system that allows users to submit
to discover how development is managed in their                                                              clarity for users on the related disciplines of planning and building.
                                                      and track planning appeals electronically.
area for themselves. To date more than 100
development plans are published electronically        Careers Zone – the existing online job board for       1App Development                                  £854k                   £537k                 £437k
on the Planning Portal and the remainder are          planning will be reviewed and potentially out-         Development
accessible from the Portal.                           sourced following research on its viability early in
                                                      2008.                                                  The solution is more user-friendly, comprehensive, integrated and efficient. Subsequently take-up improves.
An online planning application system
enabling users to apply for permission from any       Ongoing support of the above can be considered         Planning 360                                      £221k                 £208k                      £100k
online computer by sending their application          to be business as usual.                               Phase 2-Phase 3
directly into the back-office system of LPAs.
                                                                                                             Interfaces with the e-Consultation Hub and 1App to provide enhanced functionality, particularly for citizens,
Planning policy and reform – the site provides                                                               hence improving the engagement of the community in the planning process.
a window into Government policy and research          One in five Government users visit
and tracks the key developments in the planning       the Portal every day.                                  Commercial Proposition                               £46k
reform process.
                                                                                                             Carbon Research                                      £50k
Planning news – 38,000 subscribers receive the
Planning Portal’s weekly e-Newsletter featuring
                                                                                                             Core IT Contract Re-let                              £67k
national, regional and local news. Timely analysis
articles on the latest developments help put the                                                             Minor Developments                                   £81k                    £83k                    £75k
planning reform process in context.
                                                                                                             Proposed Projects – yet to be approved
                                                                                                             Planning Register                                £720k                 £527k                 £135k
                                                                                                             Approv/dev.
                                                                                                             Nationally consolidated real-time information on the planning pipeline for policy makers includes data in
                                                                                                             greater detail than is currently possible. Automating LPAs quarterly statistical reports to DCLG.

                                                                                                             Expert System                                   £415k                £214k                 £95k
                                                                                                             Phase 1
                                                                                                             Assists LPAs to meet National Indicator 14 by reducing customer contacts. Builds on existing services
                                                                                                             and joins up with 1App – e-Consultation – appeals, to create true end-to-end e-planning system.
25 www.planningportal.gov.uk
   Business Plan 2008-2011
People and Structure

Governance                                                                                                          Staff costs by activity and project
Strategic oversight will be provided by a Governance Board made up of members of DCLG policy division.              Staffing costs by post and activity are detailed in Appendix C and are summarised in the following table.
The Board will determine and advise the Planning Programme Board on the strategic direction of the Planning         These are based on the 2008/09 profile.
Portal within the context of overall DCLG objectives. It will advise on the development of and approve the
                                                                                                                    Activity                            Cost (£s)
Planning Portal’s annual Business Plan and through that proposals for new activities or projects.
                                                                                                                    Administration and Management         274,686
The Board will monitor progress on key projects and initiatives designed to promote take-up of e-planning and
ensure that the Planning Portal is appropriately resourced and managed to discharge its functions, including        Publishing and Design                 143,223
the provision of appropriate IT services and other technical support. It will also oversee further work to
                                                                                                                    Product Development                     42,458
determine the Portal’s long-term future. The Planning Portal team is led by a Director with accountability to the
Senior Responsible Owner within the Planning System Improvement Division.                                           Stakeholder Management                129,635
The Planning Portal links with policy colleagues on specific projects and to ensure delivery maps to                Business Intelligence                   74,895
departmental objectives. Development projects are managed using Prince2, ITIL and OGC Gateway processes.            Change Control                          21,657
The Portal team have the relevant qualifications to administer these processes professionally.
                                                                                                                    Project Management (consultancy)      231,457 (reducing to £70k in 2009/10)

Organisational structure                                                                                            LPA Account Management                123,887

The Portal team is divided into functional units led by Heads of Function, each of whom is responsible for          LPA Staff Training                      14,070
specific elements of business or performance against objectives, each working together to form the Portal           Agent Workshops                         42,904
management team. Full details of which are available in Appendix B.
                                                                                                                    e-Consultation Take-up                144,901
                                                                                                                    Exhibitions and Events                  24,806
    Delivery             Marketing            Products and          Technical and           Commercial
                                                                                                                    Service Management                      70,597
     Team               and Comm’s             Publishing            Operations               Team
                           Team                  Team                   Team                 (G7, AO x 1)           Technical Support                     150,563
(G7, SEO x 8, EO
      x 1)               (G7, HEO x 3,       (G7, HEO x 3, EO)        (G7, SEO x 6,             Supplier            Total                              1,716,750
 Regional Account           EO x 1)                                      EO x 7)           Accreditation and
                                                Product and
   Management                                                                              Quality Assurance
                       Electronic Service         Content              IT Hosting
Electronic service        take-up and         development and         and service               Partner
     take-up                support             management            management             identification

  LPA and Agent         LPA collateral                              Customer Service           Service              Staff costs by project
   outreach and        and engagement                                                        development            (Detailed project costs can be found in Appendix A)
                                                                      Tech Project
     training              support
                                                 Business             management               Revenue              Date                                 2008/09          2009/10         2010/11
  Service roll-out    PR and advertising                                                      generation
                                               Information             Service and
  Events delivery       Events planning           Team               product delivery                               Projects
                                                                                                                    E-consultation                           £314k           £309k           £301k
                      Design & branding       (SEO x 1, EO x 1)        IT supplier
                                                                      management                                    e-Application Take-up                    £199k           £186k           £170k
                                               Stats, reporting,
                                                  research,                                                         Supplier Engagement                       £53k            £58k             £58k
                                                  monitoring                                                        Building Control                          £98k            £71k             £59k
                                                                                                                    1App Development                         £254k           £137k           £137k
                                         Project support team                                                       Commercial Proposition                     £6k
                                          (SEO x 1, EO x 1)
                                                                                                                    Minor Developments                        £31k            £33k             £25k
                       Project Management, Quality assurance, Benefits realisation
                                                                                                                    Planning 360 – Phase 2                    £21k            £28k
                                         Administration Team                                                        Core IT contract re-let                   £67k
                                             (SEO x 1, EO x 1)                                                      Sub-total                             £1,043k           £822k           £750k
                             H.R., T and S, accounting, training, procurement
                                                                                                                    Business as usual                        £673k           £642k          £1,050

27 www.planningportal.gov.uk
   Business Plan 2008-2011
                                                                                                                    Total staff cost                      £1,716k         £1,800k         £1,800k
Funding

Total Costs                                                                                                 Revenue
The table below sets out the minimum funding necessary for the Portal to carry out all the activities set   The Planning Portal uses Wider Markets powers to generate revenues and stimulate the private sector to
out in this plan.                                                                                           support the aims of the e-planning programme.
                                                                                                            In addition to making a financial contribution, revenue development acts as a marker in relation to the
                                                                                                            Portal’s potential to self-sustain should DCLG choose this route for future operation. This activity does
                                     2008/09          2009/10         2010/11
                                                                                                            not impinge in any way on the Portal’s ability to serve its core aims.
                                        TOTAL           TOTAL            TOTAL
                                                                                                            Current sales activity is focussed on the delivery of site location plan maps to accompany planning
                                          (£k)            (£k)            (£k))
                                                                                                            applications. This service will be expanded to include a standalone purchase option (without an
                                                                                                            application) and will, from early 2008, include additional third-party suppliers.
Business as usual
Staff and Expenses                       1,716            1,800           1,800
Content                                    110              110             110
Marketing                                  350              500             400
                                                                                                            The following table details the map sales revenue contribution based on projected growth in
Business support                           240              240             240                             take-up of planning applications and a conservative improvement in the ratio of maps sold to
Sub- total                               2,400           2,650            2,550                             applications made; from the current 1:8 to 1:6.

Technical Infrastructure
                                                                                                                                                 2008/09          2009/10        20010/11
Research and Innovation                    300              300             300
                                                                                                            Gross Revenues                        £553,166        £919,688       £1,137,500
Technical/hosting                        2,400            2,400           2,400
                                                                                                            Net Revenues                          £482,950        £802,949         £993,113
IT re-let/Technical upgrade                700                              200
Contingency                                100              100             100
                                                                                                            Full detail behind this summary can be found in Appendix D of this document. The differential between
Sub- total                               3,500           2,800            3,000                             gross and net income refers to the commission paid to Ordnance Map Survey.

Developments
e-Consultation Hub                         600              550             450
Planning 360                               200              150             100
1App                                       600              400             300
Building control                           275              200             100
Sub-total                                1,675           1,300              950
                                                                                                                                         Further investigation of short to mid-term commercial
                                                                                                                                         opportunities will be carried out in conjunction with an
Costs TOTAL                              7,575           6,750            6,500
                                                                                                                                           overall review of the Portal service offering pending
Revenue                                   (483)           (803)            (993)                                                            guidance from DCLG Planning Board with regard to
Funding Requirement                      7,092           5,947            5,507                                                                       future ownership and governance model.




29 www.planningportal.gov.uk
   Business Plan 2008-2011
Strategic Assumptions/Risks

Strategic Assumptions                                                                                    Strategic Risks


                                                                                                         Risk                   Probability Impact                           Mitigation
Assumption                  Evidence                    Mitigation if assumption fails
                                                                                                         The projected benefits Low        Medium – Slow take-up.            Ensure joined-up end-to-end
Funding requirement         Sound Business Plan.        Greater focus on revenue generation and/or       of e-Planning not                 Lack in confidence in new         system.
met in full for csr07.                                  reduction in project activity.                   realised by LPAs and              services leads to failure and
                                                                                                         users.                            reverting to paper.
Regulatory regime           Planning White Paper.       Engagement with policy colleagues, creation of
remains constant.                                       tools to meet changing policy.                   e-application take-    Low        High – Benefits not realised.     Well thought through take-up
                                                                                                         up progress not                                                     campaign.
                                                                                                         maintained.
Commercial remit            Contribution to costs and   Reduce costs and projects
retained.                   future ownership.
                                                                                                         Serious technical      Low        High – Confidence lost, market    Engagement with National
                                                                                                         failure.                          reverts to paper.                 Process Improvement Project.
Major projects supported    Individual business cases   Projects cancelled re-prioritise activities.
by board.                   i.e for e-Consultation
                            and National Planning                                                        Slow take-up of        Medium     High – Benefits not realised
                            Register.                                                                    e-consultation by                 and efficiencies not delivered.   Continued prime focus on
                                                                                                         LPAs.                                                               driving take-up and ensuring
                                                                                                                                                                             that product meets customer
e-application growth        Consistent trajectories     Prime focus on driving take-up. Well thought-
                                                                                                                                                                             needs.
continues.                  for take-up by LPAs and     through campaign.
                            users.                                                                       Integration of building Low       Medium – Confusion in market
                                                                                                         control harms brand.              over Portal’s remit causes loss   Managed service delivers to
                                                                                                                                           of marketing impact.              agreed SLA and continued
Traffic growth continues.   Consistent trajectories     Constant feedback monitoring and response to
                                                                                                                                                                             focus on excellence in delivery.
                            for take-up by users.       that feedback.
                                                                                                         Uncertainty over       Medium     Medium – Slow take-up
                                                                                                         Portal future harms               of services particularly          Well thought through and
                                                                                                         take-up confidence.               e-consultation.                   resourced high-impact take-up
                                                                                                                                                                             campaign.

                                                                                                         Uncertainty over       Medium     Medium – Staff losses and de-
                                                                                                         Portal future harms               motivation harm take-up.          Clear strategy for integration
                                                                                                         team motivation.                                                    and development.
                                                                                                                                                                             Clear and well communicated
                                                                                                                                                                             strategy.
                                                                                                                                                                             Well communicated strategy.




31 www.planningportal.gov.uk
   Business Plan 2008-2011
                                 Project briefs - approved




Appendix A                       E-consultation roll-out and development
                                 A transformation programme to e-enable the one million consultations per year on planning

Project Development Activities   applications, replacing an inefficient and fractured paper process with a system that ensures all
                                 consultees, parishes and citizens are better able to comment on planning applications that matter to
                                 them.
                                 Phase 1 of the roll-out begins in April 2008 with the launch of the Hub, followed by a managed take-up
                                 strategy that encompasses not only 425 LPAs and all statutory consultees but 10,000 Parish councils, a
                                 scale of delivery not previously attempted.

                                 Benefits
                                 • Speeds up the consultation process
                                 • Delivers the critical missing link in the end-to-end e-planning process
                                 • Enables LPAs to realise the benefits of their investment in e-planning
                                 • Removes the final blocker to proactive marketing of e-planning by LPAs
                                 • Delivers national significant c02 reduction by removing paper planning

                                 Costs
                                                                          2008/09          2009/10           2010/11
                                 Hosting/Management                          £200k            £200k                £200k
                                 Development/Licenses                        £400k            £250k                £250k
                                 Portal Staff/Resources                      £314k            £309k                £301k
                                 Total                                       £914k            £759k                £751k



                                 Assumptions
                                 • That major statutory consultees support and take up local engagement
                                 • That significant numbers of LPAS take up the service

                                 Risks
                                 • Slower than anticipated take-up by LPAs
                                 • That the service does not deliver the promised efficiency gains

                                 Timing
                                                            2008/09                          2009/10                        2010/11
                                                  Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3    Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4
                                 Development
                                 Roll-out
                                 Take-up




33 www.planningportal.gov.uk
   Business Plan 2008-2011
Project briefs - approved                                                                                         Project briefs - approved




Driving take-up of electronic applications                                                                        Supplier engagement
Ensuring continued growth in usage of e-planning tools, particularly 1App.                                        In order to meet the Portal’s vision we engage with suppliers of products and services that might
                                                                                                                  contribute assistance to users of Portal services, be they LPAS, citizens or businesses.
Working with LPAs and with planning agents who submit 80% of applications to understand and satisfy
their business needs in relation to service delivery.                                                             The Planning Portal makes access to its services available to all third-party suppliers on an equal basis,
                                                                                                                  accrediting all suppliers that adopt the Portal’s schema, can demonstrate a product development and
Building on previously successful strategies that include regional and local training and workshops,
                                                                                                                  customer adoption roadmap and offer support services to our customers.
marketing and also investigating the potential that technology offers to deliver bespoke solutions to
national businesses.                                                                                              The benefits to manufacturers in obtaining accreditation are:
                                                                                                                  • The Portal schema represents the industry standard
Benefits
• Ensures that available cost savings to both applicant and LPA of £202M over three years are achieved            • Accreditation certificate differentiates on capability

• Maintains the momentum and direction of travel for all e-planning services                                      • Pre-sales and sales support from the Portal marketing team

• Retains the link between national drive and local accountability driving service transformation                 • Channel to LPA IT and planning teams

Costs                                                                                                             Benefits
                                         2008/09          2009/10           2010/11                               • Engages the private sector in providing useful services in support of the Government’s agenda to an
                                                                                                                    accredited standard
Staff                                       £199k            £186k                £170k
                                                                                                                  • Shares the burden and reward of service development
                                                                                                                  • Influences all the channels involved in e-planning to standardise and benefit from joined-up working,
Assumptions                                                                                                         leading to compounded benefits for all
• Continued central investment in marketing and support for LPAS
                                                                                                                  Costs
• Further investment in the development of the 1App solution                                                                                                2008/09          2009/10            2010/11
• DCLG agreement to this activity remaining as the Key Performance Indicator                                      Staff                                         £53k                 £58k             £58k

Risks                                                                                                             Commercial                                    £20k                 £30k             £40k
• Take-up is left to LPAs to promote, leading to slow transformation                                              Total                                         £73k                 £88k             £98k
• Reduction in supporting resources leads to unwillingness to promote locally
• Momentum on service transformation is lost leading to service degradation and non-realisation of
  benefits                                                                                                        Assumptions
                                                                                                                  • That the one-stop-shop approach is continued and developed
Timing                                                                                                            • That the Portal retains wider markets powers
                           2008/09                          2009/10                        2010/11                • That commercial services continue to play a part in the future programme
                 Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3    Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4
                                                                                                                  Risks
Take-up                                                                                                           • Increased expansion requires more resources to manage effectively
                                                                                                                  • Over expansion detracts from the core aims

                                                                                                                  Timing
                                                                                                                                              2008/09                          2009/10                         2010/11
                                                                                                                                    Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3    Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2    Qtr 3   Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4
                                                                                                                  Strategy/
                                                                                                                  planning
                                                                                                                  Engagement




35 www.planningportal.gov.uk
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Project briefs - approved                                                                                           Project briefs - approved




Building Control                                                                                                    1App – Phase 2
Continuing to contribute to the e-enabling and modernising of Building Control.                                     The continuing development and enhancement of 1App and associated validation regime, including the
                                                                                                                    roll-out of Welsh 1App.
Including a review in quarter 2 2008 to understand the implications and potential opportunities
presented by the greater integration of buildings content on the Portal. The review will seek to                    Changes to the standard question set reflecting policy changes.
understand who the potential customers for services are, what their needs might be and where the
                                                                                                                    Welsh and English language content for Wales.
Portal sits within the wider information marketplace.
Further work on delivering an e-building control form and integrating with LPA and third party Building             Benefits
Control service providers. Subsequently driving take-up of services.                                                • The solution is more user-friendly and efficient and subsequently take-up improves
                                                                                                                    • The solution is more comprehensive and therefore more widely used
Benefits
• Increased clarity for users on the related disciplines of planning and building as it relates to                  • Better services and integration around validation improve the usability
  development of properties
• Joined-up services that simplify, automate and correlate both regimes                                             Costs
                                                                                                                                                             2008/09          2009/10           2010/11
• Reduced costs for the delivery and modernisation of Building Control
                                                                                                                    1App Technical                              £600k            £400k                £300k
• Increased realisation of benefits from the Portal infrastructure and services
                                                                                                                    Staff                                       £254k            £137k                £137k
Costs                                                                                                               Total                                       £854k            £537k                £437k
                                          2008/09          2009/10            2010/11
Technical Development                        £275k            £200k                 £100k
Staff                                         £98k                 £71k              £59k                           Assumptions
                                                                                                                    • That the Planning Portal continues as the custodian and delivery channel for 1App
Research                                      £30k                 £20k              £20k
                                                                                                                    • That DCLG is willing to invest in additional development around the integration of supporting services
Total                                        £403k            £291k                 £179k                             for validation
                                                                                                                    • Welsh Assembly Government continues to fund maintenance and development of Welsh 1App

Assumptions                                                                                                         Risks
• That Sustainable Buildings division supports further development of their content and services via the            • That lack of investment damages the Portal’s ability to maintain and develop 1App leading to failing
  Portal                                                                                                              service and functionality
• That sufficient funding is made available to support increased marketing and product development                  • That user feedback is not listened to and reacted to leading to diminishing use of the electronic system
• That branding conflict is successfully overcome
                                                                                                                    Timing
Risks                                                                                                                                          2008/09                          2009/10                        2010/11
• Insufficient pro-active engagement by sponsoring division harms ability to sufficiently drive
  modernisation                                                                                                                      Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3    Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4

• Conflicting brand harms market take-up                                                                            Welsh 1App

• Unwillingness of marketplace to embrace e-enabling                                                                Content
                                                                                                                    development
Timing
                            2008/09                          2009/10                         2010/11
                  Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3    Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2    Qtr 3   Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4
Review
Development
Take-up



37 www.planningportal.gov.uk
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Project briefs - approved                                                                                         Project briefs - approved




Commercial proposition                                                                                            Carbon research
A research project to evaluate and prioritise commercial options in support of future self financing of the       A project to consider and apply to the Portal and its deliverables the findings of the DCLG funded
Portal.                                                                                                           report – “An e-Government Truth: Potential CO2 efficiencies from online provision of local government
                                                                                                                  services”.
Looking in more detail at potential revenue-bearing services, their impact on statutory delivery and
their potential to support the ongoing funding of the Portal.
                                                                                                                  Benefits
Looking at the role of third-party suppliers in service delivery to Portal customers.                             • A thorough understanding of the carbon benefits of the various e-planning services, including
Assessing the value of the Portal’s market share.                                                                   a timetable of delivery mapped to existing take-up projections for electronic applications and
                                                                                                                    e-Consultations.
Benefits
• A clearer understanding of the future ownership options                                                         Costs
                                                                                                                                                           2008/09          2009/10           2010/11
• Short-term revenue gains
                                                                                                                  Consultancy                                  £50k
• Better understanding of the market value of the Portal

Costs
                                         2008/09          2009/10           2010/11                               Assumptions
                                                                                                                  • That the department agrees with the value of this information in support of take-up of e-planning
Staff                                         £6k
Consultancy                                  £40k                                                                 Risks
                                                                                                                  • None
Total                                        £46k
                                                                                                                  Timing
                                                                                                                                             2008/09                          2009/10                        2010/11
Assumptions
• That finding supporting funding for the Portal’s future is considered desirable                                                  Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3    Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 4   Qtr 3   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4
• That the work does not impinge on existing projects and aims or conflict with the vision or corporate           Research and
  ethos                                                                                                           reporting

Risks
• Continued uncertainty over the Portal’s future harms confidence

Timing
                           2008/09                          2009/10                        2010/11
                 Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3    Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 4   Qtr 3   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4
Research
Reporting




39 www.planningportal.gov.uk
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Project briefs - approved                                                                                          Project briefs - approved




Minor developments                                                                                                 Infrastructure contract re-let
Ongoing small-scale development in response to business and policy need, i.e. enhancements to the                  The Planning Portal’s core IT contract expires in February 2008 (extended to January 2009). This
Unauthorised Advertising and Fly-posting database. Creation of interpretive policy tools such as the               project will manage the tendering, evaluation and re-letting of the primary infrastructure contract.
Interactive House. Support environment for the Matthew Taylor review.
                                                                                                                   Benefits
Benefits                                                                                                           • Meets procurement guidelines for contracting
• Maintains a resource available to respond to developing policy and business need
                                                                                                                   • Ensures value for money provision is re-tested
• Ability to respond quickly and cheaply to Ministerial requests ie Unauthorised Advertising
                                                                                                                   • Improves, updates and refreshes the infrastructure
• Maintains and develops existing and new content ensuring accessibility and usability i.e Building
  Control                                                                                                          Costs
                                                                                                                                                            2008/09          2009/10           2010/11
Costs                                                                                                              Staff                                        £67k
                                         2008/09          2009/10            2010/11
Technical                                    £50k                 £50k             £50k
Staff                                        £31k                 £33k             £25k                            Assumptions
Total                                        £81k                 £83k             £75k                            • Business as usual service delivery will be unaffected
                                                                                                                   • Selected options will be within existing financial parameters
                                                                                                                   • Service delivery and capacity will improve
Assumptions
• A continuing and growing need to respond to policy and business need                                             Risks
                                                                                                                   • Uncertainty over Portal’s future harms ability to secure best value provision
Risks                                                                                                              • Technical migration to a new platform is complex and requires exceptionally thorough testing
• None
                                                                                                                   Timing
Timing
                                                                                                                                              2008/09                          2009/10                        2010/11
                           2008/09                          2009/10                         2010/11
                                                                                                                                    Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3    Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 4   Qtr 3   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4
                 Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3    Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2    Qtr 4   Qtr 3   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4
                                                                                                                   Procurement
Development
                                                                                                                   Migration/
                                                                                                                   go-live




41 www.planningportal.gov.uk
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Project briefs - approved                                                                                           Project briefs - yet to be approved




Planning 360 – Phase 2                                                                                              National Planning Register
A comprehensive research tool with a single interface to Portal services and data on ‘Google Earth’                 The Register will deliver a public interface onto the e-Consultation Hub, massively improving citizens’
style maps. Enabling users to easily identify what development is being planned in their area or what               ability to track development in their area and simplifying the consultation process for them, enabling
constraints apply to a selected location.                                                                           alerting and facilitating community engagement in local planning decisions.
This is the first step in a programme that offers the potential for personalisation of the services we              The register will provide a searchable database of planning applications, the production of real-time
deliver and underpins automated solutions for the initial validation of planning applications.                      statistics and information on the ‘planning application pipeline’ and a planning application dataset of
                                                                                                                    enormous value to policy makers.
Following phase 1 of implementation we will build on the project to incorporate development plan data;
and subsequently National Planning Application Register and appeals information.                                    A business case estimating development costs of around £1M has been completed. However, in order
                                                                                                                    to proceed internal support is sought to legislate LPAs’ engagement, without this it is likely the service
Benefits                                                                                                            would fail.
• It will, over time, interface with the e-Consultation Hub and 1App to provide enhanced functionality,
  particularly for citizens                                                                                         Benefits
                                                                                                                    • Real-time information on the planning pipeline for policy makers (rather than thecurrent three months
• It will improve the engagement of the community in the planning process, delivering a cohesive view
                                                                                                                      in arrears) including nationally consolidated data (with as a result of 1App far greater detail than is
  on planning for a specified location
                                                                                                                      currently possible)
• It will provide efficiency savings for all users, reduce costs and speed up the application process by
                                                                                                                    • Automation removes the burden on LPAs to produce quarterly statistical reports for DCLG
  identifying potential constraint and policy issues at an earlier stage
                                                                                                                    • Improved service for citizens and businesses (application tracking)
Costs
                                         2008/09          2009/10            2010/11                                Costs
                                                                                                                                                             2008/09          2009/10           2010/11
Phase 2
                                                                                                                    Technical                                   £600k            £400k                £100k
Tech/Development                            £200k
                                                                                                                    Staff                                       £120k            £127k                 £35k
Staff                                        £21k
                                                                                                                    Total                                       £720k            £527k                £135k
Phase 3
Development                                                  £180k                 £100k
Staff                                                             £28k                                              Assumptions
Total                                      £221k             £208k                 £100k                            • Policy colleagues understand and agree with the benefits and support the business case
                                                                                                                    • A mandate legislating LPAs to enable technical linking is approved

                                                                                                                    Risks
                                                                                                                    • The project has been under consideration for a long time, further delay risks de-prioritisation
Timing
                           2008/09                          2009/10                          2010/11                Timing
                 Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3    Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2    Qtr 3   Qtr 4    Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4                              2008/09                          2009/10                        2010/11

Phase 2                                                                                                                              Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3    Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4

Phase 3                                                                                                             Development
                                                                                                                    approval
                                                                                                                    Policy
                                                                                                                    Commencement
                                                                                                                    Development




43 www.planningportal.gov.uk
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Project briefs - yet to be approved




Planning Expert System
A national self-service tool that will enable applicants to answer the question “Do I need Planning
Permission?” reducing the need to contact their LPA and serving National Indicator 14.
Users would move from the Portal pages or links on LPA pages to the guidance section and/or the
Interactive House tool. If as a result of a query a planning application is required, the user would be
taken into the 1App solution. User details such as, local and national constraints would be parsed
through the process into the 1App form to enable a seamless transaction.
Phase 1 – Service based on national constraints linked to/from every LPA.
Phase 2 – addition of local constraints data.
Phase 3 – Integration with local historical planning information

Benefits
• Contributes to efficiency goals and builds on existing services set in the context of ongoing planning
  reform and joined-up system/processes
• Assists LPAs in meeting National Indicator 14 by reducing contacts
• Joins up with 1App – e-Consultation – appeals, to create true end-to-end e-planning system
• Significantly reduced cost of implementation

Costs
                                         2008/09          2009/10            2010/11
Technical                                   £370k            £180k                 £50k
Staff                                        £45k                 £34k             £45k
Total                                       £415k            £214k                 £95k



Assumptions
• Agreement to delivery of the system via the Portal rather than locally

Risks
• Will not in the first phase provide comprehensive answers
• Internal indecision over delivery mechanism delays implementation

Timing
                           2008/09                          2009/10                         2010/11
                 Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3    Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2    Qtr 3   Qtr 4   Qtr 1   Qtr 2   Qtr 3   Qtr 4
Phase 1
Phase 2
Phase 3




45 www.planningportal.gov.uk
   Business Plan 2008-2011
                                                                                      Aled Herbert




Appendix B                     Product and Publishing team
                               The Planning Portal Product and Publishing team ensures the

Team definitions               continuing development of innovative content and services
                               that improve the ease of use and transparency of the
                               planning and building regulations systems.
                               We work with internal and external partners to identify new content and to influence
                               the way DCLG interacts with users of policy. The team is responsible for ensuring that content and
                               the way it is delivered is up-to-the-minute, authoritative and fit for purpose whether the user is
                               an experienced professional or a novice citizen.
                               Moving forward, we will continue to interpret regulations in a dynamic and interactive way
                               whenever possible.
                               We will enable users to input information and access answers to Planning and Building questions
                               using tools that are familiar and accessible. In the short term this will include guidance and
                               content delivered via the Interactive House, including new advice covering household permitted
                               development and green energy rules.
                               Early in 2008, the Planning Portal will begin to deliver content on ‘Google Earth’ style maps.
                               With the working title ‘Planning 360’ users will be able to easily identify what is being planned in
                               their area or what constraints apply to a selected location. This is the first step in a programme
                               that will offer the potential for personalisation of the services we deliver and will underpin
                               automated solutions for the initial validation of planning applications.
                               We have learned that all successful product and content development is based on a foundation
                               of robust and inclusive user research. To this end the recently established Business Information
                               team will support the Portal Management team with relevant and insightful research into customer
                               behaviour, traffic and information requirements. The team will plot trends and report progress
                               across the Portal’s business areas providing intelligence in support of decision making, ensuring
                               we deliver services that customers want and need.
                               The Products and Publishing team is leading the integration of Building Control information on
                               the Portal. Throughout 2008 and beyond we will work with DCLG’s Sustainable Buildings Division
                               and our research team to understand user needs to ensure buildings content benefits from
                               lessons learned in the planning context, with the aim being to deliver improvements in citizens’
                               understanding of these parallel regimes.
                               We are constantly evaluating novel communication methods and by the end of the period covered
                               by this plan we will aim to be utilising the tools most useful to our users, including Web 2.0 and
                               social networking sites, where appropriate. We will also explore ways to improve the Portal’s
                               ground-breaking news service, which has been and remains a phenomenal success with over
                               38,000 subscribers.
                               Our vision is to build the Planning Portal into a rich focal point for everyone’s interaction with
                               planning and building.
                               To ensure the Portal is developed to appropriate standards, our programme support team ensure
                               all development adheres to project and programme management disciplines including MSP, Prince
                               2 and OGC Gateway reviews. Working closely with the Technical team enables a smooth transition
                               to delivery and beyond that to measurement of the benefits delivered.
                               We will measure the success of our work by regular surveys of customer satisfaction and by the
                               take-up of new and existing services. We anticipate growing traffic to the Planning Portal by 30%
                               over the lifetime of this plan.




47 www.planningportal.gov.uk
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                                                    Stuart Mockford                                                                                            Scott Alford
                                      Planning Portal Deputy Director




Transformational Delivery team                                                                         Regional Account
The Transformational Delivery team headed by Planning Portal Deputy                                    Management team
Director Stuart Mockford includes the Regional Account Management
team and is responsible for working with LPAs and Planning Agents to                                   The Regional Account Management team headed by Scott Alford, is
drive forward the transformation of the planning system in England and Wales.                          responsible for working with LPAs to help them meet the challenges of
                                                                                                       transformation.
Over the last five years this team has been responsible for delivering complete national take-
up of The Planning Portal’s electronic planning application form. This success led directly to the     Taking a consultative approach and bridging the gap between national ambition and local
development and delivery of The Standard National Planning Application Form (1App).                    delivery, the team has been instrumental in realising the substantial successes of the
                                                                                                       e-planning programme.
The focus in 2008 will be on realising the benefits of the Government’s investment in the e-Planning
programme by ensuring continued growth in usage of e-Planning tools, particularly 1App.                This team understands the local issues affecting the delivery of the Government’s
                                                                                                       transformation agenda and works regionally to help LPAs overcome the challenges and
At the commencement of this plan approximately 20% of all planning applications pass through the       realise the benefits available.
Portal, and by 2011 that will have risen to at least 60%.
                                                                                                       In 2008 and beyond the team will focus on roll-out of the e-Consultation Hub to LPAs and
In order to achieve this ambitious target we will re-focus our efforts on working with planning        consultees and in addition support the work of the Marketing and Transformation teams to
agents who submit 80% of applications to understand and satisfy their business needs in relation to    continue growth in planning application take-up.
service delivery.
                                                                                                       Phase 1 of the roll-out begins in April 2008 with the launch of the Hub, followed by
We will build on previously successful strategies that include regional and local training and         a managed take-up strategy that encompasses not only 424 LPAs and all statutory
workshops and also investigate the potential that technology offers to deliver bespoke solutions to    consultees but 10,000 parish councils, a scale of delivery not previously attempted.
national businesses. Research on both the cashable and ecological benefits of e-planning will enable
the development of robust business cases that will support the continued widespread use of Portal      The team will continue to support LPAs to get the full benefit from 1App and will act as the
tools.                                                                                                 Department’s delivery mechanism for the introduction of subsequent developments and
                                                                                                       enhancements to the service; these will include supporting the Planning Inspectorate’s
                                                                                                       drive to e-enable the fast-track appeals process. Using their unrivalled knowledge the
                                                                                                       team will help LPAs understand the benefits of joined-up electronic processing specifically
                                                                                                       overcoming barriers to the successful use of the e-Consultation Hub as a means of
                                                                                                       transacting with the Inspectorate.




49 www.planningportal.gov.uk
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                                                          Chris Jones                                                                                               Tammy Ardron




Technical and Operations team                                                                                Commercial team
The Technical and Operations team headed by Chris Jones is                                                   The Commercial team is responsible for utilising Wider Markets
responsible for ensuring that the Planning Portal is delivered on a                                          powers to engage the private sector in the support and
stable and scalable technical infrastructure that supports and enhances                                      encouragement of take-up of e-planning.
the business vision, particularly by developing innovative services that utilise
                                                                                                             In order to meet the Portal’s vision it is necessary to fully engage
technology to meet the evolving needs of citizens, businesses and Government.
                                                                                                             with suppliers of products and services that might contribute
The Technical and Operations team work with the Portal’s prime IT contractor to ensure the business          assistance to users of Portal services, be they LPAs, citizens or
meets SLAs for performance, usability and for specifying and prioritising development needs.                 businesses.
In addition the team provide first-line customer service and support, using embedded Service                 Led by Tammy Ardron, this recently established team works closely with senior colleagues
Management competencies, answering service and technical queries from customers and LPA partners             and stakeholders to support the Portal’s core objectives with regard to selecting and targeting
as well as managing the day-to-day operation of a busy website.                                              suppliers to fulfil the vision by contributing services, revenue or traffic.
2008 is a pivotal year for the Planning Portal. At a time when the Portal becomes responsible for the        The Planning Portal makes access to its services available to all third-party suppliers on an
implementation and hosting of two national services (1App and the e-Consultation Hub) it is also             equal basis. XML schemas that enable any software providers to build interfaces between their
engaged in the first full-scale re-let of its core IT contract.                                              own proprietary systems and the Portal’s are available free through the GovTalk website.
The contract provides hosting, ongoing service management and development facilities.                        The Portal accredits all suppliers that adopt the Portal’s schema, can demonstrate a product
                                                                                                             development and customer adoption roadmap and offer support services to the customer.
Although this is an excellent oportunity to ensure that the Portal is built on an infrastructure ready
for Web 2.0 and the challenges borne of greater user expectation, it comes at a time where absolute          The benefits to manufacturers in obtaining accreditation are:
stability is essential to customer confidence.
                                                                                                             • The Portal schema represents the industry standard
Time and Government do not stand still and the technical team will continue to support business-driven
                                                                                                             • Accreditation certificate differentiates on capability
development and service requests arising from customer feedback or Government policy.
                                                                                                             • Pre-sales and sales support from the Portal marketing team
In addition to this small-scale, reactionary development, significant projects already in progress include
further enhancements and additions to 1App, including 1App Wales, the e-Consultation Hub, work on            • Government credibility in talking to other departments and agencies
e-enabling Building Control, Planning 360 and enhancements to mapping functionality.
                                                                                                             • Channel to LPA IT and planning teams
The team is flexibly structured to allow for rapid scaling up, should approval be granted for other
                                                                                                             All existing accredited partners are regularly reviewed against delivery criteria, thereafter
pipeline projects such as the proposed National Planning Register and Planning Expert System.
                                                                                                             developing and enhancing the existing accreditation scheme to ensure continued excellence is
Operationally, the team work closely with the Product and Project support teams to ensure best               delivered by all.
practice is maintained and all development activity is delivering to Government standards for coding
                                                                                                             In the short term the team will conclude a review into the Portal’s current service offering,
and security. The team also provides expertise contributing widely to an understanding of what can be
                                                                                                             making recommendations for future product/service development, leading to a strategy
achieved by the Government by the thoughtful application of technology.
                                                                                                             providing longer-term strategic direction and immediate tactical delivery.
Success will be measured by customer satisfaction, stability and managed growth over the term of the
                                                                                                             Early in 2008 the team will begin the introduction of alternative mapping suppliers to
plan. Our aim is to achieve a service that is embedded in the working lives of planners and citizens with
                                                                                                             complement the Portal’s own commercial solution. This will offer customers choice and
tools that ease the burden of regulation speedily and efficiently.
                                                                                                             provide for a wider range of service without distracting the Portal technical team from its core
                                                                                                             responsibilities.
                                                                                                             It is envisaged that over the lifetime of the plan this team will be developed to provide a full
                                                                                                             commercial function capable of negotiating and managing significant business relationships that
                                                                                                             will contribute significantly to the Portal’s ability to self-sustain.




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                                                            Adam Telford                                                                                                      Neil Davis




Marketing and Communications team                                                                            Administration and Finance team
Led by Adam Telford, the Marketing and Communications                                                        Led by Neil Davies, the Administration and Finance team provide a
team ensure that the Planning Portal is a widely known and                                                   full suite of administrative and financial services to the Portal team.
respected service amongst all user groups. Encompassing PR,
                                                                                                             Acting as the liaison between the Portal and central functions
events, branding, design and marketing, the team work closely
                                                                                                             such as the Local Management Accounts Team for accounting,
with colleagues in the Directorate of Communication and with LPAs
                                                                                                             central procurement and HR, the team ensure that Portal staff are not
to ensure all communications and external promotional activity meet
                                                                                                             disadvantaged by their remote location.
Government guidelines without limiting the Portal’s ability to innovate.
                                                                                                             As in previous years the team will continue to ensure that allocated funds are appropriately
As in previous years the Marketing and Communications team will continue to work with a wide range
                                                                                                             managed and that the overall budget is balanced and within DCLG tolerances and that the
of stakeholders and partners to maximise understanding of e-Planning, wider Government planning and
                                                                                                             management team can call on accurate financial information at all times.
Building Control policies and the Portal’s work.
                                                                                                             As the Planning Portal seeks to develop new services and deliver national transformation it
In 2007/08 this included more than 500 events and workshops across England and Wales.
                                                                                                             is essential that staff have the skills and resources to deliver excellence. Underpinning the
Recognising that it is not sufficient to simply build solutions and expect take-up to occur, the team work   Portal’s commitment to its staff, the administration team ensure the Department’s performance
with LPAs to create co-branded events and marketing materials for LPA customers. Working in this             management regime is applied rigorously and that training and development opportunities
joined-up way re-inforces the efforts LPAs make to engage with their users and ensures the e-planning        remain constantly available and taken up.
message is consistent and effective.
2008/09 will see the Marketing and Communications team begin to focus more acutely on marketing to
citizens. Currently 40% of visitors enter the website via the General Public pages largely as a result of
links from LPA websites or search engine listings. Once on the Portal it is clear much could be done to
improve the sign-posting and accessibility of content, particularly in relation to Building Control.
We will work with the Products and Publishing Team to inform the development of content, services and
the way they are presented to ensure delivery meets our audiences’ expectations. This is especially
important at a time when the launch of the e-Consultation Hub and further integration of Building
Control content are changing our position in the market and consequently our audiences.
In early 2008 the Marketing and Communications team will assume lead responsibility for achieving
continuing growth in the take-up of online applications. This reflects changes brought about by the
national shift to 1App and will enable the Transformational Delivery team to concentrate on rolling out
the e-Consultation Hub. This approach will allow us to build a complete, co-ordinated training program,
including e-Learning tools particularly aimed at regular users i.e. planning agents.
The integration of Building Control poses important questions about our branding and our ability to
market our services effectively to two currently divergent audiences. As a first step in meeting this
challenge we are replacing our current strapline “The one-stop-shop for planning information and
services online” with “Under one roof”.
Research leads us to conclude that this is more citizen-friendly and will better enable us to incorporate
the full range of our current and upcoming services, such as Building Control, which do not fit neatly
under our current strap line. This campaign will be further developed for all of our audiences and
communications activity for 2008/09 and beyond.
Further research is currently being specified to better understand the building marketplace and the
Portal’s role in serving its needs.
We will continue to build on recent PR successes by working with specialist press and media channels
to further establish the Portal as the authoritative source for planning and building content. The Portal
is regularly linked to from leading publications and is also quoted within sector-leading television
programmes and their websites.




53 www.planningportal.gov.uk
   Business Plan 2008-2011
Appendix C
Detailed resource costs
The Planning Portal resource profile by activity and function for 2008/09.

               Admin &       Publishing     Product        Stakeholder   Business       Change         Project      LPA Staff    Agent       eConsultation   Exhibitions   Service      Technical   % total
               management    & Design       Development    mgmt          Intelligence   control        Management   Training/    Workshops   take-up         & Events      Management   Support
                                                                                                                    account
                                                                                                                    management

Product & Publishing team

Total          45122         133488         35258          27110         45935          4964           10617        0            0           0               0             0            0           302494

Transformational Delivery team

Total          71683         0              0              27372         0              10736          9672         117754       31252       137776          10736         0            0           416981

Technical & Operations Team

Total          12562         0              0              0             0              5957           193505       6922         0           0               0             70597        150563      440106

Commercial Team

Total          7500          0              1500           42280         0              0              0            0            0           0               0             0            0           51280

Marketing & Communications Team

Total          31753         2850           5700           21073         23060          0              17663        20203        11652       7125            14070         0            0           155149

Management & Admin

Total          106066        0              0              11800         5900           0              0            0            0           0               0             0            0           123766

Consultants

Total                                                                                                  226974                                                                                       226974



                                                                                                                                                                                        TOTAL       £1,716,750


N.B Consultants: Refers to procured Project Management support in support of 1App and e-Consultation
development. This resource will conclude by the commencement of financial year 2009/10.




55 www.planningportal.gov.uk
   Business Plan 2008-2011
Appendix D - Detailed income
projections by project
Map Sales projections 2008 - 2011




2008 - 2009 Map Sales           2008                                                                                           2009
                                  Apr     May       Jun      Jul     Aug       Sep       Oct      Nov               Dec          Jan        Feb         Mar
No of planning apps            10,620   12,200   11,200   14,298   12,420   14,000    15,275    16,500           12,000       18,000     19,000       21,500
1 in 8 ratio                    1,328    1,525    1,400    1,787    1,553    1,750     1,909     2,063            1,500        2,250      2,375        2,688
Gross at £25 per map           33,188   38,125   35,000   44,681   38,813   43,750    47,734    51,563           37,500       56,250     59,375       67,188
nett at ratio of 1:8           21,731   24,964   22,918   29,257   25,414   28,648    31,256    33,763           24,555       36,833     38,879       43,994
nett at ratio of 1:6           28,975   33,286   30,557   39,010   33,886   38,197    41,675    45,018           32,740       49,110     51,838       58,659

                                                                                                     2008/09 gross revenue at 1:6                  £553,166
                                                                                                     2008/09 net revenue at 1:6                    £482,950

2009 - 2010 Map Sales           2009                                                                                           2010
                                  Apr     May       Jun      Jul     Aug       Sep       Oct      Nov               Dec          Jan        Feb         Mar
No of planning apps            20,300   22,500   23,000   24,500   25,000   26,500    27,500    28,000           20,000       22,000     27,000       28,000
1 in 8 ratio                    2,538    2,813    2,875    3,063    3,125    3,313     3,438     3,500            2,500        2,750      3,375        3,500
Gross at £25 per map           63,438   70,313   71,875   76,563   78,125   82,813    85,938    87,500           62,500       68,750     84,375       87,500
nett at ratio of 1:8           41,539   46,041   47,064   50,133   51,156   54,226    56,272    57,295           40,925       45,018     55,249       57,295
nett at ratio of 1:6           55,385   61,388   62,752   66,844   68,208   72,301    75,029    76,393           54,567       60,023     73,665       76,393

                                                                                                     2009/10 gross revenue at 1:6                  £919,688
                                                                                                     2009/10 nett revenue at 1:6                   £802,949

2010 - 2011 Map Sales           2010                                                                                           2011
                                  Apr     May       Jun      Jul     Aug       Sep       Oct      Nov               Dec          Jan        Feb         Mar
No of planning apps            25,000   27,000   29,000   30,000   27,000   31,000    33,000    34,000           26,000       32,000     34,000       36,000
1 in 8 ratio                    3,125    3,375    3,625    3,750    3,375    3,875     4,125     4,250            3,250        4,000      4,250        4,500
Gross at £25 per map           78,125   84,375   90,625   93,750   84,375   96,875   103,125   106,250           81,250      100,000    106,250      112,500
nett at ratio of 1:8           51,156   55,249   59,341   61,388   55,249   63,434    67,526    69,573           53,203       65,480     69,573       73,665
nett at ratio of 1:6           68,208   73,665   79,122   81,850   73,665   84,578    90,035    92,763           70,937       87,307     92,763       98,220

                                                                                                         2010/11 gross revenue at 1:6             £1,137,500
                                                                                                         2010/11 nett revenue at 1:6                £993,113




57 www.planningportal.gov.uk
   Business Plan 2008-2011

								
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