Planning & Environment

Soap box moment. Planning magazine had a short article – “Planning applications ‘the hardest task on council websites’”. That’s set me off (again) moaning about planning authority websites.

Don’t leave me feeling like Victor Meldrew – please post comments with your moans (or plaudits).

Here’s my moans:

  • schemes of delegation – absolutely crucial part of development management procedure, but often there’s no link on the planning pages.
  • the committee pages tend to be difficult to track down
  • slow download speeds – there’s not much point having planning applications available on-line if you can make a cup of coffee (including grinding the beans) in the time it takes to download even fairly short documents
  • designed by planners for planners (not deliberately) – if an informed user like me struggles to work out what to click on, what hope is there for members of the public?
  • lack of news – most planning authorities will have a few cases on the go at any one time which will be attracting public interest, but the website rarely makes an effort to make it easy to find the relevant information – Loch Lomond & The Trossachs show that it can be done.

Heads of Planning/ Scottish Government – time to get pages consumer tested?

Neil Collar