Yesterday the Government announced the launch of the new national online planning guidance website.
Following the Taylor review into deleting, clarifying, and consolidating the thousands of pages of planning guidance that has built up over the years, DCLG stated that it intended to bring planning into the 21st century with an online resource that listed all planning guidance in an accessible and open way. Whilst I remain concerned about the details of the review, particularly whether we’re going to lose some of the guidance that helps to protect our environment and our communities from inappropriate development, I welcome the idea of a planning guidance website. It’s good for planners – who will now have one central source to turn to – and it’s good for the interested public – who will now be able to see exactly what guidance applies to the planning applications they submit or that have been submitted in their neighbourhoods.
So when the Government announced yesterday that it launched the website, in a test mode for six weeks for public comment, with a final go-live planned for the autumn, I was keen to see what it looked like.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t: “a glitch was preventing some users from accessing the website”, as Planning magazine reports.
Yet another Government planning initiative off to yet another bad start.
When the website is actually up, it can be viewed at http://planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk/