Last edited 20 Mar 2019

Planning Portal

Launched in 2002, the Planning Portal is a one-stop-shop for advice and guidance on planning applications, building regulations and planning appeals in England and Wales. It is intended to ensure that the planning system can be swiftly and efficiently navigated.

The Planning Portal is the official electronic source of building regulations approved documents, it facilitates the electronic submission of planning applications to local authorities and is the only route for the electronic submission of planning appeals. It hosts large quantities of data on the construction industry and future developments and supplies answers, services and information to home owners, businesses, planning professionals and government officials.

The benefits of applying online include:

  • You can work on your applications in draft before submission.
  • Immediate delivery and acknowledgement.
  • Savings on postage and printing costs.
  • Online help function when completing applications.
  • Online record of your completed applications.

The Planning Portal has a great deal of information covering a wide range of common household projects. The guidance covers both planning permission and building regulations rules:

The Planning Portal was originally delivered by the Department of Communities and Local Government. Its team included civil servants, private sector specialists, consultants, IT experts and creative staff.

However, in 2013, the government announced that it would be seeking bids to help identify future models for running the Planning Portal, suggesting that it had always envisaged ‘…that the portal would reach a stage where it would function more effectively outside government’.

The Planning Portal opened to investment offers in June 2014 (ref gov.uk). Planning Minister Nick Boles said: 'There is huge potential to take the Planning Portal to the next level and create services that will benefit businesses and homeowners. We have built a business that is well run and has a strong brand but now is the time for a firm to take it forward to fulfil its full potential.'

On 19 January 2015, Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis confirmed that business support company TerraQuest was the preferred bidder to take over the running of the Planning Portal. Ref DCLG New partner appointed to run the Planning Portal. Geoff Keal, Managing Director of TerraQuest, said: "We are thrilled to have been identified as DCLG’s preferred Joint Venture partner in relation to the Planning Portal, and are very excited about taking the Portal to the next level."

The Planning Portal transferred to a private sector, joint venture between DCLG and TerraQuest in March 2015. Ref Planning Portal, Business as usual, 13 March 2015.

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