Planning applications for home owners who are in need of home extensions can be complicated to complete and submit, due to the fact that there are a variety of planning applications that relate to different types of home extensions with each application having its own validation checklist. Validation checklists may contain various instructions on how to present the application and/or additional documentation that is required. The validation checklists are a pre-cursor for the application to having any chance of being accepted.
The repercussions for the recipients of the applications i.e. the local council or borough, is that they must sift through each application to ensure the validation checklists are met. This is the responsibility of the planning officer who will need to get into contact with the applicant should there be incorrect or missing documents. Once all necessary documentation has been received a decision is reached within 8-13 weeks depending on the type and size of the extension.
During the 8-13 weeks, the individual in charge of planning applications, a case officer will need to perform the following duties (depending on the type of application):
– Consulting relevant stake holders of planning application e.g. neighbors.
– A site notice.
Individuals, not consulted directly, also have a right to submit comments/concerns. Usually a window is available for a number of days for anyone to raise concerns. After this period, the case officer assesses the application based on local, regional and national policies, any comments received and physical observations of the site considering the impact of changes for disabled personnel, traffic, noise and parking issues and so forth.
Senior planning officers make a decision on smaller planning applications whereas, large and controversial planning applications are decided by a Regulatory Services Committee.
Understanding where and how processes could be automated is important as it reduces the turnaround times for the planning applications.
For example, a workflow system could consist of an auto validation tool, which checks all the necessary pre-requisites against each type of application and sends an email either to confirm acceptance of application or advises on the missing tenets of the application.
Each application is considered a case and all documentation including the application itself, comments from stakeholders and so forth could be contained in an electronic case file for easy search and retrieval. This ensures faster responses and data of high accuracy. Furthermore, electronically managing each file means documentation is not lost or misplaced and there’s reduced physical storage space.
Moreover, the automated system can make a recommendation for you on whether to accept a reject an application based on the application data received. All in all you have established a more efficient system in handling planning applications.
If you’re interested in learning more about automating planning and other sorts of applications and this sound like something your organisations would be interested in. Give us a call or book your free onsite demonstration.