QR codes to open up planning

George Fowler

October 25, 2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to confirm £65m in funding to help digitise 175 local council’s planning systems.

On Friday the government confirmed over £1m of government funding has been allocated to 13 planning authorities under the PropTech Engagement Fund to test new digital initiatives.

The selected projects include funding for The London Borough of Hounslow which will create an online 3D map, helping residents to visualise and comment on proposals.

While Watford Borough Council will develop a QR code system for residents allowing them to view an interactive map and access planning information.

Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy at the National Federation of Builders (NFB), said: “Digital planning will illuminate the vast numbers of development opportunities within communities, such as on infill and small sites.

“A coherent land allocation strategy is the only way we can start solving the housing crisis.”

The government hopes the planning process will be made more accessible to a wider cross-section of people through the use QR codes to see 3-D interactive maps.

Whilst Cambridge Shared Planning has won £100,000 to use technology to capture views on a scheme appearing in news articles, social media feeds and blog posts.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB), who had been calling for increased investment in the planning system said it was pleased its calls had been answered.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, added: “Digitisation must make the system simpler and faster, and free up planners’ time to support the smallest firms navigate the often-complicated planning process.”

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