Local Planning Apps
About Local Planning Apps
This web service is the first of its kind to be available within the UK. It makes planning application information available in a convenient customised website suitable for residents' associations.
The site is designed and provided by Geoff James. For any questions please email Info@LocalPlanningApps.co.uk
The service currently reports planning applications and appeals related to the Croydon and Bromley councils. Other councils will be available as requested.
Development and enhancements to the service continue to made. All development requests will be considered. These could include for example:
- Additional boroughs to provide single source reporting
- Changes to the web site to improve presentation, navigation, or ease of use
- Dedicated web sites, reports or data extracts
In Geoff's early career he was a professional programmer working on many things from nuclear reactor simulators to accountancy systems. Geoff's later career has been as a programme manager within the financial services industry delivering major change for global banks, insurance, investment and trading companies.
Geoff has a BSc and an MBA, and is currently studying for an MA with King's College London in 'Big Data Culture and Society'.
For many years Geoff has used his spare time helping his local residents' association. He found himself appointed to the role of Planning Officer. In this role, Geoff assesses many planning applications and appeals, and assists hundreds of members with planning related issues.
To enable his residents' association members to track the local planning applications more easily, Geoff created a weekly planning report for the members. These reports were produced by browsing the planning websites, and then various tools were used to create a table within a '.pdf' file that was emailed to interested members. The process was crude but the members valued the reliable service. The process was also prone to many problems as it was very difficult to track some details such as new enforcement appeals, or to identify when a narrative had been updated or the plans updated within a planning application.
This manual process was unsustainable and it would be very unlikely that anyone would step forward to continue the report if Geoff were to be unavailable. The manual report was also preventing Geoff from completing many other tasks that would also benefit the residents' association and its members.
Geoff started to develop an application that would monitor the publicly available planning websites, and then automatically build the latest planning report that was previously taking up to 2 hours every week. From the outset, Geoff knew that the frustrations he encountered with the manual process would be replicated by many other residents' associations. A key objective from the start has been to provide a customised planning report for any residents' association within a given local planning authority area. In 2014 a prototype system was available, and this went live with the first client in 2015. The service continues to be deployed to an increasing number of residents' associations.