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Economy Economy

Digitise the land planning process

Last updated: 03:09pm 7 November 2019

This new body will set the standards to digitise the planning process…

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.82

Our verdict

The Geospatial Commission was formed in November 2017 to maximise the value of data linked to location. It is currently coordinating the ‘Geo6’ – Ordnance Survey, British Geological Survey, Coal Authority, HM Land Registry, Valuation Office and the UK Hydrographic Office – to develop the most detailed digital maps of the UK to date. The government promised that it will also set the standards to digitise the land planning process, with the opportunity of a positive impact on housing policy.

In February 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government updated the National Planning Policy Framework. However, the framework does not mention digitised planning.

In April 2019, the Geospatial Commission published its Annual plan 2019-2020, indicating housing, land and planning as priorities. However, rather than setting standards to digitise planning, it declares its aim to be working to understand the role of geospatial data in land-planning and development decision making to identify best practice in data usage.

It can be argued that the Geospatial Commission is laying the groundwork for digitised planning with its Geo6 digital maps project work. However, we found no official mention of planning digitisation and no evidence of standards being set in this area. As such, this policy is ‘not started’. We will keep tracking the Geospatial Commission’s work, so follow this policy to stay up to date.

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