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The team behind the Joint Local Plan at South Hams District Council, West Devon Borough Council and Plymouth City Council, has been selected to be part of the Pathfinder programme, looking at the digital transformation of local plans.
The three councils will be working with Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government to explore how site information and data can be standardised and testing how this may be translated into national standards.
Councillor Judy Pearce, chair of the JLP Partnership Board, said: “We are delighted to be one of the Government’s Pathfinders and explore how data can be used effectively in a more accessible, interactive and digital planning system.”
Strategic planning has changed enormously over the last few years, seeing a shift from long, printed documents to more interactive sites, all designed to make it simpler for developers, infrastructure providers as well as local people to see what land has been designated for what use over the next decade and beyond.
The pathfinder programme will look at standardising how information and data is collected.
Digital transformation of local plans is a key proposal within the Planning White Paper and is likely to be a significant adjustment for many local authorities.
Joanna Lee, strategic planning manager, added: “We are ahead of the game having produced a Joint Local Plan for Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon and are keen to get more information online and accessible.
“But there is the potential for an enormous amount of variation across all authorities, so it makes sense to work towards using the same information across the board.”
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