Posted: Wed 1st May 2024

Further Delays in Setting Up Planning Applications Website in Blaenau Gwent Confirmed /

FURTHER delays in setting up a website for planning applications in Blaenau Gwent have been confirmed.
But Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council planning chiefs hope the website will be up and by the end of spring or early summer.
Originally it had been expected that the new software would be operational “early” in 2024.
In February it was said hat Blaenau Gwent planners were “optimistic” that the website would be working in “early” spring.”
In Planning committee meetings planning chiefs have blamed having to put a dedicated planning officer to work on the software project as a reason for a drop off in departmental performance in processing planning application.
A council spokesperson said: “The portal will likely go live at the end of May or early June.”
The need for the new planning software was highlighted by Audit Wales in a report published in June last year.
They had conducted a review of the council’s planning service in 2023/2023.
One of the issues they found was that the council’s website has “poor functionality” when comparing it with other councils.
The problem is that people can’t search for planning applications online.
Audit Wales believes this “hinders” public involvement in the planning process.
Audit Wales said that it was “positive” to be told that Blaenau Gwent had bought a new IT system.
Last October senior councillors were told in a Cabinet meeting that the was due to brought into use in early 2024.
The need has been echoed in January by planning professionals who highlighted that “not having an open planning portal” causes problems.
Newly submitted planning applications are published on the council’s planning website in a weekly round-up.
But details of the applications which explain what the scheme will be are not available on the council’s website.
Documents can be provided for people to look at if the department is asked for them.
The council have stressed that its planning department is “always contactable by telephone and e-mail” for any questions or concerns people may have. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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