Is the Planning Portal's online Building Control application service about to introduce your Partners to Approved Inspectors?



Here at Submit a Plan HQ we are watching the developments onthe Planning Portal carefully and thought it might be useful to share with you an email sent to the LABC board recently questioning the possible pitfalls of the Planning Portal BC application service which I hope you will find enlightening..... watch our video or read our article below to find out more...


Double-click on video to watch in full-screen

Is the Planning Portal's online Building Control application service about to introduce your Partners to Approved Inspectors?

Fact - Currently the Planning Portal gives equal billing to Approved inspectors and LABC.
Planning Portal - where to get approval>
Fact – Currently you have to get past ApprovedInspector adverts when navigating to information about your Local Authority:
Planning Portal - where to get approval> * update - As of the 1st of April 2017 this advert has now been changed *
Fact - The Planning Portal are actively recruiting Approved Inspectors to register. “Applications can be submitted to any Approved Inspector or local authority who signs up.“We’re also enhancing our content on how and where to apply for building control with a searchable directory of Approved Inspectors.”
Fact – The Planning Portal are asking the AIs for details onregional coverage and providing a regional search facility. “Geographic areacovered (cross-through those not applicable) : North West, East of England,North East London, Yorkshire & Humber, South East, West Midlands, SouthWest, East Midlands, Wales.”
Planning Portal - Approved Inspector Directory>
Fact – The Planning Portal are also offering Approved inspectors an “enhanced” option “Enhanced listing required" this could suggest additional advertising, optimised searching etc. that put the AI first?
Worse still if, during the application process, your partner selects "this is not my Authority", as they are applying outside of your area, they are given the option to choose and submit to an AI. Email back if you would like a link to the online video.
Fact- the Planning Portal, is now a private entity. DCLG retains a minority stake in the joint venture but the business is classified as a private sector organisation. The Planning Portal is owned by the DCLG andTerra Quest part of the Mears Group. Like any private sector organisation I guess they will need to generate revenue from commercial relationships.
We can see a scenario where Planning applicants are, best case, able to search geographically for approval options, LABC or AIs. Or, worst case, encouraged through advertising or other means to go to an AI? Will this increase exposure to completion from AIs and lose of business ..... you decide.
Here are Submit a Plan HQ we guarantee that it will not advertise your competition. My recommendation is that if you want to encourage electronic applications then lets get your message correct from your own council website and direct them to Submit a Plan rather than risk losing them to an AI via the Planning Portal. We also have an imminent announcement that will allow building Control to actively market and make life easy for Planning Portal applicants to make Building Control applications.
Just give us a call at HQ as we very much welcome your thoughts or a chat which ever suits you best.


Tony James, Director / 01242 506084
NB Information is correct at time of publishing.

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