Planning and Building Control are some of the most viewed areas on Local Authority websites. Therefore having clear and concise messaging that signposts citizens to the correct content and services can help reduce the need for contact.
We recommend referring all enquires to your website allowing customers to self-serve on the services they need. Equally, having links to online services, application forms, guidance and other related information available that can be emailed out provides a more efficient service.
This greatly reduces unnecessary costs, especially taking into account that many may choose not to apply. If a request is made for a paper form, it should only be printed/posted on demand as a last resort.
We also recommend promoting online application submission by linking to the Planning Portal application service www.planningportal.co.uk/apply with links to blank PDF forms demoted to 'Other ways to apply'. Many Local Authorities have already done this and have seen the benefits.
Providing subtle changes to your messaging and endorsing the Planning Portal can also make a big difference to first-time and one-off submitters. You can also make good use of our branded 'calls to action'. Find out more about how best to do this.