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Local Authority Bulletin - October 2018

Published: Monday, 29th October 2018

Forthcoming improvements to 1App, LABC’s response to the Hackitt Review, Information on our Building Control section and more stories...

LABC have announced their clear support for all the recommendations made in Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of the Building Regulations.

The Hackitt report was published in May 2018 following the Grenfell Tower fire. It called for ‘a radical rethink of the whole system and how it works’. One of the report’s most notable recommendations was the request for a Joint Competent Authority to supervise the signing off of residential buildings more than ten storeys high.

LABC are currently calling on all professionals to support their 100% Hackitt initiative, which encourages the government to implement all of the recommendations in Hackitt’s report, without compromise.

LABC have said:

‘The message is clear and unequivocal – the Hackitt review recommendations must be implemented in full.’

They have also offered a framework to help their members implement Dame Judith’s proposals with minimal disruption to their work. You can find out more on the LABC website.

Over the coming months we will be bringing you a range of articles that focus on various areas of the Planning Portal, drawing attention to the handy tools and resources on different areas of our site. Some of you may not be familiar with our full range of content, so we hope you find these articles helpful and would appreciate any feedback.

For our first piece, we’re looking at our Building Control section.

Back in 2016, we launched our online building control application service, revolutionising the way building control applications are submitted across the country.

Since then, as well as continuing to improve the application process, we have built an extensive hub of useful resources to support the service. Our Building Control section holds all the information that planning professionals and homeowners could need to get to grips with the intricacies of building control.

Having a strong base of resources for this service is essential, since many first time applicants may not even be aware that they need building regulations approval at all.

With our hub, users can find out if they are likely to need approval for their project and how to meet the correct standards. They can also search for Local Authority Building Control departments in their local area and submit applications to them. If an applicant has been denied approval, they can use our site to find out about the determination and appeals processes.

We have had a lot of positive feedback on our plain English introductions to the Approved Documents, which help everyone to understand otherwise complex regulations. These are really handy resources, which we encourage you to share with your customers.

Professional users can also keep up to date with any changes to the approved documents, by following our blog.

To explore our full range of building control resources, visit our site.

The Planning Application Validation Service (PAVS) is designed to reduce the time and cost taken to submit, process and approve planning applications while enhancing the applicant’s experience.

PAVS helps local planning authorities (LPAs) to successfully handle their increased workload, clear application backlogs and meet service level commitments by validating all types of electronic and paper planning applications. The service checks against national and local planning policies and directly uploads into the LPA back office system. An application can be received, validated and be on a case officers worklist within 24 hours.

Some LPAs have chosen the service just for some application types, whilst others have chosen for PAVS to validate all types of planning application they receive.

The successful delivery of PAVS creates remarkable flexibility in planning departments; the service is tailored to suit the specific needs of the authority and the technical validation meets both national and local guidelines.

Benefits of using TerraQuest planning application validation services?

  • 48 hour Service Level Agreement with 98 per cent processed within 24 hours
  • Manage peak workload demand
  • Consistency in validation decisions
  • Invalid application resolution
  • Enable case officer to focus on application evaluation  
  • Improve customer service experience through prompt contact

For a free consultation, please contact the TerraQuest team via email at or call 0121 234 1300; and find out why the London Borough of Hillingdon, Arun District Council, Tandridge District Council and other Local Planning Authorities are benefitting from our service.

"TerraQuest has been delivering an end-to-end Planning service processing approximately 200 Other and Minor applications per month since the 10 year contract went live in May 2011. The transition to the new service model went smoothly and has quickly delivered service and performance improvements.

TerraQuest is working in partnership with Hillingdon to deliver a high quality service and this includes TerraQuest producing delegated reports in many cases over a week before expiry dates. This contract is realising significant savings for the Council and the partnership working with TerraQuest will realise further service improvements over the coming months".

James Rodger, Head of Planning, Sports and Green Spaces. London Borough of Hillingdon

Our Local Authority links guides include a collection of URLs for our most useful and frequently used services. We recommend including these as hyperlinks on your website.

These links have been specifically selected with your customers in mind, to enhance both the planning and building control content that already exists on many Local Authority websites.

These guides include handy advice on how to get the most out of linking to our services, as well as snippet text to accompany these links on your site, which can be used at your discretion.

Please find our links guides below:

Planning links guide

Building control links guide

If you have any questions about linking to our services, please contact us via