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Local Authority bulletin - December 2018

Published: Wednesday, 19th December 2018

Our services over the Christmas and New Year period, Urgent – request for your local planning authority to check links to the Planning Portal, And more articles...


Please note the following availability of our services and support over the festive period.

Online planning applications can be made as usual.  Payments can be made online or by phone 24 hours a day, every day including bank holidays.

Other payments will be reconciled each working day (not including bank holidays) as usual.

BACS files to local authorities will be sent each working day (not including bank holidays) as usual.

Our Service Desk hours will be available on our help page, which will be updated shortly.


In 2015, the Planning Portal website was upgraded and changed to www.planningportal.co.uk. Since this update, the previous website, www.planningportal.gov.uk, ceased to exist.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have been providing a redirect service from the previous address to the current Planning Portal address since 2015, but they will not be continuing to maintain the www.planningportal.gov.uk domain or the redirect facility from January 2019.

Recent reports generated by the Planning Portal show that there are still local planning authorities using the old www.planningportal.gov.uk address to access the Planning Portal. This includes links to our content and services. We can see that this domain is also being used in some local authorities back office 1APP connectors, although our report cannot identify which local planning authorities these are.

Your local planning authority’s back office 1APP connector must be using the planningportal.co.uk link in order for you to successfully receive planning applications from the Planning Portal. Please check this link and update it immediately.

You should also take this opportunity to update any links in the content on your website, to ensure that they are using the correct domain – www.planningportal.co.uk

Please make sure that the IT department or web content team at your local authority has access to this message.

We have created a guide which includes a collection of the most useful Planning Portal URLs, specifically for local authority websites. These are links to our most frequently used pages and we strongly recommend you include them on your site to improve your user journey.

We’ve created distinct guides for both planning and building control guidance in England. These guides include handy advice on how to get the most out of our services, as well as images, buttons and optional text to accompany the signposts.

You can 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 by emailing communications@planningportal.co.uk.


The Planning Portal are pleased to announce that Arcus Global have developed a connector to integrate with our online building control application service.

Aylesbury Vale District Council are already using the connector and are now able to retrieve building control applications and associated supporting documents from the Planning Portal into their back office system.

The introduction of the connector developed by Arcus Global will help local authority building control departments achieve increased efficiency in the receipt and registration of online building control applications; meaning less re-keying for local authorities, resulting in greater productivity.

They are the third supplier to achieve this and join Ocella and DEF Software who have already developed connectors. The service continues to receive increased usage and has facilitated the submission of 36,000 applications since it was launched.  

As well as these three suppliers, Tascomi are also in the midst of developing their building control connector which they are planning to launch in the New Year.


Birmingham City Council has become the first to adopt Secured by Design (SBD)’s National Building Approval scheme (NBA) which makes it easier for developers to meet the security requirements stipulated in the Building Regulations.

Birmingham City Council will apply the NBA requirements to all its new social housing developments.

Launched in 1989, SBD is the name given to a group of police projects, established with the aim of reducing crime such as burglary by ‘designing [it] out’. Under its NBA scheme, SBD provides a certificate to developers who meet the security standards set out in Part Q of Schedule 1 (Security) in the Building Regulations 2010.

This certificate can be presented to Local Authority Building Control officers and Approved Inspectors as a means of proving that these regulations have been met.

NBA guarantees that all developments they work on will be fully compliant with Approved Document Q requirements. They ensure that all the appropriate security and crime prevention measures are in place before issuing certificates.

By conforming to the standards set by SBD, developers meet the Approved Document Q requirements more fully and more competently than they would otherwise. Research has shown that households built to these standards see crimes such as burglary reduced by up to 87 per cent* when compared with similar developments that do not participate in the scheme. 

By embracing this scheme, Birmingham City Council has committed itself to applying a high standard of security to all its future social housing and robust crime-prevention features, such as strong windows, doors and locks will be built into all their new social housing developments.

Find out more about Secured by Design.

*Figures: https://www.localgov.co.uk/Birmingham-to-build-crime-prevention-into-social-housing-developments-/46475