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Local Authority Bulletin - March 2021

Published: Monday, 29th March 2021

Features: Helping Local Planning Authorities to hit targets and reduce pressure on Planning teams

It is a well-known fact that councils are under increasing pressure to hit targets whilst fighting challenges such as reduced resources and constantly tightening budgets. Our data shows trends of increasing numbers of planning applications being submitted – February was the highest month on record, with 63,258 in a single month – which is resulting in increased backlogs of applications to validate.

To help Local Authorities to tackle these challenges, TerraQuest Solutions have developed their Planning Application Validation Service (PAVS). PAVS is designed to reduce the time and costs associated with the processes of approving planning applications to help manage increased workloads, to clear backlogs and to meet service level commitments by validating all types of electronic and paper planning applications.

Using national and local planning policies, PAVS allows for applications to be received, validated, and added to a case officer’s worklist within 24 hours. In fact, throughout 2020, PAVS processed 85 per cent of applications within a 24-hour window! For those applications deemed invalid, PAVS also provides invalid application resolutions to help customers.

Using this service creates remarkable flexibility within planning departments by helping Local Authorities to manage demands of peak workloads. In turn, this enables case officers to focus on application evaluation and, ultimately, to improve the customer service experience. PAVS is developed in a way that is flexible to your needs. Local Authorities can individually decide how best to use the service – be that for all application types, or with a focus on specific applications – and our team will implement your processes throughout their work, to ensure consistency.

"Arun District Council uses TerraQuest to validate Householder and Advertisement Consents. We treat the service as an extension of our own validation team and it provides us with greater resilience, especially during busy periods. The staff are very approachable and we have been pleased with the service that has been provided to date."Nicola Spencer, Technical Support Manager, Arun District Council

“We engaged with TerraQuest, initially on a short-term contract, at a time when we were short on resources and our validation performance was suffering. TerraQuest’s integration to our systems was seamless and they offered an affordable and high-quality service which we ended up using for an extended period. I’d recommend TerraQuest as a professional team who offer an excellent service.” – South West Devon Partnership (South Hams District Council & West Devon Borough Council)

For a free consultation and to find how PAVS can best support your Local Authority, please contact the TerraQuest team by emailing or call 0121 234 1300.