Government guidance, used for deciding planning applications and appeals and for making plans, has been revamped and published on a new website. The interactive guidance replaces 7,000 pages of documents some of which went back to the 1970s and 80s.
The guidance is arranged under about 40 main headings, covering topics from advertisements and conservation to making and determining planning applications. Clicking on the main headings takes users to a menu of sub-headings. Under these are questions and answers in short paragraphs.
Planning professionals like us will be finding our way around the updated advice. It is certainly easy to navigate and very useful to have most, if not all, guidance in one place. There’s a lot less material to have to wade through. Another good point is that it will be kept up to date as and when government advice changes and users can sign up to be alerted to changes. The tendency is always to add more and more advice so we will have to see whether it stays as lean as it is on launch.
The main thing, of course, is how it affects the outcome of planning applications and only time will tell.