Local Government projects explore planning process with GIS

Esri UK announced the winners of a competition to find local planning authorities with innovative ideas, for how best to use geospatial technology to help modernise the UK planning process.

Attracting almost 50 entries, the three winning councils were Nottingham City, Dacorum Borough Council and South Ayrshire who will work with Esri UK to make their pilot projects a reality, receiving free consultancy and access to GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software from the company.

The competition revealed several common planning challenges faced by local authorities, being addressed by the pilots, including the improvement of community engagement, how to maximise the use of 3D visualisations and how to manage developer contributions more efficiently. Esri UK is also creating a Customer Advisory Board to help grow best practice use of GIS within planning.


“As the government looks to reform the planning system with an increased use of digital technologies, we wanted to find innovative solutions to planning challenges and collaborate with authorities to bring them to life,” explained Stephen Croney, Head of Sector for Land, Property and Planning, Esri UK. “By combining each council’s domain expertise with our team of geospatial experts, the pilot projects will explore new and efficient approaches to problems all designed to help make the planning process easier for everyone.”

Selected from almost 50 entries, the winning applications are:

Dacorum Borough Council
Dacorum Borough Council wants to translate existing text and spreadsheets by using digital mapping to better manage and communicate infrastructure and developer contributions, secured through Planning Obligations.

Nottingham City Council
Nottingham City Council’s proposition will explore how geospatial technology can help increase the use of 3D visualisations within the planning environment, internally and with the public.

South Ayrshire Council
South Ayrshire Council’s project will examine how an innovative community consultation platform with interactive methods of engagement can help further improve community involvement in Local Development Plans – the Proposed South Ayrshire LDP2 in the first instance.

Website Esri UK

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