The Planning Portal, an online one-stop shop for processing planning applications, is now open to investment from a commercial partner who can continue developing the service.
The Portal is highly valued as an important service which helps homeowners and businesses swiftly and efficiently navigate the planning system. It occupies a unique market position.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is now seeking a partner with innovative ideas that will take the service forward to make it easier to make planning applications that support sustainable development and economic growth.
Planning Minister Nick Boles said:
There is huge potential to take the Planning Portal to the next level and create services that will benefit businesses and homeowners.
We have built a business that is well run and has a strong brand but now is the time for a firm to take it forward to fulfil its full potential. Bringing in external expertise is the best way to ensure the site works at its very best in the future.
The Portal has more than a million visits each month, receives around 320,000 planning applications a year and allows planning applications to all local authorities in England and Wales to be submitted electronically through the website.
The site reaches 85,000 professionals each week through its newsletter and has users viewing more than 2,650,000 pages of content.
Customers that use the site include councils, architects, small businesses, shop-fitters, advertising companies, householders and housing and retail developers.
An information memorandum and bidding documents are now available on request setting out more details. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
More than 70% of all planning applications in England and Wales now go through the Portal.
The Portal is the official electronic source of approved Building Regulations documents, with over 2 million downloads a year.