Will the new operator of Planning Portal improve its service?

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis announced this week that a new business support company will take control of Planning Portal, but will they improve its service asks Richard Carr?

TerraQuest are the preferred choice

Richard Carr Planning Portal

The Planning Portal homepage

Planning Minister Lewis has chosen TerraQuest as the preferred bidder to take control of the service. They are an established provider of Land Referencing, Development Planning, Geographic Information Systems, Data Management and fully outsourced Business Process solutions to both the public and private sector.

Following a competitive tendering process, Mr Lewis explained that the move would further increase investment in the Portal service and ensure that it continues to deliver a high quality of service.

The service now accommodates for more than 85% of planning applications in England and Wales.

Changes to the Portal expected in 2015

As part of their commitment to improve the service, TerraQuest will aim to form a new company in partnership with the Government, which will take on the management and delivery of the Planning Portal from early 2015.

Whilst this innovative service is being developed, the current system will continue to function.

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis, said: “More than 85 per cent of planning applications are being submitted through the Planning Portal – it was essential that we found a way to secure its long-term future.

“So I’m pleased that TerraQuest has been appointed as the preferred bidder to take over the running of the Planning Portal to build the business further and ensure it continues to play a vital role in the planning system for years to come.

Geoff Keal, managing director of TerraQuest, added: “We are thrilled to have been identified as DCLG’s preferred Joint Venture partner in relation to the Planning Portal, and are very excited about taking the Portal to the next level.”

Privatise more services

Richard acts as a commercial and residential development consultant for his employer and clients. He is a specialist in achieving planning permission on a variety of projects and examples of his work can be viewed via the ‘Development’s’ page on his website.

In his opinion, appointing TerraQuest is a good move for the government; he is all for full privatisation of all services.

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