A digital service pattern for Reducing Invalid Planning Applications (RIPA)

Contents:

  1. Project outputs
  2. Project timeline

This project led by Lambeth Council builds on previously completed alpha work. It aims to enable users to submit a planning application that captures all necessary information in the right format from the start. They hope to design a system that reduces the number of invalid application submissions, as well as making the current system more transparent and easier to navigate.

The new application should increase customer satisfaction, save money, and make it easier and quicker for users to submit the correct information, without requesting duplicate information from multiple documents. The project also wants to develop a system that only asks for information that is unknown, rather than information that councils already hold the answer to. For example, whether or not the applicant lives in a conservation area.

Project scope

The minimum viable product is being built to be ready for private beta testing by the end of 2020. This will allow local planning authorities to manage Lawful Development Certificate application.

RIPA prototype
RIPA prototype

Ways of working

The project follows Agile delivery principles, incorporating user research and service design into its activities. Working in the open, the project hosts fortnightly show and tells to update on progress and share findings. You can find the show and tells and sprint notes on the project website.

The outputs of this project will be openly shared, in such a way that they can be easily adapted and adopted by any local authority or private sector company wishing to provide a digital planning submissions service.

If you would like to get involved in Beta user research – to help the team design a better system for planning application submissions – please email them at digitalplanning@lambeth.gov.uk or join them on LinkedIn.

Project outputs

All Local Digital Fund beta projects are asked to provide the following information:

  • User research report
  • Benefits case
  • A user experience demo or design pattern, a data model or a set of instructions
  • Recommendations for next steps

See and try out RIPA: Householder planning applications

Project timeline

October 2019 - alpha

‘Reducing invalid planning applications’ alpha is awarded £98,500 from the Local Digital Fund to deliver previous stage (Alpha).

April 2020 - alpha

The project team of the ‘Reducing invalid planning applications’ alpha deliver the agreed outputs, published openly on the Local Digital website.

June 2020 - beta

The project had their first sprint, which included a kickoff workshop, defining a wider engagement strategy and an adoption strategy,  creating 6 parallel instances of the service and doing their first Show & Tell (watch Part 1Part 2 & Part 3).

The project published three blogposts following their kick off workshop:

The first sprint ended with a show and tell and a blogpost that summarises Wider Engagement Strategy.

The second sprint focussed on an engagement strategy, sharing validation requirements and looking at maps. This was followed up with a Show & Tell (watch Part 1Part 2Part 3 & Part 4).

 

July 2020 - beta

The third sprint was about validation requirement mapping and looking at APIs. Watch the Show & Tell Part 1Part 2Part 3 & Part 4.

The fourth sprint focussed on service design for a clickable prototype and validation requirements / rules. Here are show and tell slides.

Project also published a Maps blogpost that explored how the project should treat ‘red lines’ provided in the application.

August 2020 - beta

The 5th sprint continued looking at service design and improvements to the prototype. Here are the slides and Show & Tell recording.

Following the 5th Show & Tell project published an update blogpost. They wrote about about their workshop session with their new User Researcher and partners where they looked at the application and policy from a headline angle.

The 6th sprint focussed on roadmapping and onboarding requirements. View the slides and  Show & Tell .

 

 

September 2020 - beta

During the 7th sprint team did validation rule research, carried out user research, started writing flows and set up a Content Team. At the end of the sprint they did a Show & Tell and shared slides.

The project published  Latest (belated) sprint notes where they gave a number of updates including the need to  accelerate the project from an 18 month timeframe (December 2021) to a reduced 6-months timeframe with a March 2021 date set to achieve a private Beta.

The 8th sprint focussed on benefits case research, user research and ways to let users know if they need a planning permission. Watch the Show & Tell and see slides here.

The project published a blogpost Workshop 8! where they shared a RIPA prototype, spoke about using https://nextdoor.co.uk to find users and findings from the latest user research sessions.

They also published another blogpost about Benefits case and metrics where they spoke about a customer survey they’re putting together and mapping Lawful Development Certificate user journey.

October 2020 - beta

At the 9th sprint project looked at Certificate of Lawful Development Data, carried out validation and user research, looked at database + API, carried on exploring ‘find out if you need planning permission’ user journey and looked at Article 4s.  Here are show and tell slides and Show & Tell recording.

Project published a blogpost summarising Workshop 11…. where they spoke about how they used a ‘retrospective’ to reflect on the project, ways of trying to find more user research volunteers and what happens when a live demo does not go to plan.

Reducing invalid planning applications and Back office planning system projects had user story mapping sessions to agree the user needs we’re going to meet with our Lawful Development Certificate MVP.

RIPA project had their show and tell (SlidesShow & Tell recoding) and a fortnightly workshop where they had a retrospective that allowed them to reflect on how the project is going. 

November 2020 - beta

RIPA and BOPS projects had their final user story mapping session to agree the user needs we’re going to meet with our Lawful Development Certificate MVP. RIPA project is also working on a number of tasks, including legal agreements and payment system for the project, prototype content review, risk log and defining private beta parameters.

RIPA project had their regular show and tell, SlidesShow & Tell recording.

The project has been working on a number of things, including finalising content review for the existing certificate of lawfulness application, doing user research, defining the private beta scope,  adding a ‘prospective’ rear extension to the service mock-up for testing, running a workshop with enforcement officers. See their 12th Slides, and Show & Tell recoding.

The project published a blogpost that summarises key events from the past few weeks.