Planning Software Improvement Fund

£5 million of funding is available for councils to improve their digital planning services for residents and officers

The Planning Software Improvement Fund aims to help Local Planning Authorities in England (LPAs) to improve the digital services they use for the submission and assessment of planning applications – the development management side of local planning.

The fund is currently open for applications, with £5 million available overall. The closing date for applications is Friday 23 December 2022.

The projects we fund will need to align with DLUHC’s vision for a new, more modular, software landscape to encourage digital innovation and provide access to underlying data. This will help automate routine processes, which will support faster and more certain decision-making.

Benefits for Local Planning Authorities

Local Planning Authorities taking part in our funded projects will help shape new policy changes and be the beneficiaries of improved software that supports better and more efficient development management. The projects we fund will shape the new digital powers proposed in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which is currently going through Parliament.

In addition, participating local authorities should see a reduction in invalid planning applications, data more readily accessible to officers and applicants, and quicker application processing.

Council officers can also take advantage of training related to Geographic Information System (GIS) and data, and build up a better understanding of technology in planning services. Open Digital Planning (ODP) partners will be encouraged to pursue training opportunities to improve their understanding of digital service design, writing good content, and other skills planners are likely to need in the future.

Read the Planning Software Improvement Fund Prospectus and apply

Please read the Prospectus and below information about the different funding tracks carefully before submitting your application. The prospectus contains information about timelines for applying. 

All applications must be submitted using the online application forms by 23 December 2022. 

Apply for Track 1

Apply for Track 2

Apply for Track 3

You can also download the below Microsoft Word versions of the application forms for collaborative working ahead of submission, but please submit your final application using the online application forms linked above. 

Microsoft Word template application form – Track 1

Microsoft Word template application form – Track 2

Microsoft template application form – Track 3

The team will be holding regular Q&A sessions ahead of the application deadline. There will be three sessions for council teams and one for suppliers. You can register for these sessions on Eventbrite:

Planning Software Improvement Fund drop in Q&A session 1- for council teams – Wednesday 23 November 11am – 12pm

Planning Software Improvement Fund drop in Q&A session 2- for suppliers– Wednesday 30 November 11am – 12pm

Planning Software Improvement Fund drop in Q&A session 3- for council teams – Wednesday 7 December 11am – 12pm

Planning Software Improvement Fund drop in Q&A session 4- for council teams – Wednesday 14 December 11am – 12pm

You can also contact the team by emailing digitalplanningteam@levellingup.gov.uk

Funding for three types of projects

Local Planning Authorities are invited to apply for funding via one of three tracks:

Track 1: Adopt and design new services with councils

Join the Open Digital Planning project to adopt and work with other LPAs to design the PlanX and Back Office Planning System (BOPS) services for submitting and processing planning applications.

Track 2: Adopt new services and integrate with existing software

Adopt one of the Open Digital Planning software products (PlanX or BOPS), and work with an existing service provider on targeted service improvements and technical integrations.

Track 3: Improve existing software products and integrations with service providers

Work with existing service providers on targeted service improvements and technical integrations in line with DLUHC’s vision for digital planning.

Find out more about each funding track using the expandable menu below. 

Funding tracks