Sharing planning consultation data across council boundaries


  1. Project timeline

Led by Harlow and Gilston Garden Town (HGGT), this discovery will provide an assessment of how planning consultation data for the proposed HGGT can be shared and used. HGGT will be developed across five council boundaries and will be delivering 23,000 new homes around Harlow by 2044. This growth will see Harlow’s population rise by 50,000.

This analysis will improve consistency and enable the five councils to have a unified approach for the development of the proposed new town.

Project timeline

March 2023

The project is awarded £69,000 in funding through Round 6 of the Local Digital Fund to begin a discovery phase.

May 2023

During the final two weeks of May, the Epping Forest project team held an initial meeting with a potential delivery partner to review the draft brief and define the scope of the project. A project officer working group was formed, with weekly meetings starting this month.

Over the next fortnight, the team will review the proposal and scope of work from the preferred delivery partner, complete procurement, and schedule workshops for user research requirements. The project team will also plan engagement sessions with members, developers and community groups.

August 2023

In the recent sprint, the project team focussed on designing an engagement strategy for elective members, progressing the recruitment of a digital delivery manager, and understanding the potential benefit of a consultation from CitizenLab. They have confirmed technical user online sessions, and planned future activities.

Next steps for the project include the gathering and analysis of data sharing agreements from partners and the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town (HGGT) scheme, and the development of a communications and engagement plan draft. The team plans to complete the final technical user group sessions, with four out of five conducted. They will also be developing deliverables for public research.