Landmark signing to reinvigorate planning system

A new partnership agreed today at UKREiiF will see new cutting edge technology used to speed up the planning process.

Signing of the memorandum of understanding today during UKREiiF. Pictured left to right: Digital Task Force for Planning CEO Dr Wei Yang and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Director General Joanna Key | BTR News
Signing of the memorandum of understanding today during UKREiiF. Pictured left to right: Digital Task Force for Planning CEO Dr Wei Yang and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Director General Joanna Key.

A new partnership has been agreed today (21 May 2024) at UKREiiF to use cutting edge technology to speed up the planning process, so the homes and infrastructure this country needs can be built.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by Joanna Key, the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Director General and Dr Wei Yang, CEO of the Digital Task Force for Planning.

The new technology will aim to enable developers to quickly identify suitable sites for new homes and unblock development stuck in the planning system. It will also give communities more of a say on planning applications and improve experiences of buying or selling properties. 

“We are delighted to have signed the memorandum of understanding with Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, representing a significant step forward in our efforts to reinvigorate spatial planning as a positive force in addressing the multifaceted challenges we face through a holistic approach. 

“This memorandum of understanding will enable collaboration across our respective digital planning programmes and draw links to digital planning’s macro-economic and environmental impacts, as well as fostering future means of collaboration with local authorities and other organisations. 

“I believe the memorandum of understanding will help the Task Force achieve our mission of building a Digital ‘National Trust’ for the long-term benefit of our future generations, by promoting valuable knowledge sharing as assets for the public good.” 

Dr Wei Yang, CEO, Digital Task Force for Planning

Local authorities have received over £12m through the Government’s PropTech Innovation Fund, which has supported over 100 pilots across the country, using digital to save councils thousands of pounds and hundreds of hours during the planning process.  

The programme is part of the Long-Term Plan for Housing, which aims to help speed up housing and infrastructure delivery by using new and innovative tools to build in the right places with the consent of local people.  

“This partnership paves the way for a new age of planning, speeding up decision making while giving communities more of a say on the housing and infrastructure in their area. 

“We are already using PropTech to accelerate the planning system, helping identify new sites for homes whilst protecting biodiversity. This new technology is helping our Long-Term Plan for Housing to go even further to build the right homes in the right places.” 

The Digital Task Force for Planning is a non-for-profit social enterprise focused on applying digital research and innovation to planning services. It aims to help speed up decision-making and improve environmental outcomes for new developments.  

A Spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities