Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning and Development department required a new system to monitor planning permissions and housing developments in the area.
The Council’s other departments use many other systems to store and manage planning permissions, but those systems did not meet the needs of this department who needed tools flexible enough to provide reports that changed as government legislation changed. The Council was using a mixture Microsoft Access and Excel files to perform their day-to-day roles, requiring a level of technical knowledge that not everyone in the department had. In addition, the Council’s IT department had concerns related to the backup and support of those files and were looking for a solution that could address these.
Hero proposed a Windows application called the Local Plan System that would retrieve information from the various sources, combine them and show monitoring information and output reports. Data is retrieved from third-party systems the Council uses: an Oracle database management system, a geospatial processing program, mapping software and a public consultation database. Data is tracked as it moves through Local Plan System so that the users can see the stage that the planning permission or housing development is at. To assist in monitoring the data a complex set of search tools has been created so that the user can filter data by almost any aspect. Common search configurations can be saved as favourites so that the user can run them quickly without setting the search up from scratch each time. The department can generate reports describing the future plan for the area and evidence the reasons behind the decisions. Once the reports are published the system ensures the data is retained so that even when the data is modified and updated the team can see what the data was when the report was generated. The final solution addresses the IT departments requirements with regards to network security, system access for maintenance/support and fitting into their backup routines without them having to make exceptions.
- Application in Microsoft .net with Microsoft SQL Server