Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
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Anglian Home Improvements Receives Award for Reaching Online Planning Milestone - 5000 in Five Years

Anglian Home Improvements has celebrated its 5000th e-planning application submitted through the Planning Portal.  The company was presented with an award to celebrate its achievement at the Ideal Home Show in London.

Anglian Home Improvements has processed 5000 electronic applications through the Portal in its first five years of operation.

Anglian’s head office in Norwich processes dozens of planning applications every month for home improvement projects across the UK, mainly conservatories but also garage conversions, driveways, windows and doors.

The organisation started using the Planning Portal’s online planning application system shortly after it launched in 2004 in a bid to reduce the time spent on long-winded postal applications which resulted in Anglian being presented with the prestigious Planning Portal award for innovative use of ePlanning services in 2005.

Shaun McAllister, Conservatories Director at Anglian, says:

“We were frustrated by the time it took to process postal planning applications – all the time that we were waiting for applications to be approved meant our customers were also frustrated by delays, so when the online planning system was introduced we were delighted.

“The Planning Portal has been fantastic for us.  It has reduced the time for processing each planning application by around 35-40 minutes.  There has also been a significant cost saving from reducing print, utility and postage costs.

“The fact that we get a confirmation email back from the Portal once an application is submitted gives us reassurance and confidence that it is being dealt with, whereas before when we posted off our applications it was a case of fingers crossed!  This confirmation means we can confidently tell our customers that the application process is underway so they’re happy too.”

The new approach to consistency has been a real bonus for Anglian, as Shaun explains:

“Having one standard form to fill in online for all planning authorities is great.  In the past every authority had a different form and our team members who put in applications had to each focus on particular areas of the country where they were familiar with that specific authority’s requirements. Now they can all confidently deal with any of the 450 local authorities we liaise with which means we can utilise our staff much more efficiently. They don’t have to contend with the same frustrations they used to – it has made their lives a lot easier, which means they are much more confident when dealing with our customers.

“I would recommend any organisation sign up to e-planning, especially if they are a national organisation and have to deal with different local authorities.  For us, e-planning has offered a tremendous opportunity to become more efficient.  With the reduction in paper and print cartridges, it also supports our company environmental initiatives.”

Chris Kendall, Director of the Planning Portal said:

“We’re delighted that a major national company like Anglian Home Improvements has reaped the benefits of using the Planning Portal.  The system allows companies to to process applications in a much more efficient way, saving time and money and also benefiting the environment.”

Notes to editors

  • The Portal provides products and services to deliver tangible and meaningful benefits to all users of the planning system including citizens, businesses and every Local Planning Authority (LPA) in England and Wales.

  • The Planning Portal is the first port of call for anyone wanting to find out about the planning system in England and Wales. Its aim is to provide a one-stop-shop supplying answers, services and information to anyone involved in the planning process - from home owners and businesses to planning professionals and Government officials.

  • The Planning Portal received its first electronic planning application in April 2003. Today around 40% of all applications pass through the Portal and it is possible to submit an electronic application to every authority in England and Wales using a standard national

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