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The Plantech Challenge Framework

We are bringing together local planning authorities to combine funds, and build the digital planning tools we need.

Over the past four years Connected Places Catapult has demonstrated the need and value of a more digital planning system. Today, central government, local government and SMEs are all developing and deploying more PlanTech products and services.

The pace, quality and scale of the digital transformation of the planning system is constrained by the lack of public funds available to fund the necessary R&D, the lack of connection between PlanTech projects underway and the limited geographical range of local planning authorities participating in PlanTech projects.


Interested? Get in touch!

The planning system is made up of many moving parts, most of which would benefit from re-design and digital transformation. Yet planning departments have been hit hard by cuts to budgets and struggle to invest in innovation.

  1. We create a long list of challenges with the planning system that may benefit from digital transformation, and survey practitioners and innovators to prioritise them.
  2. We estimate how much it will cost a supplier to deliver a Discovery, Alpha, Beta or Live product and add a 20% fee to cover our project and product ownership overhead.
  3. We run an open call for local planning authorities to address a specific challenge and ask them to express interest and specify what they can invest.
  4. We select and sign a collaborative agreement with partner local planning authorities and together select a supplier to deliver the work.
  5. We form a project board with the partner local planning authorities to manage the supplier.
  6. We ensure every project has an impact assessment, case study and assessment of potential standards, which CPC will provide at no cost.

The different steps of the project

These are the documents you will need.

Please review and complete the relevant documents, and send back the following documents to us by email.

Local Plan Engagement Discovery


Local Plans are one of the most important documents about a place. They define where development should be allowed and what kind of development should be allowed. They are rich with data, maps and information that is useful not only for developers but also different council departments, local people, business and national government.


Response rates to local plan consultations are very low. Local plans are difficult to find on local authority websites. Generally as large pdf documents with multiple appendices, they are difficult to navigate. As there is no consistent structure across different planning authorities they are difficult for users to compare and innovators to build digital solutions on. The data-rich evidence base that supports them is not connected to policies, hindering exploration and explanation. Maps are rarely digital or interactive. It is unclear for non-experts how to respond in ways that best influence decision making.

Potential Benefits

Increased understanding of the role of local plans in shaping places, leading to increased quality and volume of response to engagement. More standardised and machine-readable local plans, containing more open data would create opportunities for new digital products and services to be developed.




What's next?

Use the poll below to help us better understand which challenges are the highest priority for local planning authorities. We’ll use this to prioritise what challenges to work on next.