17 November 2010
Electronic submission of the largest-ever planning application in the UK has been calculated to save 2.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide against the more traditional method of submitting multiple hard copies of the submission material to the Local Planning Authority.
The outline planning application for the Liverpool Waters project, believed to be the UK’s largest-ever individual application, was lodged in October 2010 by planning experts from consultancy, WYG on behalf of Peel Land & Property (Ports) Ltd. The outline planning application was submitted using the Government’s online system ‘Planning Portal’.
WYG’s planning director Keith Nutter, said: “Submission of planning applications using the online Planning Portal is becoming the preferred industry method. It’s generally quicker to prepare, it avoids vast amounts of copying and collating and it helps local authorities and third parties by providing information that is ready to access.
“It also avoids significant unnecessary costs. The submission of the Liverpool Waters application via the Portal was our strong preference in view of its unusually large size
“We were initially concerned that the application might be too large and therefore unmanageable but that worry was quickly shown to be unfounded. Working with the local planning authority and Planning Portal from the outset we were able to break the application down into its constituent parts allowing smaller files sizes that could be more easily handled. This was achieved without loosing the quality or the integrity of the submission material that form the Liverpool Waters application.
“The submission of the Liverpool Waters application via Planning Portal and it’s registration by Liverpool City Council sends a very clear message - if it is possible to submit an application of this scale via Planning Portal then it is possible for all applications to be submitted electronically. If one application can save 2.9 tonnes of carbon just think how much carbon could be saved if all planning applications were made electronically.”
The Liverpool Waters submission file on the Portal includes nearly 1,500 pages of documents together with 57 individual figures and 2,200 pages of appendices which were also uploaded. It is standard practice for 10 or more hard copies of all of this information to normally be submitted. In the case of Liverpool Waters the local planning authority agreed to the submission of 2 hard copies – one for public record and one for the public to view.
The Director of the Planning Portal, Chris Kendall, said: “This submission clearly overturns the misconception that the Portal's online application process is only suitable for minor planning applications.”
Peel’s £5.5bn planning application proposes over 1.3 million sq m of mixed use floor space on a 60 hectare city centre site in north Liverpool. The scheme will provide for expansion of the city centres core north of the Pier Head, and will include new office development, more than 9,000 new homes with supporting services, a new cruise liner terminal, a cultural centre, local shops, restaurants, new public parks all set within world class public realm . The heritage-led master plan is intended to bring the once bustling Liverpool Central Docks back to life.
Further information on the Liverpool Waters project and electronic copies of all of the submission material can be found at www.liverpoolwaters.com
Photo caption: Keith Nutter, Planning Director WYG