Weeknote — 2020-02-07

Digital land sprint notes

This sprint we’ve made good progress on brownfield land, including creating a report on the data and improving the map. We’ve also shortlisted suppliers for our local plans alpha!

Brownfield land

Matt and Colm created a brownfield land report to show the current state of the data and the steps that our pipeline goes through to shape the data. We presented this to our policy colleagues and decided next steps.

Matt, Colm and Emily started designing web pages which break down each local planning authorities’ brownfield land data, with the aim of helping each authority and anyone interested to check the accuracy of the data.

A map is a great way of visualising this data, and Jake has been improving the national map of brownfield sites. It now shows the address and additional information held about each brownfield site, as well as linking to the original resource where the data came from, the site plan URL, and our organisation pages.

Brownfield land map

Paul has also “harmonised” the data, fixing obvious errors such as latitude and longitude being reversed, and common typos for column headings.

Stephanie and Lorna worked on a research plan for the tool we’re building that will allow publishers to check their data. They also brainstormed the potential user journey for users checking brownfield land data.

Check your brownfield land user journey

Developer contributions

Lorna and Stephanie visited Southwark Council and Exacom to understand their process for publishing the developer contribution CSV files. Lorna then analysed the insights from the session and fed them back to both Digital Land and the policy team.

Local plans

Rebecca and Paul have been working with the planning policy team and procurement team to shortlist suppliers who bid on the Digital Marketplace to work on the local plans alpha.


Natalie and Paul participated in the Digital Planning breakfast with the Royal Town Planning Institute and Connected Places Catapult.

Digital Planning breakfast with the Royal Town Planning Institute and Connected Places Catapult

Lorna, Emily and Stephanie visited the GDS empathy lab to learn more about accessibility, and how to build it into government services and products. During the visit they tested Digital Land content with accessibility tools.

Stephanie using visual impairment simulation glasses


MHCLG’s first 2 PropTech pilots went live on Spark DPS, using a new Crown Commercial Service offering, aimed at helping government work with innovative tech companies. Jess has been working with colleagues in Housing Delivery to identify where PropTech capabilities could add value to MHCLG efforts, starting with land assessment and community engagement.

Natalie and Jess have also been supporting colleagues focused on Housing Associations to look at the range of ways social landlords are engaging PropTech companies to streamline their operations, repairs, and communication. They have been gathering perspectives in order to bring more awareness to this space and the potential opportunities.