Weeknote — 2020-05-01

Local plans

What are we thinking about?

We’re coming to the end of our second sprint. In this sprint, we’ve focussed on what a national picture of plan making might look like, and what the data needed to support that would be. By testing the needs of MHCLG and PINS, we are building confidence in what the data standard(s) should be. Whether the data provided about local plan making can be trusted, however, is the difficult part. We’ve heard that local authorities don’t completely value their Local Development Scheme (the document that sets out the timetable for plan production), and that PINS and MHCLG don’t rely on these documents because they are often out of date.

We start our third and final sprint on Wednesday. We’ll be focussing on how and when local authorities could provide data, and crucially what needs of theirs can be met, the pain points that can be dealt with, along with other motivations or benefits that structuring data according to a common standard can bring.

Most of the focus of this work is on data about _local plans (the timetable, the policies categories etc). There are certain areas where there are needs to stray into data _within local plans. An example of this is housing numbers - the focus of the prototype in discovery. There are likely to be other metrics where there is value in applying a data standard, for example gypsy and traveller sites, job creation and new home accessibility. We’ve used a survey to collect data from a range of local authorities to establish what these other metrics might be. At this stage, it’s important that a data standard has the flexibility to be used for multiple metrics - some we know about now, others that we don’t.

What have we done in the last week?

  • We’ve spoken to the team leader at MHCLG responsible for housing delivery and supply to understand how this service could help that work
  • Design activities have been focussed on the prototype of a national picture for plan making
  • We’ve also been developing the underlying data standard/schema to support this
  • We tested the prototype with three people from PINS

What are we planning to do next?

  • We’re testing the prototype with people from MHCLG policy
  • On Tuesday at 14:30 we’ll be holding our second show and tell
  • We start our third and final sprint on Wednesday with a focus on how local authorities can provide data
  • We’ll be re-visiting the user needs and mapping the journey for the different types of user

Who is on the team?

  • Debs Durojaiye (designer, dxw)
  • Samantha Opara (user researcher, dxw)
  • Alex Yedigaroff (transformation manager, dxw)
  • Richard Crawley (planning expert, PAS)
  • Stephen Barker (planning expert, PAS)
  • Paul Downey (service owner, MHCLG Digital Land)
  • Sarah Hunt (project lead, MHCLG planning)
  • Andrew Langley (MHCLG planning)
  • Natalie Record (MHCLG Digital Land)