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Innovate UK and MHCLG Award Funding to The Future Fox to Explore Digitisation for Planning Notices

The Future Fox are proud to have received funding from Innovate UK alongside the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to help consider the future of community engagement in development applications.

In 2020, district level planning authorities granted 323,100 planning applications. These were achieved through the traditional planning notice system where the community are able to view applications via fliers attached to lampposts or through local news outlets

An overwhelming 84% of the adult population are smartphone users. This presents a great opportunity to digitise the planning notice system to potentially capture the feedback of 44 million adult smartphone and unlock a transformation in the use of community feedback data in planning decisions. Through digitisation, the system can become more democratic as more members of the community’s voices are heard, including often under-represented members of the community.

Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said:

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Innovate UK and the PropTech sector to bring outdated planning systems into the 21st century with the use of digital planning notices - as part of our wider reforms.

New forms of digital technology will mean the ability to connect residents and neighbours to important information on decisions impacting their areas and enable them to engage directly in major planning decisions.”

Kevin O’Malley, Innovation lead at Innovate UK has said:

“The coming comprehensive changes to planning and the ready availability of new data should enable the development of new usable and useful planning products. The pilot with The Future Fox is allowing us to explore how this opportunity might play out for business, planners and the public”

The Future Fox’s PlaceBuilder tool has already been used by MHCLG as well as local authorities including Devon County Council and Glasgow City Council.  PlaceBuilder is an innovative cloud-based engagement tool that promotes positive community participation in planning. Planners are able to share their

plans with citizens via PlaceBuilder where citizens can comment on the issues most important to them.

This important community feedback and data is accessible to planners with the instant-reporting feature. In-depth analytics give planners the opportunity to spot issues and prepare solutions with confidence as part of their design process. We are looking forward to utilising our team’s expertise in community engagement and analytics to further explore and develop prototypes to share with Innovate UK.

“Our mission is to help people lead the future of their places. Communities feel locked out of today’s planning system, but we’re working directly with members of the public, including them in the creative process, to demonstrate a new, collaborative approach to planning that makes it easy for anyone to engage meaningfully, in 5 minutes.” - Annette Jezierska, CEO The Future Fox

For any media enquiries please contact our Marketing Manager, Emily Carver.


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