New planning alerts service helps residents keep in touch with their neighbourhood

A new service aimed at giving residents the chance to find out about new planning applications in their area has been launched by Barnet Council.

Barnet Planning Alerts is the latest in a series of developments to the council’s website aimed at making services more targeted and easier to access.

Residents keen to keep in touch with what is happening in their neighbourhood can opt-in to the service by simply visiting the planning alerts page on the council’s website.

Those wishing to receive email alerts are asked to provide their email address along with either their postcode or the ward of the borough they are interested in.

Residents choosing to enter their postcode are then asked to specify whether they would like details of applications within 200 yards, half a mile or a mile of their home.

An automatic email is then sent out to the resident asking them to confirm that they wish to sign up for the service.

They will then receive alerts by email giving them updates on applications which have been lodged for properties in their street or local area.

Barnet Planning Alerts has been designed in conjunction with MySociety, a not-for-profit organisation responsible for public involvement websites such as the Number 10 petitions site.

The alerts service will join the FixmyStreet and Barnet PledgeBank websites already being used by Barnet residents.

Cllr Robert Rams, Cabinet Member for Customer Access and Partnerships, said: “This is just one of a number of innovations we have developed to improve services by using our website in new and imaginative ways. Barnet Planning Alerts give residents the chance to opt-in to receiving information which will directly interest them.

“There is a huge difference from saying that information is available to making it as easy as possible to come by. The joy of the planning alerts service is that it couldn’t be any easier to get regular updates about what is happening in your area.

“It’s important we are much more transparent about the work of the council and we’ve been ahead of the curve in publishing things like expenditure over £500 and performance data on the website. This is another example of Barnet being among the first to open up the work of the council.

“I’m delighted this service will now join other aspects of our website such as FixmyStreet and Barnet PledgeBank which are already benefiting Barnet residents.”

Cllr Richard Cornelius, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Regeneration, added: “The public’s involvement in the planning process is incredibly important and anything that contributes to more people becoming involved, and potentially making their views known, is something to be welcomed.”

To sign up for Barnet Planning Alerts click the link in the ‘highlights’ section on the homepage of the council’s website at www.barnet.gov.uk

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